Pull Your Own Weight


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PULL YOUR OWN WEIGHT is an orientation to life. 

PULL Your Own Weight is also an orientation to fitness.

Pull Your Own Weight offers a philosophy worthy of your review, application and deployment in your coaching. 

  • Pull Your Own Weight, PYOW, suggests that self control and quality of life are bound together in such a way that improvement in one automatically constitutes improvement in the other. 
  • PYOW for fitness suggests that body control and physical fitness are also bound together in the same ways.

As a philosophy of life, the PYOW position is ageless. It predates the classical thoughts of Plato and Aristotle, and continues right on through to the Renaissance in DeCartes, Rousseau, Kant and Hegel. This position also lies at the heart of the best known American philosophers such as Jefferson and Thoreau. In more recent years, even pop philosophy/psychology authors such as Deyer (Pull Your Own Strings) and Bach (Johnathan Livingston Seagull) have reiterated this fundamental position.

As a philosophy of fitness PYOW is not new. Factually speaking, it is only within the last century that fitness became associated with weights, plates, stacks and cams. And only within more recent decades that anyone felt that computers had any place in fitness at all. Before that time of course, fitness was perceived and measured according to how well a participants handled their own body weight (push ups, sit ups, and pull ups, etc.).

In the 1980s, America supposedly rediscovered the PYOW philosophy of life when all the politicians started crowing about back to the basics, minimizing government bureaucracy, increasing efficiency, cutting out the fat, encouraging entrepreneurship, and taking control of our own destiny. In the 1990s, fitness professionals re-discovered the fact that the ability to handle one's own body weight is the most essential fitness characteristic.

For example, the Athletic Trainer of the Chicago Bears of the NFL contrasted a functional athletic orientation to fitness to a cosmetic, body builder's orientation to fitness.

Brian McCaskey messages, within these lessons includes: 
The main purpose of an athlete's workout in most cases is to control his own body weight more efficiently. If the athlete doesn't get that from the workout, then he or she hasn't accomplished much in terms of functional conditioning.
Bob Gajda, a Sports Medicine expert, made similar observation in the Chicago Tribune

Gajda suggested that, given the choice, free weights are better than machines. "But" Gajda added, "your body is the ultimate free weight."

A Russian-born technique, plyometrics, became the hottest topic in athletic circles.

 Plyometrics are specifically designed to develop an athletes explosive power. The most interesting aspect though is that 99-percent of all plyometric activities are performed using only the participants' own body weight. If weights, plates, and stacks are used at all in plyometrics, it is only sparingly.

Rick Osbourne's dissertation of Pull Your Own Weight fuels his fitness column, covering a wide variety of fitness and sports topics. He began teaching a full-fledged fitness program at the College of DuPage in 1988.

"Most people do not want, nor do they have time to develop mega muscles like a body builder or a power lifter. Most people just want to trim down, and to gain some functional strength and endurance. They want to be informed about fitness, and to be able to maintain their good health on the job and at play without a hassle," says Osbourne. "That's what we teach in the PYOW course."

Osbourne explains the preference for body weight exercise:

Historically, PYOW as a philosophy of life emphasizes themes such as independence, self reliance, self respect, self determination, efficiency, and freedom. In short, PYOW is as American as motherhood, apple pie and baseball.
PYOW's philosophy of fitness deploys somatatrophic (body weight) resistance exercise as the practical solution to the fitness problems of present and future generations."

Learn why and how body-weight-resistance exercises are preferred over weights, plates, stacks, and cams. This is what most athletes and non-athletes need to get out of a resistance training program anyway.

  • Learning to physically control your own body is the most basic lesson in self control there is.
  • Get a physically, tangible, starting-point for teaching students the art of self control on a more general level.

PYOW prefers body weight exercises over all other possibilities because they pay for physical efficiency in a way that nothing else does. 

PYOW prefers body weight exercises over all other possibilities because they promote a functional, athletic fitness rather than a cosmetic, body building, fitness. People who handle their body well look good, and performs well.

  • The person who thinks that fitness is just another word for good looks (which media does) misses a great deal in terms of functional value and meaning. With these lessons, become more inclined to look beyond the surface and appreciate functional virtue.
  • PYOW prefers body weight exercises over all other possibilities because they liberate a participant from dependence on machines, clubs, dues, and excess time.

Learn about the ideal target, a concept called FREE AGENCY. A free agent is a person who handles one's body weight well enough that machines are not needed for maintaining physical conditioning. Zoom ahead on the journey to a liberated level of fitness that borders on the kind of conditioning experienced by a gymnast, promoting independence over dependence in a variety of ways.

  • Learn to physically control your own body better.
  • Take a significant step toward establishing more control over you life in general. 
  • Understand that excesses of the wrong kind drag down physical performance.
  • Get a clearer understanding of fitness efficiency in more abstract levels.
  • Recognize that there is more to fitness than superficial, sex appeal.
  • Reach a level of fitness that is not dependent on other people and other things to stay in shape.
  • PYOW helps to deliver experiences of freedom in a concrete and practical ways.
  • Get an ability to PULL YOUR OWN WEIGHT physically as it serves as a foundation for learning to pull your own weight in many other ways.

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