Stronger is not necessarily expressed by lifting bigger weights. Whilst I wholeheartedly adore strength training with barbells, kettlebells, pull up bars, other heavy stuff; it’s too easy to forget what made us strong in the first place and what still has a place to keep functioning better as adults. One such original strengthening movement was and still is ‘crawling’.
You may be thinking ‘yeah, but I can lift heavy stuff. I don’t need to do these other things!’
Keeping a fully functioning body allows us to demonstrate the impressive heavy lifting and with a much lower risk of injury to boot.
Crawling does have its role in rehabilitation but the restorative properties are well worth a few minutes every few days or so as part of a warming up routine. Crawling will help restore the reflexive linkage between the upper and lower body. It will build coordination and very quickly indentify breaks in the linkage, or weaknesses where strength leaks out.
I prefer the slow crawl, like a sloth. Moving with speed it’s easy to hide or not get time to see imbalances or weakness, but move slowly and you’ll very quickly identify what’s going on.
I remember attending my Animal Flow certification weekend a few years ago. There was one jacked up guy with very impressive lifts. He could bench press 160kg, squat over 200kg and deadlift around 240kg. However, his connection with his body was poor by comparison, demonstrated by an inability to crawl on his hands and feet for more than 4 metres without blowing a gasket!
Getting back to basics and getting back to the moves that created our initial physicality is never a waste of time.
If you’re curious, get down on all fours and crawl slow. No pauses, just slow moving. Maybe balance a book on your back. It will give feedback about the stability in your hips and shoulders. Perhaps record yourself with your phone to see how you move.
Got any feedback? Did you try this and discover something interesting? I’d love to hear back from you.
Maybe you’ve decided it’s time to get on top of your health and strength? Maybe you’re getting married soon and want to get into ‘great shape’ for the big day? Maybe you’ve realised you’ve let yourself slip over the past couple of years and want to move better, feel stronger and fitter?
Perhaps you simply want and need to transform your relationship with food, your waistline and your strength and fitness.
If this is you, let me introduce the Amazing 12.
The Amazing 12 program delivers all the above mentioned outcomes with methods you will never see in any other gym or the internet. While the exercises may be familiar, the 12 week program is incredibly smart, NOT a beatdown, NOT a starvation, juicing, pills or potions program – just a great program that will not only deliver the physical results but help you create a healthier outlook on exercise and nutrition.
ARE YOU COMMITTED TO YOURSELF 100%?
Below are pictures of Jamie (48) and Vivienne (46) from Albany Creek. Both completed the A12 program with ease, Jamie losing 11kg he never knew he had whilst improving strength and fitness dramatically despite elbow problems. Viv lost 4.5kg and found herself feeling so much more confident and stronger in her day to day life. In fact, during the program she increased her 5 rep max squat to her 30 rep max squat!!!!
I am accepting applications from people who are ready to commit 100% and make a change to their life.
YOU will need to train three times a week for 45 minutes – that’s all.
As the coach, potentially your coach, I am 100% committed to guiding you though every stage of the program, both in the gym, and via online nutritional support.
To read more information and to book a FREE consultation, CLICK on over to the Amazing 12 Brisbane.
We are all wonderfully designed to move. We are all born with the same potential for performing a wide range of physical abilities. Much like a new computer or mobile phone arrives preloaded with a host of apps, we too are loaded with a massive database of ‘apps’.
Apart from the wonderful stuff that happens inside our gooey centres, our physical operation performance apps are pretty awesome. We are made to move, like in locomotive movements and we are made with manipulative skills, like carrying, lifting and such.
For now, let’s take a look at some of our own lesser practiced ‘locomotion’ movement apps:
#1 I can’t start talking about jumping just yet, without first mentioning our vestibular system. This system relies on the feedback from our eyes, ears and physical positioning to relay to the brain about which way up or down we are. If there is a mismatched message or delay in feedback, we get dizzy. If you’ve ever had travel / car sickness when you where reading, your brain has been part focussing on the reading whilst not totally matching up with the movement of the car. End result, dizziness, nausea and the cold sweats!
