Here’s a theory that I’ve been working on:
Group exercise classes have become popular because adults don’t participate in recreation activities.
In the absence of that participation, millennial culture has turned to the group exercise class as we seek those physically active, deeply emotional activities.
Exercise has become the star of the story. That was never its role to play.
It was always intended to play a supportive role but in lives without a star physical activity, it has no other choice.
We want exercises experiences to improve our strength and cardiovascular capacity while also replicating church, a rock concert, a meditation retreat, and a finish line sprint.
We’re trying to put all of our eggs in a basket that was never intended to hold them.
The functional goal of exercise is to create more capable, resilient bodies. This is best realized when we train with simplicity and do so consistently. When cast in this supportive role, strength training can flourish.
We don’t need it to be about novel experiences, because that’s not its role. It’s the artisan, not the artist.
Being physically fit means you can participate in an activity of your choosing without having to think about the limitations of your body.
Consider Michaelangelo’s chisel, Frida Kahlo’s brush, or J.K. Rowling’s computer.
Each tool is essential to their success, but we don’t romanticize the devices that they’re using. We focus on the outcome – We focus on the art.
Movement culture seems to have evolved to forget about the art of the wild human experience, with curated and crafted experiences filling in for play and perspiration.
When you find your medium of artistic expression, where movement becomes your happy place, then strength training is free to play a supportive role. That’s where it truly shines.