Um, I hope this doesn’t come as a shock to anyone involved in physical training, but the majority of the population doesn’t really have much respect for what you’re doing.

Oh sure, kids are encouraged to play sport and be active, but once they become adults, things change pretty quickly. An adult (especially a parent) who continues to stay active and in great shape is often viewed as being a little strange and immature. I have lost track of how many times friends and relatives admonished me to, “Grow up and forget all that childish nonsense.”

Linked to this attitude is the presumption that men with muscular bodies are stupid. Maybe it’s just sour grapes, but it’s an attitude that’s certainly everywhere. We hear it in expressions like “brute strength” and “brains over brawn.” People go around muttering stuff like, “I’d rather have intelligence and personality than muscles.”

But why does there have to be a choice? Why must it be one or the other? The answer is that it doesn’t. I can give you plenty of examples to support this. Former Mr. Universe, Bob Paris, is an excellent writer, with many engaging books under his belt. He’s also a brilliant speaker, environmentalist and activist.

And think for a moment about the icons of 1980s action cinema: Dolph Lundgren, Sylvester Stallone and Arnold Schwarzenegger. Dumb musclemen, right? Wrong. Lundgren has a Masters degree in science; Stallone is an accomplished screenwriter and director (he wrote the original Rocky screenplay himself); and Arnold … well, you don’t get to go from poor immigrant to Governor of California unless you’ve got some brains.

In ancient Greek culture, this attitude didn’t exist. The classical Greek gymnasium was more than a place to exercise the body; it was also a place to train the mind. Mathematics, politics, philosophy, literature – all of these were topics of discussion. The mind and the body were seen as parts of a whole, not as separate things.

This is certainly true of my own personal experience. I recently transformed my body dramatically through exercise, and it didn’t make my IQ drop at all. In fact, I have benefitted from better focus, discipline and calmness.

This entire idea of a body/mind dichotomy is a pretty recent one. Maybe it’s because of the so-called Information or Digital Age we live in. Who knows? But what I do know is this: if anything is stupid, it’s that idea.

Dr. Nick Hallale created The Apollo Program after reviving the methods used by ancient Greek athletes to develop the perfect body. For more information on the program that transformed him from weak blob to Greek god, please visit the Apollo Program website:
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