Following upon several online recommendations I got myself a copy of Chris Highcock's ebook, HillFit.
Of course you've not heard of it, right?
It may be new publication but then it also happens to be about training -- hill fitting -- for what we Australians call 'bushwalking'. And seemingly if you aren't a hiker why bother with fitting yourself for the hills?
But HilFit is a special tome -- all 52 pages of it (and many of those are extended reference lists and appendices). It's a radical reformatting of the exercise challenge based on current physiology research.
You can approach this topic another way by studying the denser Body by Science by Doug McDuff and John Little and you'd be similarly enlightened. But Body by Science for all its science and method advances a program that requires gym based and expensive exercise hardware even though you are advised to deploy it "12 minutes a week".
A contradiction is it not?
But HillFit assures us differently:
Don’t think you need equipment or that you have to join a gym. You don’t need to spend money to train. Your muscles need hard intense exercise; that can come from a machine in a gym or from a push up. The muscles can’t tell the difference although your wallet might!
Maybe you are thinking that something like this is banana oil for late night TV? (With three easy payments and freebies for the phone now orders...?)
What Highcock does is give you in the clearest and succinct-ist of terms an exercise philosophy which is disengaged from what other energetic lifestyle stuff you may do. At stake is how you promote 'fitness' for 'health' without obsessing over the workload while generating a short intense routine that is easily integrated into your day-to-day.
How about that. And you don't have to clamber over hills and ford creeks if that's not your thing.
Having begun my Hillfitting I can see the POV. It's sweet logic.
The reviews of the book -- universally praising it -- don't go into detail as to method primarily because it is a very simple protocol -- albeit demanding of precision.
Simple yes -- but you are also going to exert yourself: not in a highly tense Interval Training way but so that you work your muscles -- especially particular muscle groups -- to exhaustion.
And I mean that in a muscle fibre way. It's all twitch : twitch stuff.
The Table of Contents suggests how this package comes together:
- WHO IS THIS PROGRAMME FOR?
- WHY STRENGTH FOR A WALKER? (Insert self here as it ain't 'a walker' specific. It's everyman/woman stuff -- DR)
- THE HEALTH BENEFITS OF STRENGTH TRAINING
- HOW TO GET STRONGER
- EXERCISE VS. ACTIVITY: YOU STILL NEED TO WALK!
- PERFORMANCE PRINCIPLES
- EXERCISE SELECTION
- THE HILLFIT STRENGTH ROUTINE
- WARMING UP OR STRETCHING THE TRUTH?
- BEYOND STRENGTH
- REFERENCES and RESOURCES
Highcock's philosophy is a rich fusion of not only his own personal weight training and hill fit experience, but also the outlook of a seemingly eclectic mix of trainers who expose regimes like "Congruent" Exercise which will take your sophistication beyond the shallowness of crude 'grunt' and 'no-pain-no-gain' thinking.
He may be into Paleo but he's no Neanderthal. This isn't machismo.
If you are like me you want a credo to prove to yourself (and others) that conscious and disciplined exercise makes sense in the great scheme of things.
It's back up for those times when you feel you couldn't be fagged..and confirmation that what you are doing is so darn good for you.
For that: HillFit fits.
For that: HillFit fits.