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Body Awareness

Body Awareness involves Body Image as well as Proprioception.

Body Image,
is the picture of yourself you see in your head. The majority of people need to work on creating a healthier body image. It is unfortunate but we live in a society where ‘Image’ is important. I agree it is, but a “Healthy” body image is what we are after.

Proprioception,
is your physical body’s ability to feel. People often need work with this too, much of balance comes from your ability to ‘feel’ your centre of mass over your feet.

Improving these,
will enhance your life. Realize ‘You’ are your body & mind. Health in one carries benefits over to the other. Strengthening your proprioception and body image will lead only to a better You.

HOW?

  • Body Scan
    – scan your body head-toe, joint by joint – – just ‘feeling’ what state your body is in right now.
  • Visualization
    – imagine standing in front of a mirror, or imagine a specific body part. In your mind, You are in control – shape your image to reflect your goals.
  • Ideally Both Together!
    – imagining performing the movement while actually performing the movement …. very Meta!

This is an important topic, but very rarely talked about.

The truth is, with as little as 5 minutes of practice a day, you can make huge strides in improving your movement and your quality of life.

All it takes is actually doing that ‘practice’!!! = You must COMMIT to it.

There are just over 90 days left in this year, what are you going to do with them?

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Keeping The Blade Sharp

“Keeping The Blade Sharp” is a practice I embrace as a StrongFirst Instructor.

  • It means practicing what I preach and not letting my own training go to the wayside as I get busier with new clients.
  • It allows me to stay in touch with the experience that I am putting my athletes through.
  • It holds me to a higher standard of strength and conditioning.
  • It provides me with the opportunity to learn from the struggle – for strength is made only in the forge.

This commitment keeps me healthy.

YOU TOO should make this commitment!

I am not saying drop everything and become a StrongFirst Instructor (not against the idea either) – but what you should do is make a commitment to a movement routine.

In previous posts I have discussed what type of exercises you should be focusing on and talked all about functional movement, so I won’t go into it now.

All this is to say that you need to be continuously practicing these functional exercises, and using a corrective movement strategy if you have any weaknesses / asymmetries.

Why? Simply because:

If you don’t use it,

You lose it.

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Corrective Movement Strategy

Analyze + Correct + Retest = Improvement

A Corrective Movement Strategy (CMS) is an exercise/workout/movement program that is specifically designed to improve an individuals weaknesses and asymmetries.

CMS involves testing and retesting the athletes ability to perform certain movement patterns. Testing should be done by some sort of Functional Movement Screen (FMS).

These types of training sessions should be done either separately from, or just prior to harder strength training.

Major Asymmetries should be trained separately from or, or after harder strength training.

Exercise Selection should be careful to follow the Principles of:

i)Specificity
ii)Specific Adaptation to Imposed Demand (S.A.I.D).

  • Which exercises you choose should be based on analysis of the athletes FMS and the coaches intuition as to what will work best for each individual.
  • Further assessments can be applied depending on the coaches knowledge and skill.

Basically,

> Whatever you suck at – do a few sets of 5 reps before your training session.

> If one side is significantly stronger than the other – do a few sets of 5 reps after your training session.

> If anything lacks mobility, get it moving before your training.

They KEY is balancing out your body through movement. If you are always in one position (aka sitting) then you need to move your body in the opposite direction. If you always move in a specific direction then you need to practice the other direction also.

Makes Sense.

But not as easy in practice!

This is because improvement is sometimes slow. Patience is needed. That being said, subtle improvements can be detected within a training session by retest the movement patterns in question as much as possible (multiple times a session).

Continuous testing and retesting should occur in order to determine which corrective exercise is producing the greatest results.

This process of testing, analysis, implementation of corrective exercises and then (re)testing is a great strategy for improving your movement.

Try it out, let me know what happens!

If you have any questions let me know

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Correctives and Asymmetries

IN THE GYM,

first you identify your strengths and weaknesses – the next step is Training them accordingly.

If you are not on a professional sports team, then the “sport” you should be training for is LIFE.

And in order to have a balanced life – just as in movement – you must first identify your problems before you can go about fixing them.

All sports create asymmetries in the body due to chronic use of a specific type of movement required by the sport. This idea of ‘chronic use of a specific type of movement required…’ can and should be applied to every day life.

What types of movement (or non-movements!) to you do every day? – sitting, walking, driving or taking the bus will require your body to move in certain, habitual ways through the environment – biasing and fatiguing certain muscle groups.

Once you have identified the types of activities you do every day, you can begin to train for them in a general way. The result is that you will be able to move through your every day environment with greater ease.

Since we are speaking of generalities,
The general way to identify if you have a movement issue is with a ‘Functional Movement Screen’

  • Your ability to perform specific movements (like the Squat), or tasks (like carrying groceries) will tell you what areas you need to work on

The important thing is that you treat any weakness or asymmetry as an ‘injury’ and ‘rehabilitate’ it to the point that it becomes one of your strengths. At that point it is time to start again and reassess your movement – identify any other issues, and begin the process again.


A NOTE ON Asymmetries
– this could mean any imbalance between pushing and pulling, left to right sides of the body or more commonly: and imbalance between the front and the back of the body. As a species, humans are constantly flexing the front of our bodies and neglecting our ‘posterior chain’ > All I will say in closing is this : Get Your Lats On!

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Why everyone should Train HardStyle

What is HardStyle?

  • Hardstyle is a bend of aspects form martial arts and weightlifting.

Who uses martial arts? – Warriors.

Who lifts weights? – Strong people.

Hardstyle thus creates Strong Warriors.

Why is Hardstyle valuable for training Warriors?

  • Warriors cannot take days off. They must be ready for anything, anytime.
  • Warriors cannot take time off because they are too tired from their workout. They cannot tell their opponent to come back later. In fact a smart adversary will use momentary weakness to gain the advantage. This is unacceptable.

But how can a Warrior continue to progress their performance goals without deleteriously affecting the day-to-day requirements of a Warrior?

The answer is “Tactical Training / Tactical Programming”

What is Tactical Programming?

  • Performance oriented workouts that stress the body enough to elicit adaptation. What is ‘enough’ depends on one’s ability to recover, how much stress they are under as well as the fitness demands of their daily activities.

Training Vs. Exercising

  • Exercise fulfills an immediate need and promotes general health.
  • Training takes time – it is the process of achieving a performance goal.

The Training Process

  • Requires you know yourself / your goals
  • Requires you to know certain principles of adaptation
  • Requires Focus, Determination, Perseverance & Trust

Who would you want to teach you how to fight: the professional MMA fighter G.S.P. or Richard Simmons?

The answer is obvious : the Professional fighter.

  • Therefore it makes sense to have a professional in charge of your training.
  • You can try and do it on your own, but you might end up just exercising like Richard Simmons….

StrongFirst

  • is a School of Strength, consisting of Professional Coaches and Athletes who use the Hardstyle approach to training and follow “Tactical Programming” which allows you to progress your performance goals without sacrificing days off for recovery.

StrongFirst is not just about using Kettlebell’s – and it’s not just about creating the greatest amount of force, but about applying those forces in proper, efficient and intelligent ways.

Sleep well, Eat well, Trust your coach, Trust in Hardstyle and be consistent.