It’s a huge responsibility when someone entrusts a trainer with their body. With that in mind, we need to always be on point .In our quest to get better every day we have studied kettlebell, speed , locomotion, assessments, motor learning, pre-post natal, exercise science, olympic lifting and strength training. In order to understand how the human body truly functions, we will continue our education. Continuing our education along with well over a decade of professional and athletic training affords us the opportunity to provide an unparalleled service to our students. In order to provide this service, we have been able to create an unbelievable system behind our philosophy. Our number one student is ourselves; and with that in mind, we practice and master each modality that we have learned to understand if and how it fits into the system. Only then do we incorporate these modalities into our philosophy. Everything has a purpose.
STRESS - To paraphrase Gray Cook "Dosage is everything . If exercise is too stressful, the individual will default to old patterns, and if the exercise does not challenge the primary stabilizers, they will not reintegrate into posture and movement". In each level of training we will address how we notice if we have given the student the correct dosage . We will adapt to stress and get stronger this way but if the stress is not progressive then overuse and burnout will occur. It's important to realize the muscles are not only for force. They sense stress before our brains realize and are a drainage system. What we do in the gym can affect how we feel and how we feel can affect our ability to perform. Emotional stress can put undue tension on the muscles. This can leave them fatigued or in a restricted state. Learning how to relax the muscle is just as important as learning to can contract a muscle. This is why full range of motion is so important. It leaves the body at optimal resisting length.
Mobility - Static stability - Dynamic stability
LEVEL 1- Ground Exercise , body weight and breathing -
Weight is a stressor . Sometimes we need to take the stress of body weight and gravity out of the equation to get the nervous system to simmer down and absorb motor learning. This is accomplished by exercises on the ground. These ground exercises builds a foundation or cushion for future loading and as we master them we can make these movements stronger by progressing them to half kneeling and then standing. By progressing them to half kneeling, standing and adding weight we are adding stress (gravity , body weight and weights) and determining if the pattern breaks. Once we repeatedly stick form then we must add stress. It's like building a cushion.
In this stage breathing is very important and is the driving force of every exercise and pattern. Nose breathing and deep diaphragmatic breathing is what sets the table for your core and hips to function optimally. Proper breathing is fundamental in achieving power mastered by the complete athlete as it provides ultimate strength and stamina. It also relaxes and calms down the nervous system. Doing 5 minutes of belly breathing before you go to bed is a great form of meditation. The stress of the day is left in that day and not carried over into the next day. Chronic Stress is a silent assassin. You will see later how this works with weight training.
Do athletes need this level ? MORE THAN ANYONE! To paraphrase Cook " We adopt poor movement as result of pain. Part of survival system allows movement around problems we cannot move through. When the pain is gone sometimes the poor movement patter remains". I use a map analogy. As babies, we are building the original map (movement patterns). As we go through life, stresses and injuries force us reroute our maps. Having an assessment and going back to the basic ground exercises allow us to get back to our original map. The more we reroute the harder and longer it is to get back( the longer the dysfunction the harder it is to fix). This is one reason why its important to start training as early as possible. Athletes are great compensators. They will find a way to get it done. Going back to the ground will help find drips before they are floods. Athletes are also very explosive; at times so much so that they cannot accurately feel their body’s sensations and be aware of their movement. Slowing things down to make changes and build back their speed with better control is what is required! Athletes also become asymmetrical because of repeated patterns. Being symmetrical is what reduces injury risk.
GENERAL PHYSICAL PREPARATION: KETTLEBELLS, AND LOCOMOTION
General Physical Preparation comprises the idea of all around physical development to perform any physical activity more or less successfully. Activities include: general endurance, general strength, general joint mobility, general coordination, and general psychological preparedness. The goal is to introduce you to a wide variety of skilled drills and activities to identify your weaknesses and turn them into strengths. When we identify these weaknesses we create a program that will have you mastering new forms of movement creating a stronger YOU!
The main tool that we use to create this foundation is the kettlebell(added stress). The center of gravity is constantly changing, but your core is essential and acts as your center point in the body for proper functioning. The kettlebell assists with identifying a foundation causing the body stabilizers and connective tissue to fire harder (core, hip and scapula stabilizers) .The kettlebell will give you an awareness and activation of your core that you have never felt before. If everyone had six months of proper kettlebell training before they touched a barbell, their performance would be higher while injury risk would be greatly reduced. With the increase in strength and flexibility, the concept of loaded stretches would become apparent. The stabilizers would now be able to let the bigger muscles express their strength and allow for greater barbell performance. For example, our female students will not touch a barbell until they do 4 sets of 5 reps of dead-lifts with 106 pound kettlebell. Our male students will not touch a barbell until they do 4 sets of 5 reps of the sumo dead-lift with two 106 pound kettlebells. Using this as a prerequisite to the barbell taught our students how to get tight and transmit force. Our students form, strength, and performance sky rocketed. Barbell training was never the same.
Locomotion is walking, shuffling, carioca, skipping, and marching drills. The glute bridge is to the deadlift as locomotion is to running and agility drills. Locomotion is not only how we progress students in an uncontrolled environment but it is the best form of low impact cardio. The force you give out is what you get back and is an authentic movement patterns(very cerebral). The treadmill and elliptical are notauthentic and if your muscles can't keep up with the force of the machine (holding on) then that extra stress goes on to your joints and ligaments. Locomotion sets the stage for successful speed drills.
NEXT LEVEL - BARBELL , SPEED TRAINING , PUNCHING AND KICKING
You have now earned the right to barbell train. You will dominate the weights and make it look so easy. We use ladders , waves, and linear schemes to progressively load without over stressing the system. This happens so systematically you don't even realize how quickly it’s happening. Like a rose blossoming. We also listen for your breath . This lets me know if you survived the weight or owned the weight. You might look like you have had great technique but if you held your breath the whole time you were stress breathing. It is not a big deal. It’s just an indication that you did not master that weight and we will not go higher until you do.
Speed - is the ultimate uncontrolled environment. We teach students proper mechanics and how to double jump, change direction, and utilize you strength from previous levels. Your strength allows you to decelerate with proper form , which takes pressure off your ligaments and allows you to transmit your energy in another direction. Thepractice of the drills will automatically happen when you're out on the field playing. The same goes for kicking and punching. The progression of strength makes all of this possible .
The old Chinese proverb "GIVE A MAN A FISH AND HE EATS FOR THE DAY. BUT TEACH A MAN HOW TO FISH AND HE WILL NEVER GO HUNGRY ". HAD ME THINKING OF A MODERN DAY ONE
"GIVE A MAN A WORKOUT FOR THE DAY AND HE FEELS GREAT. TEACH MAN THE SKILL OF STRENGTH AND HE WILL HAVE THE FOUNDATION TO STAND ON FOR ALL HIS DAYS. "
"TAKE PRIDE IN YOUR PERFORMANCE"
1. Cook, Gray , Functional Movement Systemscopyright 2010,E. Grayson Cook pg.27 .
2. Cook, Gray , Functional Movement Systemscopyright 2010,E. Grayson Cook pg.43 .