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Agency

from wiki:

Agency may either be classified as unconscious, involuntary behavior, or purposeful, goal directed activity (intentional action). An agent typically has some sort of immediate awareness of their physical activity and the goals that the activity is aimed at realizing. In ‘goal directed action’ an agent implements a kind of direct control or guidance over their own behavior.

A goal of mine for 2019 was to be more proactive and to really engage with life. That is how I started thinking about Human Agency, and how it could be applied to the fitness industry.

In my ideal world, the role of a Coach would be to educate their client/athlete to a certain point of understanding where they need the coach less and less. That is the basis of my whole approach. Each of these Posts have had in mind the idea of educating the reader to the point of being able to do it themselves.

It may take time to figure out this intuitive approach to training, but life is long too!

Taking Physical Agency will improve your ability to engage with your environment, maybe not making your life longer, but at least making it easier!

So,

Take Agency of your Health & Fitness!
(is that even grammatically correct?)

Create your own movement routine and figure out what works best for you.

Do what feels good but DON’T forget that you still have to train Strength (with resistance / weights).

Train intuitively but DON’T forget to train functional movements and to balance out your pushing and pulling movements.

The next few posts will help clarify how to adopt this approach to training.

There are certain rules / principles / ‘physiological triggers’ that when understood lead to a better understanding of how you should be training.

Until then,
Stay Strong!

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Training Vs. Exercise

IN THE GYM,

When you ‘Train’ you are also exercising – but when you ‘Exercise’ you are not necessarily training.

TRAINING
– is when you progress or shape something towards a desired outcome.
– it requires practicing a specific set of exercises, such that over time there is improvements in movement quality and strength.

EXERCISING
– is your typical workout, which has no long-term direction.
– is doing whatever feels good and gets ‘likes’.

SO,
Which exercises should I be training?
How many ‘sets’ and ‘reps’ should I do?

….That is what the next post will be about!


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Principle Based Training: Strength

1) Safety First (2) Strength has a greater Purpose (3) Tension is Strength (4) Relaxation is Strength

5) Perfect Technique (6) Long Rest (7) Simple (8) Sinister


Strength Principles

If you follow these principles you will ALWAYS progress.

Because you will always have in the back of your head the reason you are training – making motivation a non-issue.

These principles should help construct your notions of how you workout (i.e. hardstyle, long rest),

and also guide you to a more holistic way of training and care taking of your self (relaxation/recovery).


 

1) Safety First

  • This includes personal space, choosing the appropriate weight, location and equipment.
  • It also means not training yourself to a point were the risk of injury becomes greater than the benefit received from the exercise.
  • Pain = NO gain (usually) – I am always reminded at this point of some Paul Chek says : “Train, don’t Drain”

 

2) Strength has a greater purpose

“Sparta, Rome, the knights of Europe, the samurai… worshiped strength.
Because it is strength that makes all other values possible.”
(Enter the Dragon)

  • Strength is a SKILL; that means it can be TAUGHT, and that you are either GOOD at it or BAD at it – you are either strong, or weak. Being GOOD at something is valuable, but aspiring to be better is even greater.
  • Train strength because it carries over into everything else you do in the world : be it physical or mental.

 

3) Tension is Strength

  • This means HARD STYLE : you must learn how to utilize your bodies tension in order to improve your performance. This is achieved through certain tension techniques.
    • including: 1) make a white knuckle fist
      2) drive heels into floor
      3) crush a walnut between your Glutes
      4) squeeze the Abdominals
      5) utilize power breathing
    • the next step is knowing when to use them, that involves some strategy on your part.
  • Without proper abdominal bracing (tension) your risk of injury increases.
  • With proper abdominal bracing you can literally do anything you want (except fly).

 

4) Relaxation is strength

  • The other side of the coin of tension is relaxation and thus also the other side of Strength.
  • This includes proper rest between sets and appropriate recovery between workouts.
  • If you CANNOT relax (if you CANNOT exhale with an audible sigh of relief) you need to figure it out… Without Relaxation you will always have elevated cortisol and low testosterone levels (which is harmful over long periods of time).
  • Relaxation is also a Mobility Principle: along with breathing and patience; if you lack either of these it is now wonder why your strength and mobility goals seem so unattainable no matter how hard you try. You are trying too hard!

