Posted on

Principle Based Training

This article is about what I do as “The Better Movements Specialist”

This article will be as much about my training philosophy and coaching style –

as it is about the end goal / vision of my business.


“The Socrates of Training”

Sometimes it is better to ‘Work In’ than it is to ‘Work Out’.

In today’s stressful epoch it is hard to tell if what we are doing is helping us, or harming us, in the long run.

Everyone has a different capacity for stress – a different tolerance – different defense mechanisms – and different standards for they think is ‘normal’.

Not to sound like a broken record but really, what is normal.

The best way I can describe it from a physiological point of view, normal is when the two branches of your nervous system are in balance.

‘Working In’ is anything that activate your parasympathetic nervous system. I.E. anything that calms down your “monkey brain” and allows you to rest, recover, digest and play.

‘Working Out’ is the opposite, it activates the fight or flight centres of the brain, and if one is not careful they can get stuck in this zone. If this happens a training session that would have stimulated a hormetic response in fact digs you deeper into fight or flight.

It’s this ‘getting stuck’ that is the big problem.

I have seen people stuck in either end of the spectrum. An individual stuck in the parasympathetic zone can’t handle stress. The individual stuck in the sympathetic zone will not be able to relax.

Why can’t we have both?

The truth is, we can.

This is what the ‘Socratic method’ of training is all about…

It is about figuring out at what level an individual is at –

  • their Strength level
  • their Endurance level
  • their Movement functionality / economy
  • their dominant nervous system
  • there are many,many others…

– and then working them up from their unique, individual level – to the next one. and then the next, and the next etc…

The KEY to success however is that the individual must figuring it out FOR THEMSELVES.

Yes a good coach can help show the way, but they cannot do the work for you.

No that is not a cop-out, if you don’t want to think about how you move or spend the necessary time needed to figure out where you are in the spectrum, then you will never be … ‘normal’….

Results that LAST

For sure there are other methodologies that can get you to your goals, they may even get you stronger and faster sooner and more completely.

However, only if you train mindfully will you have access to your body’s abilities when you need them the most. not only that but you will be able to maintain a higher level of strength and endurance for longer – that is you will be able to maintain your ‘fitness’ levels well into old age.

There is no point in looking for ‘one-hit-wonders.’

I want to create a balance individual who can perform, even dominate, for long periods of time.

I want to build you up to Gretzky level, Jordan level, Ali, Pavel, Brady, Armstrong (without doping!) – you get the idea.

And this is how….

Principle Based Training

  1. Mobility Principles
  2. Training Principles
  3. Strength Principles

FIRST AND FOREMOST – you have to be ready to ‘work out’ – or as described above; ‘normal.’

How can you tell if you are ready to Work Out, or if you should be Working In?

  • check you breathing
  • check your mind

The body and mind mirror each other, especially the heart rate and breathing rate. When you are stressed both heart rate and breathing rate are elevated.

Therefore you will need a baseline of both.

  • check both, ideally when you wake up from 8 hours of sleep
  • check them 2 or 3 days in a row, and then use the average

If this is the first time you have spelt for 8 hours 3 days in a row then this article has already made an impact on your life – you will feel so much better after sleeping enough.

Finally, but definitely not last – POSTURE

  • if your posture is not ideal, you should work on mobility until you can lay comfortably on the ground for 10-15 minutes without any props.
  • that is to say, you should be able to sleep without any pillows.

If this seem like too much of a challenge simply to start working out, keep in mind this article is written to be as generic as possible – I can not prescribe anything to anyone without meeting them first.

Contact me at -or- for a consultation. Lets chat about your unique situation (online or offline).


1) Mobility Principles

  • refers to the ability of your body to use full ranges of motion.

I.E. Bending without breaking.

  1. Relaxation
  2. Breathing
  3. Patience
  4. Use your Strength
  5. Create Space
  6. Share the load

2) Training Principles

  • refers to the organization of our workout.

If you follow this order of increasing and then decreasing neurological intensity you will cover all your bases for strength and endurance

  1. Mobility
  2. Reactivity
  3. Speed / Power
  4. Strength
  5. Endurance
  6. Recovery

3) Strength Principles

  • refers to the fact that strength has a greater purpose

This is because strength makes everything else possible, it is a skill that can be taught, its about doing something properly and doing it well.