How do we train this? Lead all your physical movement with the eyes. Where the eyes go, the body follows. To really enhance the feedback loop, purposefully carry out movements with quick head and body movements. Rolling on the floor, tumbling, spinning around. Should you find yourself over stimulated and a tad dizzy, try this corrective measure.
#2 Balance is by far a very undertrained human skill. We can’t deny we use it daily and equally can’t deny plenty of people lose it often. Before I start to riddle, balance keeps us upright but also uses that previously mentioned vestibular system to control muscles in reaction to changing situations. Balance is very much a reactive strength. How does the body react when we have to walk over a narrow surface, along a curb during a rain storm, over stepping stones to cross a creek, over an uneven surface? Many reactions co-work throughout the body’s musculature to keep us upright according to the messages from the vestibular system.
How do we train this? Practice walking on narrow or uneven surfaces, slowly at first. Wobbling is a massive part of the learning curve. We must lose our balance to start to learn how to maintain in. Ever watched a toddler in the early stages of learning to walk? It both scary and hilarious, as they wobble, fall over, get back up and repeat. After a short period of practice they’ve moved onto running, jumping and so on as they upgrade their apps. Here’s an example of balance practice.
#3 ‘Get up’. It’s inevitable that we all have to get off the floor, and prior to that we will have either taken ourselves to the floor or had an unfortunate trip or fall to meet the floor. The practice of getting to the floor and back up is a wonderful expression of strength connection. Connecting our limbs and torso might seem like an odd statement but aside from the actual physical connection of tissue, many people don’t move with a physical connection of their body parts. There is often a lack of communication between upper limbs and lower limbs and the torso in between. Getting off the ground can take many forms and can be reactive, agile movement or a specific and strategic movement. A quick response to getting off the floor is a reactive movement, very much steeped in historical practice. The way you have always gotten off the floor will be the first choice in most cases. By purposefully practicing a variety of means of getting up, with strategy, the larger your library of options you’ll develop. The wonderful thing about getting off the floor is also that the skills involved translates to getting over ‘things’. Getting over a retaining wall is a perfect example of using get up skills to get over something.
How do we train this? There are many methods of getting to the floor (see video below) but sometimes, just getting down and up a few times a day can be great practice. At the gym we do practice what I call the ‘broken limb’ series, when we practice get ups with the scenario of imagining we have a broken arm, or leg. Much fun for all.
#4 Crawl. Whilst we’re on the floor, maybe after a fall, or maybe because of some other reason (sneaking indoors after a late night, trying to avoid the neighbour, or because you’re under your house or roof-space) crawling is a skill we’re born to master. It is a pivotal movement sequence we develop as infants that grants us the ability to walk, run, climb as well as provide the brain with a host of neurological development. Like the get up, crawling connects our torso and limbs. You could even say that crawling is very close to being a complete workout to replace numerous gym exercises. Your legs, arms, shoulders, pectoral, upper back, glutes and entire abdominal wall and waist will get an incredible training effect.
How do we train this? To appreciate the movement and where we start individually, it’s best that everyone starts on their hands and knees, much like we did originally as infants. We may crawl forward, backwards, on an axis, in a circle. These alone will engage many, many muscles. The progression is as simple (not always easy mind-you) as moving onto the feet and hands with the knees just off the floor. This is a game-changer movement. There are numerous other crawling shapes and positions, but starting with the knee hand and then foot hand should suffice most of us.
#5 Stick the landing! You don’t have to be dismounting a double back flip from a balance beam to stick the landing. Stick the landing refers to landing on your feet, unwavering, and not falling over. This is part one of the sequence of learning to jump. Jumping without knowing how to land is fool-hardy. Sticking the landing may follow a trip, a fall, a temporary loss of balance or slipping off a ladder. From a physiological perspective, it’s also a simple and effective way to load up the skeletal frame. Loading our bones is the simplest method of preventing early onset osteoarthritis.