 

5) Perfect Technique

  • Every Rep. Every Set. Every Time…. technique, technique, technique : when you start a new training program or learn a new skill the first few weeks of improvements is predominantly NEUROLOGICAL. Only then will muscular adaption starts to occur.
  • Similarly once you train yourself past the stage of muscular adaption, almost ALL progress becomes neurological and technique based again.
  • Attention to technique while training (and having a coach provide correction/feedback) will fast track your road to strength – all the while SAVING YOU FROM INJURY.
  • INJURY PROOF YOURSELF by training with good form. The human body CANNOT perform perfect reps while under a high amount of metabolic fatigue – which brings us nicely to our next point….

 

6) Long Rest

  • Proper rest intervals are critical : serious strength training requires 3-5 minutes and even up to 15 minutes rest between near maximal lifts.
  • I go deeper into this subject in a previous post entitled : ‘Training Considerations: Rest, Set Type and Mental Management’
  • Pavel confirms everything I mention in his article ‘Long Rests: Russian Science to the Rescue’
  • A final reason to rest long and to keep the sets short (20-40sec max), is what Al Ciampa says in the above article, namely :

    “If you let the “burn” in the muscle rise too high, you literally destroy the mitochondria, the very thing you tried to build”

  • the last tip I have for you comes from a source I cannot remember but it goes:  “Don’t confuse Strength and Conditioning with Conditioning and more Conditioning”

 

7) Simple

  • For building impressive strength use the KISS principle.

Check out StrongFirst Simple and Sinister: a strength and endurance program that will prepare you for literally ANYTHING

  • Simple because the exercises themselves are easy to learn
  • Simple because you use only a hand full of exercises and you get really good at them.  Furthermore, as your technique improves, the greater the training effect becomes.

 

8) Sinister

  • Sinister because training for strength is HARD WORK!
  • The individual movements themselves may be ‘simple’ – but the combination of maintaining technique and speed while fatigued (and still using heavy weights) demands that your body adapt.

check out Simple and Sinister at the StrongFirst website:

Kettlebell Simple & Sinister

Remember,

If you follow these principles you will ensure progress.

Have fun with this information and explore what works best for you.

If you get confused or just don’t know where to start / what to do  –  that is when you need to get a coach.

These principles are useless unless there is a goal or end product in mind.

 

> if you enjoyed this post, share it with someone who you think would benefit




<>

Martin Colangelo

“The Better Movement Specialist”

Stay Strong my friends!

 

 

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Principle Based Training: Workout Organization

 

1) Mobility  2) Reactivity   3) Speed/Power

4) Strength  5) Endurance 6) Relaxation/Recovery


 

Training Principles

This topic is important for those who desire efficiency and want to get the most out of their workouts.

If you want to get in shape (whatever that means) and not just be OK at a bunch of different exercises, you will have to plan out -step by step – the path to your goal.

Since most people don’t have fitness goes beyond simply ‘getting fit’,

This article will be about the very general goal of getting fit.

With this goal in mind, we can begin laying out the step by step process towards ‘fitness’.

> If you follow this workout organization,  you will find yourself on the fast track to fitness success.


1)Mobility

  • Soft tissue work first. Do this in order to get the tissue moving in the right way.
  • Foam roll, Band work, Active Stretching
  • Write down a mobility goal, ideally have it relate to an exercise you know you will be doing later i.e. better hip mobility in the deep squat.
  • Some Movement Patterning work for the exercises you know you will be doing later is a good idea.

2) Reactivity

  • Having slow reactivity means you have a slow nervous system, this is an indicator of how much time you have left.
  • you can train reactivity in many ways:
    • vision training
    • balance training
    • catching and throwing exercises
    • changing directions (of any movement on demand)
  • It is important to do this prior to lifting, because the effects of this type of training will increase your ability to produce strength later in the workout.
  • Doing this after a workout will reduce the training effect.
  • This is also a good time to practice a new skill

3) Speed/Power

  • Must be done prior to any excess fatigue.
  • Speed development means fast twitch muscle fiber development.
  • Metabolic waste is detrimental to speed development I.E. no one gets faster as a game progresses.
  • This section will recruit high threshold motor units and will encourage myofibrillar hypertrophy
  • Choose compound movements – jumping, explosive kettlebell movements, Olympic lifting, sprinting, plyometrics etc.
  • keep reps LOW (1-5 reps) and rest HIGH (3-5 minutes)
  • complete recovery between sets is required, don’t confuse speed training with conditioning…. it is trained more like strength.

