fitness

Fitness, like its closest cousin, athletics, always comes with an undercurrent of competition. That’s beneficial when you’re training for a marathon or trying to lose weight. But most of us are already striving to outperform our colleagues on a daily basis. Adding more rivalry—Bob is the best spinner, Kate fell off the Tough Mudder wall, John is so damn slow—is unnecessary at best and destructive at worst. You’re better off pretending the invite went to your spam folder or ducking out of work early when everyone’s putting on their short-shorts. If you see co-workers at your gym, switch gyms. If you can’t do that, nod from afar. Don’t engage, even positively, as it just gets weird: “Once, I said to my co-worker, ‘I want to have abs like yours,’ ” remembers David Perez, who works in public relations. “It did not go over well.” The biggest issue isn’t the workout itself, it’s what happens after. “I once ran into my boss in the showers, totally naked, and he wanted some exercise advice from me,” says Kivanc Ozdemir, a hotel executive. He told his manager that he should try more cardio. “Obviously, I saw him differently after that.” [BW]

Have you ever gazed upon classical Greek philosopher Nassim Nicholas Taleb and thought to yourself, “That man has a body from the gods. I could never hope to match him in brains, but what about brawn? If only I could obtain the details of his diet and fitness regimen”? Well, friends, today is your lucky day. Despite still being on his second tour of self-imposed quiet time, Taleb granted several interviews to publications reviewing his new book, “Antifragile: Things That Gain From Disorder,” and, naturally, the topic of his physique came up, specifically the various ways he keeps it in such enviable shape. (He also touches on the exercises that led to him having a brain three times the size of the typical astrophysicist, though please note that these should be appreciated but not be attempted by average humans, who could hurt themselves quite badly.) Read more »