  1. Safety First
  2. Tension is Strength
  3. Relaxation is Strength
  4. Perfect Technique
  5. Long Rest
  6. Simple
  7. Sinister

*stay tuned for explanations in upcoming posts

This bring me to the last point,

The Overall Vision

My business is called LatsOn

The ‘Lats’ span more joints in the body than any other muscle.

The Lats are strong and mobile and uniquely awesome in what they do.

Most importantly the Lats support your posture, that is to say you head.

I.e. Lats support you life.

Humans are social creatures, and require a balance of 3 major aspects to ensure or a high standard of living:

  1. Home / Family
  2. Work
  3. Hobbies (includes sports)

LatsOn supports these 3 things through the following strategies:

  1. Movement
  2. Nutrition
  3. Mindfulness

These strategies are based on a ‘Minimal Effective Dose’ modality – that is to say the least amount of _____ for the greatest amount of return.

Each of the above points interact and support each other in such a way that when balanced properly, optimizes the quality of your life.

Currently our movement systems are based on 4 modalities

  1. Strength and Conditioning
  2. Powerlifting
  3. Kettbell Skills
  4. Restorative / Corrective movement

Each of which are again, based on a Minimal Effective Dose approach.

My business partner Tyler Lees-Schmut and I provide Group and Private instruction in all of these areas, specifically supporting (but not limited to) these demographics:

  • Youth (athletes or not)
  • Adults in recreational sports
  • Front Line Workers / First Responders

Quick note on Hobbies (including sports) – everyone has a hobby, or at least should have one for a healthy balanced life, and every hobby requires a movement practice to support it.

Yes that means even if your hobby is reading a book, or collecting stamps or playing with a train set – you still require bodily functions to perform these tasks. As stated before, the body and the mind mirror each other; so as your physical capabilities decline so do you mental capabilities (and vice versa).

This is called aging.

Why not age gracefully and functionally.

Did you know your eyes are controlled by muscles? Makes sense doesn’t it. So why don’t you ‘Work Out’ your eye muscles like you would any other? this would allow you to see your books, stamps, train, grandchildren’s children – whatever.

Whatever your goals, whatever your age or ‘fitness’ level, despite what kind of life you lead – LatsOn can help!

Martin Colangelo

“The Better Movement Specialist”

Stay Strong my friends!

Posted on

Local Expert Discusses The Importance Of Strength

The viscous cycle of spinal flexion

If you look back to our society anywhere from 80 to 1000 years in the past, it’s plainly evident that we’re weak when compared to our ancestors.

The main reason for this sad state of affairs is a little invention known as the chair, coupled with the general need to make everything easier for ourselves.

Don’t get me wrong,

I love to chill out and sit as much as the next guy – but not without training hard, and more importantly, training smart. This blog entry is mainly focused on what happens when we sit down (also known as ‘get weak’) for most of our lives.

If you have major imbalances among your muscles and bones that make it extremely taxing to maintain proper alignment, – ultimately it is harder to maintain homeostasis when it comes to posture – and YOU, my friend, are a weak person… It’s the imbalances’ fault your weak, but your fault for developing them.

I target the chair as the culprit – because it puts our bodies in a position of flexion, and most of us are in the seated position all day. The entire spine and the many joints that act on the muscles in the anterior chain of the body are pulled into an undesirable, flexed position.

Being in this position for a prolonged time is the equivalent of keeping a muscle in a constant shortened position; although you may not feel it flexing, you can bet the muscle is on and this will (over time) make the muscle rest in that shortened position.

Think about it:

How long during the day do most people function in the flexion position? Let’s start at night when you go to sleep. Most of us sleep in a position of flexion. Brushing your teeth in the morning? Position of flexion. Eating breakfast? Driving to work? Sitting at work? Position of flexion. Driving home? Watching TV? Heading to bed? You guessed it – Flexion.

At bedtime, the vicious cycle of flexed spines, complete with its accompanying gamut of postural and physiological issues, continues.