I want to remind you that this is not THE way, this is just one of many ‘ways’.

All I am trying to do it make your life easier.

If your reading this then you more than likely care about your body, you already workout and want to know more about the health and fitness world.

If you order your workout according to this template, you will be following the body’s natural way of optimizing and improving your energy systems.

You will therefore be getting the most out of each workout.

Damn love efficiency…


4) Strength

  • this section of your workout is where you stress your body for 3-5 sets with 1-3 different exercises.
  • choose a grinding, compound movement for sets of 3-6 repetitions with about 3 minutes rest. (Ex. Deadlift, Press, Pull Up, Squat…)
  • this section will encourage sarcoplasmic hypertrophy

5) Endurance

  • Conditioning in this template means anything more than 6 reps
  • If your ‘explosive’ movements stay explosive, and form remains strict – this section can last for as long as you do.
  • this section is highly goal dependent:
    • if you want slow-twitch muscle hypertrophy = sets of continuous movement for 40 – 120s, equal amount of rest.
    • if you want to burn calories = heavy 3-5rep Deadlift/ followed by 30-60sec Swing/ followed by Plank until you ‘recover’…
  • Find yourself a qualified strength and conditioning coach – one who doesn’t confuse strength and conditioning with conditioning and more conditioning.
    • This is because there is a difference between muscular conditioning – and – cardiovascular conditioning … each has its own considerations and ideal training methods.

6) Relaxation/Recovery

  • this section should be as long as needed, some need 5 minutes, others 15.
    1. breathe deep
    2. decompress your spine.

    • decompression exercises include : hanging, child’s pose and cobra, cat-camel, Sphinx pose etc.
  • Post Workout Window for Improved Recovery: there is a 6-9 hours window post workout that if you time either your recovery procedures or sleeping cycle to correspond with this window you will enhance your recovery and your ability to train the following day.
  • Meditation and other mental practices will help tremendously for those athletes committed to their progress. Since mental practice takes time – However, even 5 minutes will go along way!

 

> if you enjoyed this post, share it with someone who you think would benefit



<>

Martin Colangelo

“The Better Movement Specialist”

<>

Stay Strong my friends!

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Plyometrics

Plyometrics Here! Get Your Plyometrics Here!


Also known as “Jump Training” or “Plyos”

– Exercises in which muscles exert maximum force in short intervals of time, with the goal of increasing power (more specifically; speed-strength).


Martin Colangelo and I at LatsOn Training have emphasized the concept below in the past….

and we repeat them because they are WORTH REPEATING….

It is time to clarify what and how to include “PLYOS” into your training.

Let me try and dispel any myths you may have with regard to plyometric training.

First of all,

plyometrics should not be done in isolation but as part of a complete program which emphasizes a good basis in strength before “leaving the ground”.

The other major consideration is to keep the volume (reps and sets and number of drills or tasks) to a minimum.*

Overuse, even with a solid basis in strength, is a strong likelihood if volume is too high.

This is because plyo drills have a combination of very high need for input from the central nervous system, high wear on joints and surrounding tissues and dynamic speed leaving less time to feel any deviations from proper form or technique.

 

In a nutshell,

it is hard to do this kind of training!

<Also, just to clarify – ‘plyo’ training is not only performed by the lower body as the term ‘jump training’ might insinuate – There are just as many upper body based drills as lower body ones.>

Another consideration is the importance of the landing.

The eccentric loading in this style of training (the integrity of joints and body control on landing) is more important than the launching part (concentric) of the movement.

Full Stop.

Overall joint health, maintenance of strength and injury prevention are in place if very close attention is paid to the landing phase.

The last Issue

is wanting to do the cool, sexy, plyo drills too early in a training program

(ie Improper Progressions – see’ Periodization‘ )

You wouldn’t do a barbell back squat before learning how to do a good body weight or kettlebell goblet squat first. Be smart in your programming.

Quick summary:
1) Don’t skip strength (i.e. warm up thoroughly)
2) Avoid high volume
3) Progress properly

Enjoy my peeps!

TYLER LEES-SCHMUT

Co-Owner / Instructor / Author @

Contact us Now for a Consultation*

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