How do we train this? The video below demonstrates a simple drill. The purposeful leaning forward and catching ourselves gently on our feet is step in learning how to stick the landing. Performing the drill from a small step is one progression as is performing a jump prior.
#6 Jump! Truth be told, us adults just don’t jump around as much as kids, and that is a pity. The benefits of jumping include helping us to maintain our agility, joint and bone health as well as muscular power and strength. Jumping is also incredibly playful aka fun. There is nothing wrong with adults having fun. We shouldn’t take ourselves ‘too’ serious. May of my clients have jumping exercises routinely or on a planned rotation. I love to see the smiles and giggles and sense of achievement. Jumping as an exercise does not have to be terribly gymnastic. A short strategic jump or hop is all it takes. A short jump from one stepping stone (or pretend one) to another is great as we tie in vision and movement; foot-eye coordination so to speak.
How do we train this? A version of jumping we practice often is the leg swing jump. It is perhaps the most commonly employed jump when we have to jump. One leg back swings along with the arms then we forward swing the arms and the leg to propel us forward in a jump. Here is a ‘how to’ video of the leg swing jump.
#7 Hanging! Okay, it’s not a locomotive, not initially anyway. A hang or brachiation from our hands or arms on an overhead branch, gym pull up bar, ledge, cliff face perhaps is a key to unlocking a completely new level of human skills that we are born to do. Brachiation is the act of travelling by swinging from one hand to the next, like all those cool ninja warriors on TV. For the rest us however, to yield the upmost benefits from this design feature of the human shoulder girdle, all I suggest for most people is just hang. Your shoulders will thank you for years after some practice. They will feel great and less prone to tweaks and strains carrying out day-to-day tasks.
How do we train this? The video below demonstrates options, but feet stay on the ground. We use the gymnastic rings to hold onto to before pushing our butts back and simply hang. W often call the position, ‘water skiing gone wrong’! Time wise, a period of 5 diaphragmatic breaths is sufficient to start with. That might take 20-30 seconds. We will either hang with upper tension, that is to say, keeping our shoulders pulled down away from our ears, or we’ll relax everything. Which depends on the individual and the comfort feedback the body communicates.
Running and walking are the other two pivotal day to day locomotion movements that we do do apart from these six above. As the more frequently used movement apps, I thought I would leave them alone and delve into the above lesser considered locomotion movement apps.
I’d love to know what you think. Maybe drop me a message.
Perhaps I’ll do this again, but cover manipulation skills that we store in another app!
Okay, so the A12 is a 12 week program… what happens at the start of week 13, or in 5 years time?
The program is so wonderfully constructed by Paul McIlroy with minimal quantity, maximum quality, that switching between the A12 Express and the A12 Classic is a very reasonable option.
An A12 Classic graduate can down shift and follow the shorter A12 Express for 12 weeks. Conversely, an A12 Express graduate will finish their program with new-found skills, strength and fitness that will give them the perfect condition to own the A12 Classic.
A change of pace is another possibility. FitStrong Strength & Wellness offers a comprehensive program schedule where graduates can follow a Powerlifting / Strength plan, or a kettlebell program, maybe a calisthenics program or an Animal Flow routine. An escape from barbells and kettlebells is always an option, and that’s when a Movnat natural movement fitness program can be followed.
The most important consideration when following a program is considering ‘what can I do next to continue to grow and progress?’
To start the Amazing 12, you don’t need any experience. The program is a fantastic way to project your strength and fitness, confidence in yourself and confidence in the foods you choose. It will boost your confidence to try other things. Maybe you graduate and decide you want to tackle a 5km race, or get into kettlebell training, take on a personal strength challenge or heavens knows what. The world of strength and fitness is your oyster when you graduate the Amazing 12.
Why not call over for a chat about how we can take you to super-you 🦹♀️🦸♂️ Jamie
Being able to negotiate the world around us shouldn’t be taken for granted, despite living in an apparently safe, manufactured world scape.
Having the skills and aptitude to jump over something or out the way of something, skip, catch yourself if you trip, balance over partially submerged kerbstone during a rain storm – are all just a few examples of physical aptitudes we may encounter.
