…Originally posted 29/12/2011 on Fitness Sphere where I also now contribute, I thought readers here might benefit aswell.
Before indulging in preferred training strategies that I use and that perhaps may or may not be familiar to many readers here, as well as offer the context in which I believe these strategies best fit, I think it is first requisite the reader understands the thought process behind the methodology, and the underlying guiding principles I adhere to. Below are some notes I’ve made to facilitate that understanding.
”AS to methods there may be a million and then some, but principles are few. The man who grasps principles can successfully select his own methods. The man, who tries methods, ignoring principles, is sure to have trouble.”
…Ralph Waldo Emerson
Stripping it all back, I thoroughly enjoy my work. The goal is to become the best that ever lived at what I do that I may by default at least land situate among the better ones in my over reaching. By those whom I look up to, in this field and related, the bar is set quite lofty and I strip to consider meandering beneath it, out of respect and in principle. This is after all, the field of health and performance. People will place their trust in my hands to know exactly what not to do as much as what to do with their physical well-being and it is my responsibility to give them top tier information. The path we take today however may not be tomorrows route should it through labourous examination now inferior prove. Frankly that’s progress, but always the highest attainable quality that any coach can afford at the time.
”Progress is impossible without change, and those who cannot change their minds cannot change anything.”
…George Bernard Shaw
The field is rapidly evolving and failing to update ones software, and evolve along with it is unacceptable. The relentless pursuit of continued education is fundamental to professional growth, which translates ultimately to enhanced client well being – That right there is the bottom line.
- Ethos – Plain and simple, don’t hurt anybody. Unintentionally or otherwise, do no harm. A kind of Hippocratic Oath governs this game and failing to comply is absolutely unprofessional and negligent. If I cannot fit the pieces, I’ll send them to somebody who can. There are no ‘smoke and mirrors’ if I don’t know I don’t do. Don’t hurt anybody.
- Screen and assess – Wielding my ‘do no harm’ decree every new athlete and client without exception is upon greeting met with a system of screens and assessments, to clearly delineate the destination and identify impediments to proposed resolutions ahead of interception. What are they telling me? What are they not telling me? The devil is in the details they say, or the issue at hand may be palpable past belief. We are essentially a body of inexhaustible complexities and capabilities, not a configuration of autonomous body parts. Nothing happens distally without proximal consent or assistance. Everything is connected to everything, and it all matters. Ofcourse my client is not to know that their cervical complaint is potentially the sympton of a big toe dysfunction, so…
Waiting until a client is squatting or deadlifting under load to discover that there is a hip and ankle mobility deficit, lower back complaint, load allotment inadequacy or poor motor control is ludicrous. This discovery should be made far removed from the throes of aggressive exercise during the unloaded, low risk conditions of a well conducted movement screen. I want movement quality firstly in all areas. My clients need to earn load showing consistent competency in fundamental body-weight movement patterns and my screen of choice for locating that baseline is the Functional Movement Screen (FMS).
The FMS provides information on fundamental movement and potential risk of injury upon entering into hostile physical activity. It is not a diagnostic tool but rather a definable baseline of human movement competency requisite for damage limitation. None of my clients escape implementation of the FMS, but all of them for such a small investment of time, enjoy a measurable distance between themselves and harm with its ‘snitching’ prowess and corrective blueprint.
- Training – I’ve long ago moved away from prioritising the bodybuilder, segmental approach to training and to a more movement/behavioural based model. Movement first and foremost is conceived in the brain, it is therefore the primary target organ for all inputs. The brain maps movements, not individual muscles, thus training should emphasis general-purpose movement patterns that yield practical functionality. All planes, all directions, all well and all the time.
Best practise before popular practise.
- The Rules – Honour the joint-by-joint approach.
Because a man’s got to have his rules. These are the best that I have at this time.