The most recent physical activity guidelines in the USA were originally released in 2008. Shortly after, in 2011, they were updated to include important additional research. I recently spoke with the lead researchers of these guidelines and asked, “are these guidelines still current, or is there new data that would necessitate a change to the current recommendations?” To the best of their knowledge, these guidelines, though more than 10 years old, are very much still consistent with the best information we know about human physiology, exercise science, and current health needs.
These guidelines, which are for “apparently healthy adults,” (i.e. unrestricted, able-bodied persons) list the precise qualities and quantities of exercise for each physiological dimension of fitness that need to be completed weekly in order to both get and stay truly and completely healthy. According to the researchers, no one has ever created a fitness program that met these fitness standards. This means that despite having been publicly available information for more than 10 years, my new fitness program will be the first and only training program to ever feature the nationally recognized standard for physical activity. I have decided to call it: The Healthy Human Project.
The idea for creating a fitness program designed to get as many people as possible as healthy as possible came to me more than a year ago during the summer of 2020. It was a few months into the CoVid-19 pandemic and it had become very obvious that this virus was not going away any time soon, and that the people who did the best against it were those who were the healthiest.
I never thought I would do anything other than personal training. Fitness is best conducted on an individualized basis, so offering a program that was not designed specifically and exclusively for any one person was unnatural, uncomfortable, and very intimidating. However, I became a personal trainer because I wanted to help as many people as possible overcome pain, prevent injuries, enjoy their bodies and enjoy life as much as possible, so I knew that if it was possible to create a program that truly was appropriate, safe and effective for most people, that it was an idea worth pursuing. I’m both happy and proud to say that after much research, deliberation and outside consultation, The Healthy Human Project is the best exercise program I have ever personally seen marketed to a non-individualized market. In other words, to the best of my extensive experience and knowledge, a more perfect public fitness program does not exist.
The Healthy Human Project is a grassroots fitness program. It rolls out in cycles, the first of which is carefully designed to meet the minimum standard of what would be considered by most as “healthy”. Albeit a subjective standard, my collaboration thus far with physical therapists, scientists and other industry experts has helped me create what I believe is a realistic, viable, fitting starting point for the person who qualifies as “healthy” but would likely describe themselves as very “out of shape”. This first cycle, called “Foundations”, is all about re-establishing body segment control and joint health. Every week of programming will meet all of the standards outlined by the ACSM’s current physical activity guidelines. The average intensity of the 12-week cycle will remain low but will steadily increase, allowing the body to adapt to a new lifestyle and become prepared for more conventional exercise, which happens to follow in the adjoining cycle, “Barbells & Basics”.
To further separate this program from the pack, The Healthy Human Project never ends. The same way no one ever reaches a point in their life when they no longer need to care for their body, The Healthy Human Project will always offer additional cycles of training that build off the previous, develop additional skills, and continue the process of progress. In theory, this could be the last fitness program you ever need until age, injury or illness relegates you to pursue an individualized program designed to accommodate your newly un-abled, or un-healthy body.