More to the point, my point here, it is incredibly rewarding, fun and a bit challenging to train for just such events, whether they are made up scenarios or practice for actual routine events.
I like to take myself off into the bush every now and again. Weekly if I can. Far from a walk in a park, a bush walk can throw an abundance of physical challenges apart from just walking.
Often times there’s a short climb up a rock face, a balance walk over a log laid over a creek, slippy trip hazard tree roots popping up when least expected.
Now, even if you never take yourself off on a bush walk, moving your body the way it is designed IS a daily or at least a weekly preoccupation. Got kids? Grandkids? A garden?
All these have a side of physicality that you can prepare yourself for. Is it not better to be prepared rather than at the mercy of inability?
Here’s just a short video example of:
practicing landing after a jump or a trip
crawling for when you have to get down low
Just three activities to demonstrate how real world agility and strength can be really quite different to most gym exercises.
Got questions? Fancy trying a natural movement training session?
To each and every person looking to hire a professional, the role of a trainer, to carry out personal training probably means something different.
1. To many it implies being pushed to the limit, getting all sweaty and pumped.
2. To some it may mean being taught finely detailed techniques to get the most out of their training.
3. To a few it means you get to whine and moan about having to do exercise – like it’s a personal punishment for eating too much!
4. To others is means the accountability of a professional to guide them through a personalised routine.
5. To some it means having the expert eye and experience of a professional to help create the results sought after.
If you align with 1 or 3 or something similar, you’ve either been sold something very inappropriate or have had that expectation sown by an others experience.
Long gone – I hope – are the days when trainers shout at their clients to ‘max out’, ‘go harder’, ‘ignore the pain’ and then come back again for the same.
Moving on. If you can see the validity of points 2, 4 and 5, then you know what to look for. A trainer who listens to your goals, designs a program with that agenda in mind, before guiding and supporting you from learning essential techniques to the execution of great repetitions, sets and all at an appropriate (read reasonable) intensity.
At FitStrong this is the process offered to each and every client.
We start with a consultation to discuss goals, past experiences and perhaps exploring any self limiting beliefs before presenting a solution.
A movement screen follows to start to understand the physical status, ie look for any red-flags, weakness or imbalances that may influence the program design.
From here a program commences to carry the client from their point A towards their point B.
That is the goal of a personal trainer.
At FitStrong I specialise in helping people build useful strength, improved movement capabilities and total body transformations.
Our home based gym is a friendly, safe and clean place where people are supported and coached towards their goals. Even if people have no distinct goals, they have an opportunity to simply pursue feeling healthier, stronger and feeling better.
We’re never afraid to try new things, experience new ways to achieve strength, physical health and fitness and this is demonstrated in the wide array of training methods that clients are taught and practice.
We’re not a big ra-ra glitzy ‘globo-gym’ but our simplicity allows us to express our own way of moving better, stronger and feeling good.
Why not book yourself in for a casual, no sales pitch consultation to see how you can fit into our awesome gym 😀
At this time of the year it’s an easy trap to fall into; the all or nothing exercise and diet trap. Hitting the exercise hard and jumping onto the most popular diet fad is the all too common solution when there is actually a smarter and simpler option.
“Last spring we launched a new program to help clients lose some kilos and add some strength and fitness. To support my wife I joined in, expecting to maybe drop a couple of kilos myself. By the end of the 12 week program I had lost 11kg. I didn’t know I had that to lose! My squat strength took off, I found muscles I didn’t think a near 50 year old man could find and my cardiovascular fitness hit a level I hadn’t felt in years.
It wasn’t just me, my wife did lose 4.5kg herself whilst doubling her squat and other strength moves.” Jamie said.
More than the physical enhancements though, Jamie and his wife Vivienne discovered how to appreciate simple home cooked food and value looking after themselves. They said they found the real them that was previously buried under the stress of fad diets, poor habits and undervaluing their own beliefs and value system.
The Amazing 12 program has now been rolled out to other local people who have all rebooted themselves and discovered their own super abilities, values and great new lifestyle habits.
