DON’T “Think Outside The Box”
By Sean Casey
Why are We Talking About Boxes???
Figure 1. Think in a place that allows your mind to thrive!, Source (1)
Time and time again, we are told “Think outside the box”. Does this phrase not pop up in every leadership speech, conference, etc that you’ve ever been too? Heck, the phrase has permeated throughout the exercise community as well. My guess is that during this past year alone you probably heard this phrase > 30-40x. (I know I did). It’s all over the place and it makes NO SENSE! Have you ever thought of the ironic nature of the statement? The phrase is like one big oxymoron in and of itself. Think about it….
The phrase “think outside the box” is supposed to inspire us to think of new ideas, original thoughts, etc, etc. Yet the phrase is nothing more than a cliche, reflecting absolutely NO original thought on behalf of the person who utters it. In turn, the person is “thinking IN the box” every time they say the phrase.
Thus, I propose a new phrase “Think in a way that allows you to thrive“. If one thinks in a way that allows them to thrive, the mind is virtually limitless, with thoughts being generated exponentially faster than under “non-thriving” conditions. In doing so, at least a few of them will be original and make way damn better sense than those “outside the box” BS.
“Thinking outside the box” is what “pretenders” do/say to make people think that they’re really ahead of the curve…. In reality, they’re usually just jumping onto a bandwagon of a new fad. You see these people all of the time in the fitness community (Please note that I make a STRONG distinction between we here at the Strength Guild and the fitness community).
Examples of those who “think outside the box” in the fitness community
Figure 2. Yep, thinking outside the box is sure sounding cool isn’t it?!?!
1) Hey, I’m going to stand on a BOSU Ball while doing overhead presses on one leg. This is super new and will show that I “think outside the box”. Neither my clients or I will do prehistoric exercises like barbell squats or deadlifts with both feet on solid ground.
2) Creatine Monohydrate is so boring and outdated. I’m going to “think outside the box” and ditch this stuff, replacing it with these ultra, super, triple pyruvate citrate forms of creatine that have been stacked with this testosterone boosting compound that has been “carefully” extracted from the antler velvet of deer living in Russia.
Examples of those who “Think in a way that allows them to thrive ” here at the SG
Figure 3. Cut the fluff out and stick to the lifts that will help you thrive!
1) It doesn’t make sense to do 10 different types of exercises during a single training session. I tend to get much better results (ie- thrive), when I just stick to a primary lift (squat, deads, pulls, bench) and a couple support lifts during each training session.
2) I know the popular theme is to do high rep sets if one is training for hypertrophy. However, rather than do that, I think I’m going to keep my reps a little lower and simply do more sets. That way the weights I’ll be lifting during each set are heavier and the total # of reps will still be high.
I’m interested in hearing everyone’s thoughts… regardless of if you think I’m crazy, have a valid point/onto something, or you have a more appropriate way of replacing the oxymoronic phrase known as “think outside the box”
1. Image taken by Rick Kimpel. This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.0 Generic license.Image accessed on July 30, 2011 from: http://www.flickr.com/photos/18606128@N00/181622538
2. Accessed July 30, 2011 from: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Pe…ng_the_way.jpg . Original photo obtained from http://www.localfitness.com.au/
3. Created by Rhodney Carter. Accessed September 18, 2010 from: http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Bar_bending.jpg