Major Issues with the Seated Position and their Long Term Effects

The main muscles that tend to be tight from resting in a shortened position are the muscles of the neck such as the sternocleidomastoid and short cervical extensors, the muscles of the shoulder girdle such as the pec minor and anterior deltoids, the rectus abdominis and muscles of the hip girdle like the psoas group and the adductors group.

Upper leg muscles including the biceps femoris, tensor fascia lata and illotibal band round out the list of muscles that promote a far from desirable posture for the body whether seated, standing, walking, running, jumping, crawling, dancing or lifting.

Pretty much all of the muscles in and around the entire upper back and all aspects of the glutes become so weak from all of this.


Summary / The Solution / What Next?

Do I expect the human race to stop using chairs, or put a halt to ergonomic technology?

NO! – this is precisely why I strongly believe strength training is mandatory.

Simply going for a run or doing some form of traditional cardio isn’t nearly enough.

You won’t fix these issues; in fact, there’s a good chance could be making them worse. Learn how to deadlift safely and effectively so we can reverse this deadly trend of weak, misaligned spines. Remedy the issue in a controlled environment so that resisting gravity alone, or external loads such like groceries, babies or even the high demands of many sports people play and often take for granted becomes as easy as 1-2-3.


The Best Exercise. Period / ‘The Moneymaker Movement’

The Deadlift

In my eyes is a beautiful, big bang for your buck exercise that will help slowly reverse all the bad habits the dreaded chair has helped you attain.

When done and progressed properly, deadlifts can give you a healthy backside and body (in terms of strength, force production, and force transfer). If you hate lifting weights, learn to love it.

In my professional opinion, you still have to lift weights to maintain and sustain your health (I hate paying my mortgage or property taxes but I know if I don`t do it I might be homeless).

  • Start by learning the deadlift, and learn it well.
  • Progress it by using any progressive variable – load, time under tension, rest changes, etc.
  • You should be able to continue to stay tall, upright and strong. You know, the way we humans were meant to be.

Once again – Everyone NEEDS to strength train.


P.S. If you have a job where you are upright throughout the day for many hours, you’re not home free. I still think you should strength train, though it is not as imperative as the person sitting all day. We are meant to move, so MOVE!! Learn how to overcome more than just gravity!




See original article HERE



Continue reading Local Expert Discusses The Importance Of Strength

Posted on

The Importance of Strength

Hello my friends!

This is why Strength Is Everything


Our Strength determines the quality of our time here on earth.

Our physical experience matters – how we function in our skin and how we interact (with others/ environment) is related to our ability to express our Strength.

In general – a Strong individual is more likely to be happy than a Weak one


Human anatomy has evolved in conjunction with the physical labors of finding food and building shelter for over million’s of years.

Aeons of evolution has created physical needs for the human body as well as the human mind – Needs that cannot be overlooked due to the invention of desk jobs.

It is unfortunate that in today’s age physical labor is seen as an inconvenience….


> Physiology tells us that our physical bodies have a high potential for developing strong muscles, tendons and bones –

> Neuroscience tells us that our physical bodies also have a high potential for coordination and the development of tremendous skill.

> Age, Disease and other factors eat away at our physical capacities.

> Nutrition, having a movement practice and other factors directly impact our physical and mental capacities – these actions however, are highly variable from individual to individual.

If you think about the above statements enough you realize that our physical and mental capabilities will decline as soon as we stop getting better / stop learning.

> Therefore we NEED exercise in order to stay alive and healthy – Body and Mind

Strength is a result of pursuing health, perfection and living fully.


A Few Questions:

Do you want to play with your children or grandchildren?

Do you want to see them with clarity and move with ease?

How can you expect to moving with ease then, if you don’t even moved with ease now?

A Few Suggestions:

What you need is a reservoir of skill or ability, to draw upon as you age.

What builds up this reservoir is practice – intense (ideally perfect) practice.

What is important to note is that all these processes (aging, disease, physical ability/skill etc) take TIME

There is no fountain of youth in exercise, only the opportunity to maximize ones physical (genetic) potential.


With all this in mind,

Have a great day.


Martin Colangelo : “The Better Movement Specialist”

– Blog Author

*contact me for a consultation