This post will be me rambling about some various topics.
So I recently read Mark Rippetoe article on T-nation about Crossfit the good bad and the ugly. If you remember Mark was one of the people who help begin Crossfit. He gave some insight to what it has become and from it’s humbly beginnings. The Good is that it has made hard training fun again. Lifting weights, sprinting, sled pushes are now popular again. People have a different mindset on what a workout should be. The bad unfortunately is that people are willing to sacrifice their safety so that they can try to edge out one more rep or shave another second or two. The Ugly is that there is a limitation to the Crossfit system. It is very had to progress. You can only add so much intensity before the body begins to break. It is very difficult to judge a clients workout volume and progress them when you’re doing AMRAP’s and Time circuits. I though it was a good read definitely check it out.
I also read Tony Gentilcore article about Kelly Starrett Knees approach and how he was getting a lot (lack of a better word) hate from a lot of the community. Tony goes over a lot about what Kelly was trying to say with his book but people may have misread what message Kelly was trying to say in his book. TLDR( Make sure knees track over toes, Don’t go into extreme varus of the knee)
Walking alone is not Enough
Many Americans believe that 30mins of walking a week is enough exercise to keep them living long healthy lives. These are the same people that will most likely to have problems later on in life. If you believe that 90 minutes of exercise a week will correct sitting on the couch/chair for 80 hours a week then you will have some serious problems. The American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) recommends 150 minutes of moderate-intensity cardiovascular exercise per week. Over the course of seven days those 30-60 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise 5 days a week. Surely running is more than enough to help me keep healthy. If you think that is true then you’re are greatly mistaken. What about keeping Strength, power, and bone density up? What do you do then? You have to add in Strength Training. World Class runners don’t just run every day they perform strength training to help prevent injuries from occurring. Resistance training has two main goals. The first goal is to help the athlete get stronger. The second goal is to help prevent injuries. Injuries occur through trauma or overuse. To keep yourself resilient against gravity and the world around us it is very important to add resistance training to your exercise routine.
ACSM guidelines are 2-3 days a week of resistance exercise that is a minimum of 8 different exercises between 2-4 sets of 8-15 repetitions on each exercise. So you will have to add another 30-40mins to your workout. In total your workouts should last at minimum and 1hour (that and 1 hour of work time not leisure time). Muscles have three functions in terms of movement. To cause movement (concentric contraction) such as bending your elbow, and to slowly resist movement (Eccentric Contraction) To slowly let your elbow bend while resisting the weight and To resist movement at all( Isometric) Holding a box and not allowing the move cause of weight. Most people do not get hurt moving the body. Where most injuries occur is when people try to resist movement. Resisting movement causes a greater force to be placed on our muscles and tendons due our mechanical disadvantage of our levels in our body. Lifting weights and keeping Lean body mass will better your chance to resist those eccentric forces that occur on a daily basis.
