you're made for more
You're Not Doing Your Body Justice Gents. You're Made for More.
Little League football, 1997. I was 8 years old. Skills and team practice just ended. I would, momentarily, learn the meaning of conditioning. Whistle after whistle blew, no end in sight. My tiny lungs, thighs and soul were on fire. FINALLY, Coach called it, that one long whistle. I'd yearn for it so many times after this one. I finished that first little league football practice walking off the field toward my dad, quivering lip, burning lungs, and tears streaming down my face, barely gasping between breaths. "I. Don't. Wanna. Play. Football. Any. More. Daddy." My dad's response? "Too bad. I paid for it. And more importantly you're gonna learn to finish what you’ve started.”
This started my long, transformative, love-hate relationship with what I call, “discomfortability,” which I define as “the state of becoming comfortable with purposefully engaging in that which makes one uncomfortable." I played football until I was 21 years-old, and learned one of my most valuable lessons along the way. I'm deeply grateful for all of those years, the innate connection and intuition I developed for understanding my body, mind, and spirit. I began to realize how they were connected, and how to keep pushing myself to new heights.
For the last ten years, (almost to the day) I've spent my career as a strength and conditioning coach helping others discover their body-mind connection. I always tell my clients, “Life is a sport, live it Kinetically.” That's more than a mantra, it speaks to the constant pursuit of bettering oneself, and within that, consistently exposing oneself to the concept of getting uncomfortable–even seeking out discomfort purposefully.
In my line of work, it's easy to lock into one way of doing things. I decided years ago to continue approaching my life, career, and my own training by staying in that sweet spot where discomfort meets growth, change, and innovation. By not pigeonholing my training approach, I'd like to think it's afforded me the opportunity to truly explore all that my body is capable of, beyond moving barbells and dumbbells. Use every tool you've got at your disposal, in every way you can. If that's not working, find a better tool and use that instead. This has been my mindset and it has produced a surprising result not only in me, but in my clients, my business approach, and even my family. It's kept me open to options and possibilities and given my body and mind the chance to remain flexible enough to ride the waves of life and movement.
I chose to track down the most innovative, interesting, fun, and effective training equipment, and methods, and integrate them into my own approach. Looking back, I couldn't see myself doing it any different. This method led me to develop skills and capabilities I’d never thought I could. I truly believe it's created a sense of gratitude for all of the possibilities of human performance. Choosing to explore those possibilities and connect with your own body isn't just rewarding physically, it's rewarding mentally and emotionally. Take this short workout as an example.
Think and move outside the bench, don't be so linear. Movement serves a greater purpose than just taking a weight from point A to point B or looking good. Add rotational intent and locomotive intent. In essence, if you repeat this workout consistently, over a period of weeks or months, it will take you mentally and emotionally far. It's easy to add complexity and improve overall function in your body's tissues and central nervous system by adding full joint articulation.
Try this workout on for size: Metabolic conditioning and challenging the conventions of your typically linear training!
Rotational Incline Dumbbell Press
Rotational Braced Single Arm Row
Dumbbell Front Squat to Rotational Overhead Press
Locomotive Dumbbell Clean & Split Jerk Press
The key element of this workout is rotational movement through the arm during the pressing and pulling motions. This allows the joint, muscular, and fascial systems to work in an environment of full integration as a unit. Traditional linear training can miss this aspect of integration because it only prepares your tissues and your mind to move through one plane of motion against gravity from one position. What's great about the design of this workout is we cover TONS of positions and planes with just four exercises. This allows us to build complexity into simplicity without over complicating matters. If you want to focus more on size, slow down, increase the volume and repetitions under tension. For strength and power, add weight and move fast, but recover between sets. Keep the volume low, 3-4 sets will suffice. For metabolic conditioning and calorie burn, go full throttle by choosing a moderate to light weight, and keep a quick pace for 20-30 minutes.
The beautiful part of this approach is that whatever your goal is, you've now got the tools and information, to feel empowered when pursuing discomfort... Show your body gratitude by connecting with all of it's biomechanical capabilities and pursue the betterment of yourself by living kinetically.
Keep moving forward, Gents. Stay in the Pursuit.