There’s a famous quotation I’ve heard so many times, I’m not even sure where it originated; the quotation goes something like this: “When you train muscles, you forget movements. When you train movements, you never forget muscles”. This quotation sparked a rant that took place inside my head. This rant became the basis for this particular article, maybe I should get angry more often!
My certification says that I’m a personal trainer but really I’d rather call my self something like a movement coach. As a company this is where our focus lies, that and bringing out your inner awesome! My rant begins with what the fitness industry has become. Walk into any gym and at least 90% of the people are in there focusing on a specific muscle group. This seems to me like a product of the popularity of bodybuilding in the 20th century and the mainstream media which accompanies it. I respect bodybuilders for certain things like their dedication and some of their discoveries for muscle activation and hypertrophy techniques, but they’ve created a situation where most of the people entering the gym have their views toward training. The unfortunate thing about the muscular viewpoint can be seen in the movement patterns of so called “experienced lifters”. Many of these individuals are so inept at basic movement patterns that they cannot even properly perform simple tasks like sprinting and jumping, let alone squats and deadlifts. The close minded focus on isolating individual muscles has ruined athleticism and is not constructive for a functional, healthy body. Naturally speaking, the body is not made to try and isolate individual muscles; the body uses many muscle groups in unison to efficiently perform a movement pattern to accomplish a specific task (moving your body, pushing or pulling a weight). Being a jock, let’s look at how this affects sports.
The bodybuilding view, as I call it, has begun to change the minds of our athletes to the point where their sport has taken backseat to bodybuilding. Too many young athletes spend the majority of their time trying to build certain muscles hoping that it will make them a better athlete. The truth is, the best athletes aren’t the ones with the biggest or strongest muscles but those who can most efficiently perform the necessary movement patterns of their sport. Let’s take two examples, Tim Lincecum and DeSean Jackson, if you saw these two guys on the street you’d probably think they were dweebs. Instead they fit right into the Razor’s Edge mindset and have brought out their inner awesome. Neither of these guys can be considered extremely muscular, yet both of them dominate their sports due to their efficiency in movement patterns. So what would that mean for you? Retraining movement patterns will not only improve your performance and strength (muscle and nervous system integration), but using full range of motion will help flexibility and mobility. These aspects will keep you healthy and injury free, but mostly awesome.
No matter how long you’ve been training, it’s never too late go back to focusing on movements. Spend a week or two doing workouts made up of foam rolling, mobility exercises, activation and re-learning basic human movement patterns. This includes sprinting, jumping, squating, pressing (horizontal and vertical), pulling (horizontal and vertical) and anything else that you might utilize on a daily basis. Once your balance and coordination have increased, be creative and make yourself a program based on complex movements which focus on the goals you’ve set for yourself. Next time I hear someone going to do a bicep day, I might just lose it!
It’s About Getting Better!