I wanted to share a brief run down of my training priorities with all of you. These are the things I keep in mind and the things I do with my own training, as well as training for the people I work with.
1.) Moving Better & Feeling Good
Over the years of my young personal training career, I have found some things that have helped myself and clients move better and feel good (hence the name of Priority #1).
A) One of these things, is the utilization of the Original Strength System. Original Strength’s mission is to set people free through movement. That is a powerful mission. It is powerful and, the best part, EXTREMELY SIMPLE. Anybody, and I mean anybody, can do the things found within Original Strength. Things like Breathing, Head Control (moving your head around, up/down, side to side), Rolling, Rocking, and Crawling. We call these the Big 5 Resets. Doing these ‘Resets’ is the primary way I work on my movement abilities. When we ‘Press Reset’ good things happen to our bodies and our movement abilities expand.
In addition to the above, “Original Strength not only seeks to help people reclaim and restore the bodies they were meant to have, but we also hope to help people reclaim the lives they were meant to live; a life of strength, movement, joy, and freedom”.
B) Targeted Self Myofascial Release Work (aka self massage), Stretches, & Mobility Drills
I have learned some strategies/drills utilizing different tools for self myofascial release (SMR). stretching, and additional mobility drills. Some of you may already be familiar with foam rolling/lacrosse ball work to help release tight/sore spots on your body. Notice that I use the word ‘Targeted’. Some people get on a foam roller and roll around aimlessly while checking their favorite social media site and 20-30 minutes later they are ready to start their movement warm up. This is not how it should be done.
What I like to do, is go through a scanning process on my body. I usually know where I may need a little extra work with SMR prior to starting it, but you can do the whole body if you wish. For instance, you can start with your calf muscle. If that is not sore or tender, move up the leg to hamstring, glute, quad, etc. Be intentional and productive with your SMR time if needed.
I also add in some stretches and additional mobility drills I have learned to improve how my joints move. A few main places that get tight on most people are ankles, hips, and upper back/shoulders. It is important to keep these places from getting tight!
On to the next priority…
2.) Being Strong and Capable
Strength training should be a priority for everybody. There is an entry point to strength training for everyone.There is no need to be scared of lifting weights. Start where you are at and improve from there. It is the same thing I have done and continue to do.
What you should be scared of, is being weak. If you remain weak, you are less capable and will deteriorate faster. There is something called sarcopenia. Sarcopenia is a progressive loss of skeletal muscle that comes with aging, therefore you have to do something about it.
My main focus is on improving the fundamental patterns, which are:
Squat/ Quad Dominant Movement (Example: Barbell or Kettlebell Front Squat)
Hinge/ Hip Dominant Movement (Example: Deadlift, Kettlebell Swing)
Push (Example: Push up, Military Press)
Pull (Example: Inverted Row or Pull ups)
Carry/Drag/Push (Example: Farmer Carry/Sled Drag/Sled Push)
Anti Movements (Example: Hardstyle Plank, Side Plank, Anti Rotation Pallof Press)
When you have all of these in your program, you are becoming a very strong and capable person. All of these patterns are essential to do and to have. If you are missing one of these patterns in your training, add it in. If you do not know how to do any of these things, seek somebody out to help you.
All of these things help me stay strong and be a better person for my family and friends. I need to be strong for my family, myself, and others. Being a strong and capable Dad & Husband is important to me. Lifting weights is the tip of the iceberg. Everything that comes along with it, runs deep beneath the surface.
My final priority. I want to be strong and capable my entire life. I need to be. My family needs me to be.
I engage in Priority #1 so my body is ready to move and I am not restricted.
I engage in Priority #2 so that I can accomplish whatever life throws at me.
Another thing about the Strong and Capable priority that helps my longevity…
In my training I always leave a little bit left in the tank. I never go to failure. It helps me stay away from injury, recover faster, and make long term improvements. Your training should make you feel good, not broken.
Proper nutrition is another key to longevity. It is important for you to learn about what proper nutrition is. Stop with the quick fixes and countless diets. When you diet, you are putting a band aid on a broken bone. Understand what it is that you need to do and what works best for you long term. Yes, you can live a happy life WITH carbs. Find the correct ratio of carbs that works well with your body. Two starting points for you…
50% of Calories from Carbs, 30% of Calories from Protein, 20% of Calories from Fat
40% of Calories from Carbs, 40% of Calories from Protein, 20% of Calories from Fat
This should give you a good starting point. If you are not sure what the above really means, it should lead you on a good research journey. A great reference would be ‘Burn the Fat, Feed the Muscle’ by Tom Venuto.
There you have it. My top priorities.
What are your top priorities?
Be Confident. Be Strong.