To be honest in my opinion I believe that people should do more weight training than running. This is my reason for claim. Most people don’t run or bike to work. The typical day is get out bed walk to kitchen table sit and eat walk to car sit and drive. Walk to your desk and sit and work. Then leave work go home and sit and watch tv, eat and go to bed. Now if you were to add running 30 minutes to your day you would make significant improvements to your cardiovascular system. You may also build some lean mass in your legs from the running that you’re doing. Besides the recreation running you don’t do much running elsewhere unless it’s your occupation. On the other hand you perform yard work, lifting and moving furniture, and other various physical activities that may require bending, carrying, and climbing. Does running alone help you perform those activities? Not really because when you’re running you performing the same motion over and over. Which doesn’t correlate with bending or climbing weight training on the other hand forces people to move in positions that they may not be in on a regular basis? Not to mention will help improve muscular strength and endurance. Parker et al study took a group of 60-77 year old women tested them on a submaximal walking test(2mph at 3.5% elevation) and weight carrying walking( carry a weight at 40% maximum elbow flexion strength) test. They recorded VO2, heart rate (HR) Systolic Blood Pressure (SBP), and Rate Pressure Product (RPP). Placed the group on a 16 week whole body strength training program.(3 days a week 1 hour per session) Then tested again. They say 57% increase in isotonic strength and 29% increase in isometric strength. No change in VO2 max but significant decreases in HR, SBP and RPP while perform the walking test and Weight carry test. Not only did the women improve their strength to prevent injury. Their ability to use oxygen became more efficient as well. Not to mention as well when performing strength training people will work on full range of motion which is important for keep good flexibility and mobility of the joints. So with older people especially it is very important that they perform strength training to keep muscle strong and bones dense. As you age strength training becomes more and more important as you age. Remember the goal of strength training is to help prevent injuries. Younger people especially women have a fear of lifting weight s because they don’t want to get bulky. Honestly that is like saying you don’t want to read because you are afraid of becoming a genius. It takes a lot of work to put on lean body mass most athletes work an entire year to put on 5- 10lbs of mass. So if your 3 workouts a week will not make your bulky unless it is in your genes. The fear of getting to big has long been debunk also most people are not willing to put in the amount of time to put on more muscle.
All in all Strength training is very vital for a healthy life I believe that everyone needs to incorporate some form of Strength training. It will help improve your quality of life and help prevent injuries from occurring as you age. Walking or jogging is not enough keeping strength and lean body mass is very important for keeping you independent and out of the retirement home
It’s been a while since I have last written Life has taken control but it is starting to calm down a little bit. What comes to mind when you hear the term Functional Training. Most people will think about balancing on Bosu balls or balance boards while performing exercises to force people to adjust to every shifting environment. You also may think of Crossfit in which it is randomized workouts so that everyday is something different so that you will be prepared for anything that you may come across in your life. I am still young in my career to determine say whether one is better than the other. My interpretation of Functional Training is looking at Human Anatomy and develop a program to help those muscle perform there function better. That can include Strength training, power training, flexibility and mobility work.
Strength is very important if muscles are not strong enough to resist gravity I can bet you will have a hard time in life. If your legs can’t support your own body weight your will have a difficult time in life. Think about all that you do with your legs. If you can squat then it will be very difficult to get in and out of cars, chairs, off the ground. Sometime there are imbalances between muscle group. An example is an imbalance between chest to upper back strength. Most people are able to bench press a lot more than they can pull. When you have a great imbalance between muscle groups you are more susceptible to injury. Strength training is very important to make sure your body is strong enough to propel itself and to resist gravity. When muscles are strong you will decrease the chance of injury.
Power Training is very important in everybody. As you age strength will decrease. Whats even worse a person’s ability to produce power decrease more than their strength. What is an everyday power exercise that everyone does daily? It is very simple getting out of a chair. Sit in your chair and try to get out of it slowly without using your arms to help you up. I bet that it was impossible( if you were able to do it then either your cheated or you’re a beast and you must post a video of you doing it). A power movement can be anything from Olympic lifts, Box Jumps, Bounds, Kettle bell swings, skipping, Anything that forces your body to move quickly. If you perform a power exercise daily you will feel a lot better. Power is defined by Force x Distance / Time or Work/Time. It is creating a force in the shortest amount of time possible.
Flexibility and Mobility
Picture yourself as stiff as you have ever been. I can bet you felt awful. Now think that some people bodies are like that all the time. If you take those people and you stretch and work on their joint mobility(ankles, hips, and thoracic spine) They will have a new lease on life. Make joints that are supposed to be mobile move and that will allow the other joints to perform their jobs better. Also working on connective tissue length as will also help with flexibility and mobility of those joints. Foam Rolling and Mobility exercises to help increase Joint range of motion are vital. A rule of thumb for how many decades you are alive that’s how many days of mobility work you need a week.
Functional training does not have to be some super creative outlandish exercises just try to make people strong enough to resist gravity, develop power, and have as much range of motion as possible in their joints. It is very simple. Do those things and you will change people lives.