Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Lift : Fitness Culture, from Naked Greeks and Acrobats to Jazzercise and Ninja Warriors by Daniel Kunitz

Lift : Fitness Culture, from Naked Greeks and Acrobats to Jazzercise and Ninja Warriors by Daniel Kunitz


In Lift, Daniel Kunitz has two main goals, to trace the culture of fitness throughout history and to explore the impact that this culture had on politics, technology, philosophy, women's rights, and many, many other aspects of life. He does so with a blend of journalism, history, and memoir. The memoir sections are some of the most interesting, focusing on Kunitz own exploration of what is called New Frontier Fitness, that is a functional approach to fitness rather than one aimed at body-weight and waistlines that We are all likely more familiar with. 

 While I knew that many cultures highly prized and idealized many forms of fitness, it was fascinating to read how fitness could in turn shape technology, politics, and other aspects of various societies. I especially enjoyed the easy, anecdotal writing style  as it would have been easy to get mired down in technical jargon of exercise and history. His message, informed by his own journey in CrossFit, that fitness is currently not decided by a scale or mirror, but by functional movement will likely ring true to many. If you are at all interested in history or in fitness, this is a fascinating read, full of memorable stories. 






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