What Are Instincts?
It's not your average Jeopardy-topic, but let's have closer look at "outdated" instincts. Basically, they're made to help us survive. I mean, hey, I think we're all rather happy about our ancestors having a certain drive of eating, mating and surviving; else we'd be pretty much not here! And to specify it a little, the key for this is to:
Eat as much as possible when you can (to avoid future starvation),
Mate (to carry the species forward) and to:
Save Energy (to avoid being caught exhausted in a case of emergency).
Now ask any dietician what they think of the first instinct, where we eat more than we need. Then think about the mating drive, in times when we can actually count on close to 100% of the children NOT to be eaten by wild animals. And now for the saving-energy instinct, which is the instinct of interest in this discussion. Basically, that instinct would say: Stay home, always keep food in your stomach and rest plenty. Hmm. This sounds like a good description of the typical couch potato, doesn't it?
How Our Instincts Work.
When you've exercised, you've temporarily depleted the body's storage of energy - and would be in really deep shit if some big predator who just named you "lunch" appeared. Once again, this is a vulnerable state that our instincts tell us is not a good thing. I mean, how would THEY know that we've turned into the biggest threat to all other species, regardless of size?
With this in mind, consider the bodybuilder who brags far and wide about his incredible instinct for training. He loves it, and the best thing is that B.S. like "overtraining," "nutrition" and "periodization" does not apply to him - because his INSTINCTS tell him what's right! Umm... Hello? This is a message from the planet common sense & logic: Forget it!
Unfortunately, inhabitants of planet myth & ignorance usually has this major receptive problem, so they swirl around, happy in their own little world of whey and honey. In an attempt to reach them, let's bring out another instinct: The one that tells us to avoid pain! I mean, who can honestly say that they LIKE to do those last 2-3 reps of calf-presses? Unless you're a little wacko in the head, those weekly trips into the pain zone aren't exactly something you have wet dreams about. Interestingly enough, the guys you hear talking about their love for pain is also the ones who - you guessed it - brags about their INSTINCT that tells them to!
Overriding Your Instincts.
Pushing yourself a little further every day is hard, long-term work. We must use our intellect to "override" instinct to reach results. The body can only be FORCED to get more muscular, while our instincts simply tells us not to. Or to make it simple: Bodybuilding is not a natural thing to do, while instincts are made to preserve us as natural.
Try making an animal pump iron.
So far, my cat has stayed off the dumbbells, but the day his instincts make him start, I will officially repent and consume my best baseball cap with salt and little dash of garlic.