Risk comes from not knowing what you’re doing.
WHY WE FAIL
People start exercising, generally around New Year’s, with earnest intentions and usually a vague goal–“I want to lose weight,” or “I want to gain muscle.”
Unfortunately, most of these folks will have abandoned their fitness resolutions within a few months. Why?
Some of the time it has to do with making exercise a habit–an automated part of your life.
However, all too often people stop working out due to lack of progress. Or worse, injury.
This page was created to help you ensure consistent results in the safest manner possible. Think of it as a launching pad. While it is by no means all inclusive, if you implement this knowledge, it will save you 100s of hours of trial-and-error in the gym.
A PRACTICAL TAGLINE
Recently, I developed a tagline that encapsulates my functional philosophy. If you make this simple saying the foundation of your program, I guarantee you will see results.
Here it is: Fix your hips and shoulders. Get your spine and mind right.
Lets unpack these compact couple sentences.
First, Fix your hips and shoulders. Your hips and shoulders are the primary engines of your lower and upper body; they are involved in every single movement you do. By focusing on cleaning up these joints–usually by improving the surrounding musculature–you can dramatically improve performance, expedite weight-loss or muscle-gain, and protect yourself from serious injury.
Get your spine and mind right. While this may sound gimmicky and glib, I promise you, it’s crucial to improving your body.
Proper spinal positioning needs to be your first concern when performing any movement. When our spines are not in a good position it compromises our entire skeletal system and puts us at a much higher risk of hurting ourselves.
Furthermore, the spine and your brain make up your Central Nervous System, your body’s CPU. These two components run your entire body. Optimizing their functionality is one of the keys to a better life.
OKAY, BUT HOW?
There are a variety of ways to achieve the goals you have when it comes to fitness. The most important thing is to develop an individualized plan that works for you. The solid plan you stick with is infinitely better than the perfect plan you ditch two weeks in.
That said, there are a number of successful templates you can experiment with and modify to your needs. Modeling success is often a wise stratagem. These diets [article coming soon!] have yielded great results for many other people like you.
As for exercise, here are a few different tactics you can deploy to exponentially accelerate the learning process.
Invest in the “Bible of Biomechanics”
If you invest your time into studying Dr. Starrett’s Becoming a Supple Leopard, you will know more about biomechanics than 95% of the people on this planet. The book utilizes large HD photographs and illustrations to make learning the material much easier.
This is by far the best value tactic. Grant it, it will require the most upfront time costs when it comes to work outside the gym. But that knowledge will be yours forever, to help you operate your body, and also make you a valuable asset to people looking to move their own bodies better. Finally, it will help you separate the valuable trainers and coaches from the haystack of posers.
Work with a Competent Professional
Working with a competent professional can be a game-changer. You can save yourself from ingraining faulty motor patterns, hours of frustration learning to program and execute routines, and even injury. This summer I had the opportunity to have a training session with one of my mentors, a true pro with over ten years’ experience. That training session alone—with all of the study and practice it ignited—caused me to level up. That’s what working with a competent professional can do.
The key word, though, is competent.
Unfortunately, many of the trainers working in gyms know little more than a newbie. Worse, they feel because they’ve gotten their certification(s) they know everything. This hubris leads to the death of new knowledge, the little knowledge attained to stagnate and atrophy, and cookie-cutter programs for the trainer’s clients. Many times it also means trainers putting their clients in potentially harmful positions on a regular basis.
I see this again and again. Especially in large-chain gyms, where trainer quantity is more important than quality because the gym’s director needs enough bodies to execute all the sessions he or she is selling members. In fact, the most desirable quality in trainers to management in this type of gym is the ability to upsell their clients. Seeing this from the inside can be quite unnerving.
So what can you do? Well, up until now, there really was nothing to be done about it. Inspired by this injustice, I wrote this article on how to successfully navigate landing a competent trainer. [Article forthcoming.]
Learn from Free Internet Material
If you’re reading this your lucky. You have access to more computing power today than world leaders had only a few short decades ago. How you use that power, though, is up to you.
Of course there are risks with following free advice. You get what you pay for and That advice is worth exactly what you paid for it–nothing are cliches for a reason. Often times they’re true. But not always; a number of top-notch professionals give away some incredible material. Kelly Starrett’s YouTube channel is a fantastic place to start.
Just remember: there are virtually no barriers to entry when putting information online. It’s akin to the Wild West. This means that for every genuine professional there are ten snake oil salesmen looking to make a quick buck off you and me.
If you’re serious about getting most or all of your fitness information from free online resources, I strongly recommend you read Bad Science. It’s an easy-to-read guide on how to distinguish fact from fiction when it comes to nutrition.
Work with a Virtual Professional
Say you want to work with a professional, but after learning how to distinguish the Pros from the Joes you conclude there aren’t any true professionals at your gym. Or you want a low-impact at-home program.
If either of these sound like you, Contact Us. If I can’t personally help you, I’ll find someone who can.