• Matt Ferrara BS C.S.C.S

Environment is Everything. (But it still means more than you think)

What you’re missing from your training is environment.

The fascinating thing about environment is that it actually has multiple applicable meanings when it comes to training.

We are not only talking about the literal environment you physically train in, but also the actual outdoor environment as well.

Many people are missing the proper physical environment, but even more are missing some sort of immersion in the outdoors.

I have had many friends throughout the years that I have met through training, and I can honestly say the ones who integrate their time spent in the gym into some sort of outdoor activity are more successful and seem happier.

Not a bad view at all...

You mean Like Hikes And Stuff?

I’m not asking you to do anything crazy here. You aren’t going to need malaria shots in order to start implementing this into your lifestyle.

Just getting outside once a week and separating yourself from the stressful environment of modern society is enough to make a difference.

Modern society isn't all bad, but it is all stimulus. A low level stimulus, but its constant, and that’s the stress the body struggles with the most.

You need to get away from the constant sources of stimulus every once in awhile and let yourself breathe. As the well known app built around mindfulness and meditation Head Space puts it, you are literally creating more space in your own head to think and be creative. I like this concept of freeing up space in your mind, and I think this is the best way to think about getting outside and the resulting effects it has on you.

Both types of environment have far more importance on your success than you think. Even more importantly, they will be two of the largest driving factors in your overall sense of fulfillment when it comes to the training process.

That’s really what we are after right? Don’t we want all those sets and reps to mean something when it’s all said and done?

Can't I Just Be A Swole Hermit?

This is where the Swole Hermit lives

I mean you could, but what if I told you being around other people was good for your gains?

Training is about making a positive change in your body. I strongly believe that to do that you cannot stray too far from your ancestral roots. Human beings need to be around each other, as we are all tribal creatures.

Training is no different, and I would argue it has an even greater correlation as we are literally dealing with your genes when working towards adaptation of the body.

You need to find a community of like minded people who give passion and purpose to your struggle.

This is why CrossFit is so damn successful. I would argue that CrossFit as a sport does a largely poor job of developing fitness, but a damn good job of revealing it.

Despite it's programming shortcomings people still find ways to make incredible progress. I would chalk this us largely to the tribal community that is built around the acceptance of a harder path that must be taken. And I love it.

Find your tribe, and get to work. Your fruits of your labor will be compounded within a community aspect.

The Best of Both Worlds:

See if you can spot my awkward smile...

At Arkitect Fitness, we have been combining the best of both types of environment by doing group hikes each month.

They are honestly some of the most fun I have ever had.

We get a group of members from the gym and their friends and family and head off into the white mountains to get in a fun walk in the woods.

We usually end up getting lunch somewhere delicious as well. Another absolutely fantastic way to bring peoples of all types together, over a delicious meal.

Sometimes dessert is also involved. Let us live our lives.

These hikes bring together members of the community that otherwise may not have met.

Powerlifters that train at 6 am huff and puff next to the spry mother of three who typically trains after she picks the kids up from school.

It’s a pretty damn cool experience to be apart of.

Take Some Action

I’ve been writing a lot more, so I plan to give you guys some actionable steps to take with each article.

Here is your first one.

Plan something to do outside for this upcoming weekend. I don't care what it is, but you need to get outside for at least 2 hours and have your phone on airplane mode.

Fish, hike, bike, lay in the grass. Doesn't matter. Just get outside and create some head-space.

We will talk soon.

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