Reimagine Exercise from Within
Introducing Intuitive Fitness
You’ve stumbled into a corner of the internet built around a surprisingly controversial idea: exercise can be enjoyable for everyone.
Fitness is a loaded word. For some, it represents one of their favorite activities. It’s a source of joy, excitement, and pride. Yet, for many others, it evokes a flood of negativity. It’s a reminder of dread, failure, and guilt.
Our focus here is exploring the shift from someone who forces themselves to exercise to someone who loves it. It’s about becoming people who truly enjoy exercise and then embracing it fully from within.
There is no shortage of publications and people talking about fitness. If you want to learn how to squat, there are 1,000s of youtube videos you can watch. If you want to get a program to gain muscle or lose weight, there are 1,000s of people who will sell you one.
Most of the discussion is focused on telling you what to do. I believe the real magic happens upstream. It’s in connecting more deeply with our underlying motivations for exercise. It’s in tailoring our approach to be not only effective but also embodied so we can actually feel it. It’s in the why and the how.
This ensures our efforts are aligned to what we actually want. Even better, it opens us up to discovering new desires and new paths. We go from telling our bodies what to do and forcing them to comply, to listening to them and nurturing our instinctual appetites to move, lift, stretch, and whatever other activity emerges.
To quickly dispel a few common misconceptions:
Intuitive fitness does not mean never planning your exercise. For some, never planning may become preferred. For others, there is great joy in designing an approach to align towards goals and support outcomes like skill development, strength gains, and longevity.
Intuitive fitness does not mean never taking ourselves beyond our current comfort zone. As we connect more deeply with our bodies, we can discover a pull to fully experience the edge of our capacities.
Intuitive fitness does not mean never looking to others for education or inspiration. Yes, the core shift is to look inward instead of outward. But we can develop our intuitive capacities, expand our interests, and refine our skills by seeing how others have done it. The shift is to view this information as experiments to try instead of directives to follow.
Intuitive fitness is a path where we cultivate an internally driven approach to exercise that is enjoyable, effective, embodied, and evolving. I will write in-depth about each of these elements and more.
Fitness is the ultimate long game. The rewards compound slowly. It’s an infinite game. You never truly win. You can grind your way through a season or even a year but it’s hard to force your way through a decade. Becoming someone who loves to play is key to thriving over the long run.
Here’s a quick overview of things to come.
This newsletter will be my playground to explore and share ideas on intuitive fitness and embodied exercise. My plan is to publish weekly out of the gate and then evaluate what cadence feels right. Longer essays and guides will be hosted on my site where I’ll build out the philosophy of Intuitive Fitness.
I’ve turned on paid subscriptions for people who resonate with the mission and want to support the project. There’s no pressure to join as all writing will be free.
I am excited to run a virtual course this spring on integrating this approach in your life. More to come.
In the meantime, I offer one-on-one coaching. While I’m at capacity for long-term clients, I provide individual sessions (or a couple) to strategize and troubleshoot ways to create a more enjoyable and effective approach. I’m currently playing with a pay-what-you-want model to enable this can be accessible to more people.
How You Can Help
At this stage, my focus is on refining how I communicate these ideas and spreading them to more people. At any point, I’d love to hear feedback on what resonates with you, your experience with exercise, and any ideas you have for the Intuitive Fitness project. All replies and comments come directly to me.
If you have any friends that you think will be interested, please share the newsletter with them. Growing readership is key to building momentum and exploring how more people can embrace these ideas.
Based on the initial response, I expect subscribers to be a mix of people who have already discovered the joy of intuitive fitness and those still looking to develop a love of exercise. My ultimate hope is to create a community of people who are passionate about reimagining exercise from within and comparing notes along the journey.
Intuitive Fitness is a reader-supported publication. To receive new posts and support my work, consider becoming a free or paid subscriber.
Sam, look forward to seeing where writing about this takes you. I’m especially happy to see you clearing up some misconceptions — especially since this isn’t a entirely intuitive concept (pun!). I’d be especially curious to hear your thoughts on exercise vs. fitness vs. wellness. Clearly embodied exercise can lead to intuitive fitness — but do you need that to bridge over to holistic wellness?
(Understanding holistic can be a loaded word.)
Excited to see how the journey unfolds!