Workout of the Day

Do We Remember Phone Numbers Anymore?


How many phone numbers can you still recall off the top of your head? A dozen? Five? One? If you spent a good portion of your life in the pre-cell-phone era, you likely recall a time when it was necessary to know at least a handful of numbers, and you probably had quite a few recorded in a pocket book. Young buck that I am, I grew up right in the transition period between needing to recall numbers and letting my phone do all of the work for me. For people growing up today, it’s all but unnecessary to waste brain space on remembering a family member or friend’s phone number.

Except there may come a time when you do need to recall a number. Perhaps your phone battery is dead or you’ve lost your phone, and you’re stranded and need to get ahold of someone? We rest heavily on technology, and while I’m certainly not a Luddite and I see the value in our technology, I also recognize a problem with handing over the reigns to tech, particularly in the fitness world.

The primary purpose of a fitness practice is to train the body to be more able (i.e., performance). But when we surround ourselves with technology that ostensibly guides, enhances, or optimizes our fitness practice, we turn into more of a decorative tree on which tech ornaments are hung to do their thing. We become less the mover and more the moved.

Without a doubt, wearables such as the FitBit or Apple Watch can serve as a helpful reminder to remain active, as a way to monitor activity levels and some basic vitals, and as a way for recording data. I am positive that there are individuals whose activity levels have been changed for the better with the help of wearable technology. But there is also research that has found a huge majority of these wearers feel guilt and pressure to reach daily goals and alter their lives to get in their steps, and many feel resentful of the inaccuracy of theses devices and many even feel ruled by and antagonistic to their health-oriented device. That doesn’t sound healthy.

This tech extends beyond just wearables. Everything from mirrors in a gym to heart rate monitors to high-tech video recording and movement analysis falls into this category of fitness-oriented technology. And while a mirror on the wall can help you get feedback on the position of your hips in a squat, it cannot answer the important question of how it feels to have your hips in the right position in the squat. With our primary goal being to train our bodies to move better, it’s a slippery slope to set ourselves up to rely on something extrinsic to always be defining better for us. If you spend your training career squatting in front of a mirror and relying on that feedback, you’re going to be unprepared when life calls for a squat and there are no mirrors around. Your senses are deadened to self-sufficient knowing and understanding of movement, and that’s absolutely missing the point of why we engage in this fitness practice in the first place.

Note that I’m not saying there isn’t a place for technology in fitness. I think it is entirely possible to coexist with and take advantage of the tech available to us to better our game. You can still have and use a smartphone and remember a handful of phone numbers. The key is to be the master and user of the technology, not the other way around. Stay in the driver’s seat, folks.

- PS


  • Weighted strict chin-up - 3,3,3,3


  • 12 min EMOM

    • Min 1: 20s max cal row

    • Min 2: 20s max KB thrusters (106/70)