The primary reason animals have brains is to control movements
The primary reason animals have brains is to control movements. There is no point in evolving such a complex structure if we can’t then go on to affect the environment around us through movement. Take the sea cucumber…it spends half its life moving around the sea bed with a brain, until it attaches itself to a rock where it lives out the rest of its life. As soon as it doesn’t have to move anymore it digests its brain and nervous system. The reason why humans have such large brains is because we have evolved to move in very complex ways….to hunt, climb, fight, run, mate etc. Unfortunately the world around us has become less complex. We sit in front of computers all day and then train with the constraints of machines to guide our ‘unintelligent’ movement. No surprises that as we age our brains degenerate…we haven’t used them for what they are made for…complex intelligent movement. Just like the sea cucumber our brains don’t need to be used for what they have been built for. We exercise for muscle mass but don’t learn to use them. For our brain our training methods (particularly machine weights) are like spending your whole life in primary school, or constantly riding your bike with stabilisers on. In order to develop more complex movements we need to change the way we think about our training. Rather than lifting weights to increase muscle mass, we need to think, can I move this weight more efficiently? E.g. Olympic lifting… train with no weight on the bar to develop efficient movement rather than worrying about just putting on muscle. The increase in weight you can lift results in moving in a more complex pattern…yes your muscles will still grow as a result, but your primary goal changes to efficient movement. Another focus is to choose a movement you can’t currently do. Something you will FAIL at until you practice. I’m not talking ‘fail’ because it’s too heavy. Fail because it’s too complex. This might be something like handstands, or learning to crawl, or even perfecting a kettlebell swing. Find something your crap at and do it. Once you can do it move onto something else! You’ll still get ‘gains’ along the way, you’ll move better too!