Three times is the charm and I hope the articles have given you new insight and made your fitness journey more productive. Today’s tip focuses beyond the purely physical aspect of fitness and addresses a topic that may be preventing us from achieving our goals. It has nothing to do with food groups but rather, with a behavior prevalent in many aspects of life and exercise unfortunately is no exception, so without further ado!

Tip 3: Don’t be a hammer
Can't Handle It!If you are familiar with the phrase when you are a hammer, everything looks like nails you probably understand the depth of its message. Allowing our emotional attachments for a particular approach will turn us into hammers. As hammers, we think everything should be pounded, not because everything is nails, but because we are hammers and that is the only thing we know.

The world of exercise and fitness is regrettably the prime example of hammer behavior. Fitness trends condemn one another based only on what they can see through their eyes. They never take the time to see how they are simply addressing a different aspect of the fitness continuum and prefer to focus and discrediting each other instead of realizing how they could be complimentary and benefit from one another. Labels like non-functional and/or dangerous used by the different camps to describe one another are testament to the misunderstanding. And seriously, I cannot think of a more unproductive topic like comparing a regular pull-up and a standard pull-up. If anything ever came close to comparing apples and oranges–other than the fruits themselves–that would be it.

Fortunately as divers, we rarely behave like hammers. We would not judge a cold water diver as being excessive when donning a dry suit with double high pressure steel tanks, nor would we think of the diver in a tropical destination as reckless for wearing a three millimeter suit and not carrying a canister light. We accept that said divers are geared for their particular styles and conditions and move on. Granted, there are those vociferously passionate about their particular style and will condemn you-or praise you–for wearing a bungeed back-up second stage, but they are the exception.

Our approach to fitness should be similar. We need to understand there is nothing inherently good or bad, nor productive or detrimental about any piece of equipment or exercise modality. What’s the best exercise for lower body? I don’t know! Too many individual factors need to be considered to regale you with an overreaching generality. The same applies to nonsense like the quest for exercises that burn the most calories, supplements or foods that burn the most fat, or the search for must-do and must-avoid exercises. They are all useful in their particular application and timing but we will not be able to see it if our approach is blinded by emotional attachments. So don’t be a hammer! Only a small part of the world is made out of nails and you’ll waste copious opportunities and time if you choose to behave like a hammer. Keep your mind open and you will get the chance to learn new skills, develop new approaches and add the variability that might just break a rut or plateau.

Until Next Time!