Making my toast but burning my house down? You just said that out loud right? Well let me explain why this has always stayed with me from day one of my career.
When I was learning to become a PT I sat at in a gym every day listening and learning. There was a trainer working there, grumpy, hard to approach and hard to understand (Irish). His name was Lee Irvine. I mention his name because he made me understand training in one simple sentence. It has stuck with me ever since. You're making your toast but burning your house down,
4 years on I now stand in the my own studio working with lots different individuals with different goals.
"I just want to look good"
"I want to be as strong as this girl on Instagram"
"I want to run faster at Barry's bootcamp"
I listen and then we get to work. Here is a little idea of how we do it at Equilibrium:
We treat the first session as an M.O.T. How is your quality of movement? Can they stabilise their core under pressure from weight or speed?
If you have a personal trainer thats how they should be assessing you each session, What we do hear about past trainers is;
"My trainer was lovely, he motivated me"
That's great but that will only take you so far. But did they make you understand movement? Do your boutique fitness class trainers make you understand the prescribed movement?
You don’t expect your hairdresser to mess your up your hair or your doctor to mistakenly swap your stomach for your liver?
But time and time again we see people who don’t know how to move and move with quality and purpose.
The fitness world is now functional. Functional every day moves squats, deadlifts, cleans, running , jumping etc. When getting my clients to perform these complex movements I play a game with them to make it understandable and engaging.
3 RULES OF MOVEMENT
1. How is their set up? (e.g. is their chest up? Is their back in a nice braced position?)
2. Can they keep consistency throughout the movement? (can they make all reps look identical?)
3. Can they make it look sexy? (can they keep it flowing with great control?)
If you can't keep your heels down on a squat, your back rounding, can’t hold your core tight in a braced position for a deadlift or your scapulas (top of your back ) keep sinking when you plank then unfortunately, your functional pattern is breaking down and your body will suffer for it.
By doing all of these movements (making your toast) without actually thinking about what you should be engaging you are creating sloppy positions which have a domino effect on the body (burning your house down). Certain muscle groups will overcompensate and do the work that other muscles should be doing leading to injury in the long run.
I like to use analogies so here's one for you. Think of yourself as a Formula 1 car. You can’t just go super fast into a corner without warming your wheels up!
Your FOUR wheels are::
1. Hamstrings, calves and quads
2. Glutes (legs)
1. If the hamstrings are weak your lower back will have to work harder which will cause pain
2. If the glutes and quads are weak you won’t achieve power in your running stride or comfortably sit at the bottom of a squat
3. Core is the main power source to movement. Now that doesn’t mean crunches on the floor I’m talking about trunk strength your back and core tight solid positions (not falling into a rounded back)
4. Healthy, strong shoulders can hold a bar above your head with locked out arms without compromising your lower back
So to achieve strong and efficient patterns try and think about how you are training your FOUR wheels. How are they working together to make a perfect functional movement, give you more power output and less injury?
My final question you...ARE YOU JUST GOING TO CONTINUE TO MOVE UGLY AND NEVER UNDERSTAND WHAT IT FEELS LIKE TO BE AN ATHLETE?