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The truth about being fit

The truth about being fit


Ask ten people “What does it mean to be fit?”, and you’ll get ten different answers.

  • To some people, being fit means being at the top of their sport.
  • To others, being fit means being able to run a half-marathon, or simply hike for a couple of hours, without feeling like a wreck afterward.
  • To others still, being fit means being able to play with their grandkids, or simply waking up without stiffness and pain.

Moreover, what fitness means to you today can change tomorrow. Case in point: Robbie VDM, Brain Labs Biotech Founder (i.e., me!).

Two decades ago, my main goal was to pack on muscle. Forays into powerlifting, bodybuilding … muscle was all I cared about. I had a 200-kg deadlift, and both my squat and bench were above 100kgs. I was roughly 82 kgs at 12% body fat, and my goal was to be consistently sub-10%. Also, I was/am an avid sailor and spent a lot of time putting my body & mind through gruelling workouts at sea.

(Note that I hail from a family of rail-thin Englishmen and was among the naturally skinniest of them. My max bench was a shaky, grind-it-out 60kgs after leaving school. Suffice it to say that my fitness journey took quite a lot of time, effort, and learning.)

Fast forward to today, and my definition of fitness has completely changed. I still research fitness on a daily basis, but now with a broader understanding of interconnected factors such as joint pain and sleep.

And years of research have taught me this: fitness is usually oversimplified. For many people, it is all about muscle and fat, weights and cardio; but to solve a puzzle as complex as optimal fitness, hammering the same routines over and over will not work. You need to figure out your personal bottlenecks among the six main fitness factors and take advantage of the most recent evidence to remove them, or even turn them into strengths!


And what are the six main fitness factors?     


1. Joint Health
Healthy joints allow your body to deal with the strains of exercise, sports, and normal everyday activities. A lack of pain  should be your everyday state!


2. Sleep
Deep, restful sleep lets your body recover from the day’s activities and wake up energized.


3. Muscle and exercise performance
Muscle is one of the two obvious fitness factors, but optimal muscle mass isn’t just for looks: it helps keep testosterone levels high and lets you enjoy physical activities.


4. Fat loss
Fat is the second obvious fitness factor: high body fat leads to lower testosterone, lower self-esteem, and accelerated aging.
Optimal testosterone levels have far-reaching benefits, including more muscle, greater mental clarity, and better mood.


5. Testosterone
Optimal testosterone levels have far-reaching benefits, including more muscle, greater mental clarity, and better mood.


6. Cardiovascular health
Cardiovascular health grows in importance as you age: improving it now will not only boost your recovery but also help prevent future heart complications.
Importantly, each factor affects all the others. So, don’t focus on just a couple and let the others become roadblocks in the years to come!

To truly be fit, you need to address all the factors


Imagine you found a VW Beetle from the 1950s and upgraded the engine, and only the engine, to something from 2019. What would happen?

The drivetrain would underperform. The shocks would fail pretty quickly. The wheels would not be able to handle the speed.

By focusing on one component and neglecting all the others, you’ve only marginally improved the performance, and at the same time created new risks.

This is what happens if you don’t focus on the big picture.


Here’s a real-life example: your knees.
Every pound of excess weight you carry means about 4 pounds of extra pressure on your knees when you walk, 8 when you run. In other words, if you’re just 10 pounds overweight, that’s 40 to 80 pounds of extra pressure on your knees with every step you take!

And yet, if you’re overweight, the first thing friends told you was likely to run, either outside or on a treadmill. Miles of running every day. Hours of running each week. “No pain no gain!”

That’s a recipe for disaster.

Instead, you could alternate between running, swimming, and lifting, so that your efforts don’t all put pressure on your knees. You can also decrease your knee pain with smarter nutrition, supplementation, and body positioning at work.

As your pain decreases, you can exercise more and thus lose more weight, thus lessening the pressure on your knees, thus reducing the pain even more. More exercise and less pain make for better sleep, thus better recovery, allowing you to exercise harder. The harder you exercise, the more your cardiovascular system improves, making it possible for you to exercise longer, thus lose more weight, thus decrease the pressure on your knees, and so on and so forth.

In short, as you improve one fitness factor, the others improve too. This synergistic process is the virtuous circle of fitness.

Take control of your fitness from a genetic level first by exploring ‘you’. Then take an informed and targeted approach to addressing your core issues and bullet-proofing your body into the future.

Brain Labs Biotech uses the most advanced AI-powered analytical software on the planet to analyse over 80 million variants of your genome and produce highly accurate and actionable reports in your Health, Wellness and Fitness.

What are you waiting for?

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