Workout of the Day

The Wonder Drug


I was fortunate this past weekend to have the opportunity to locally attend a kinesiology-focused research conference in which students and professionals alike presented new research and shared ideas. The keynote speaker gave his lecture on an idea that is anything but new, but is as relevant now as ever: the idea of exercise as medicine.

The underlying data is rather dismal. We are a nation of unfit, inactive, and unhealthy people, and despite continual ground-breaking developments in medicine in the last decades, our situation isn’t getting much better. Roughly 80% of adults don’t meet the recommended levels of physical activity; lifestyle choices such as exercise, diet, and smoking account for roughly 50% of health concerns; and the economic costs of inactivity worldwide amounts to $67.5 billion annually.

What’s most astonishing, though, is not how unhealthy we are as a population, but how underutilized the most effective treatment is. Given the idea of “exercise as medicine” named above, it’s fairly evident what I’m getting at.

Presented as a pharmaceutical substance would be in a sales pitch, this “medicine” truly looks like a miracle drug. 100% efficacy. Acts as both treatment and preventative intervention for all major diseases. Cheaper than most any other drug, and can even be had for free. Positive effects on self-perception and mood. No significant side-effects, outside of the potential for overtraining or maybe getting sweat in your eye. Positive effects at varying doses. The list goes on. If this were a pill, it would be prescribed by every doctor and to every patient without hesitation. And yet…

There is a clear disconnect between the worlds of healthcare and fitness, to use those terms intentionally broadly. Yes, your doctor will always tell you that you should exercise more when you go for your annual check-up, but that’s about as far as the conversation goes, and clearly it’s not working. Meanwhile, more people are being prescribed pharmaceuticals every day, countless gym memberships go unused, and people are consciously opting out of movement and into idleness on a daily basis.

The solution to this problem is not easy (if it were, we probably would not be having this conversation). The idea of a marriage of the fields of exercise and medicine has been proposed, a potential step in the right direction, and one that is seeing more traction every year; but from my view, the solution needs to be people-driven, too. As a population, we’re not doing something right, and each and every one of us is accountable.

I don’t know the solution, nor do I know if there even is a singular solution. But let’s continue the conversation: what do you think would drive change? How can exercise as medicine become a reality rather than a catchy slogan that’s tossed around in the hopes that maybe it will work out some day? How do we make exercise, the truest “wonder drug,” something that’s prescribed and used even half as much as pharmaceuticals? How can I contribute to this change? How can you contribute to this change?

Answer in the comments below!

- PS


  • Hang power clean - 2,2,2,2


  • 3 rounds:

  • 45s max hang power cleans (135/95)

  • Rest 90s

  • 45s max C2B pull-ups

  • Rest 90s