“The program and the diet were surprisingly achievable even after a tiring day at work. I was so happy with how the results gave me more confidence in my appearance and loved the compliments I received. I look forward to doing the program again to see what else I can achieve.” – Vivienne, FitStrong client
The program is actually quite special. It was designed by strength and conditioning genius Paul McIlroy in Ireland who has himself transformed 10000+ people over 15 years with this same program. The program entails none of the expected all-out efforts and unrealistic diets but instead uses optimised programming to gradually expand each trainees comfort levels until new levels of strength and fitness are achieved.
“I have been a trainer for over 25 years, and while I’ve employed many great strength and movement programs, the A12 is by far the most over-delivering program. The results are just amazing!” – Jamie Hunter, owner operator of FitStrong Strength & Wellness
Wanting to look slimmer or wanting to lose unwanted body fat is great in my mind. A drop of unwanted body fat is healthy, lowers risk of many diseases and improves quality of life. For most men, a body fat of 15 to 18% is healthy and attainable. For most women, a body fat of 20 to 24% is healthy and also attainable. How to get skinnier is a not a question I like. Anyone can starve themselves skinny, but that will result in a loss of strength, function, longevity, health and a host of other benefits that being strong and fit brings. The question I prefer is, “how do I get stronger and leaner?”
Of course the answer is to exercise and eat better but there is more to it.
A suitable exercise plan must involve strength training before interval training. If all you have is 2 hours a week, that time needs to be prioritised on getting stronger with the safest movements that stimulate the most amount of muscle mass. No ‘isolation’ exercises. Think big hitters like squats, bench press, pull ups, and some tricep and bicep specific movements (can’t forget the arms!)
If more time is available, then interval training can be added. To encourage the body to burn as much stored body fat as possible, the correct style of high intensity repeat training should be employed. Yet again, this must be the safest choice of exercise to get out of breath with.
Nutrition must be the most contentious subject when we start to talk about fat loss. However, the most effective solution is also the simplest. Eat real food. Eat for your goals. Nutrient dense vegetables in abundance. Fruit is not evil. Seriously, no one ever has become obese eating strawberries or tomatoes! Protein in all its variation should be eaten often. The exact quantities depends on the individual.
The Amazing 12 Brisbane is a finely tuned program that delivers all the above. Exercise selection, nutrition and programming is optimised for the individual, for every single week and session of the 12 week program.
The results deliver not just fat loss, but athleticism in every participant.
#1 Optimisation of Exercise Technique – We’ll show you step-by-step the optimal (and required) techniques and their subtleties to master each exercise and minimise risk of injury even as you progress through higher and higher strength levels.
#2 Optimisation of Nutrition – The food you eat is very personal and if you battle through hunger or if your body craves something that’s missing, you will suffer needlessly. And then you’ll stop and eat what you want. The stakes are higher when it comes to fitness programs because the diet versus exercise debate has traditionally accepted the view that “It’s 90% diet.” We’ll teach you how the reality is that it’s actually 90% training when it comes to a body TRANSFORMATION (sounds bogus we know, but look at our results…we’ve proved it and we’ll prove it again and again).
#3 Optimisation of Exercise Programming – Great technique and great nutrition are not enough. For optimal results, you need optimal programming. And since the vast majority of programs out there do not get results (and most fitness coaches fail to deliver results for their clients), something is clearly broken with fitness programming. The main problem is the accepted view of “no pain, no gain.” It’s inspiring talk, but it’s no way to get long term results and is physiologically counter-productive. The reality is “Any pain, no gain.”! To perpetuate progress we shouldn’t leave our comfort zone…we should EXPAND it until it envelopes our previous limits.
Check out the Amazing Upper Back development on this client.
Want to know more? Want to get Amazing? Want to get stronger and leaner? Get in touch.
I’m always happy to answer your questions, so get in touch.
The incredibly successful total body transformation program, the Amazing 12, creates outstanding results. This is because it has a system that optimises exercise selection, progressive programming and nutrition. These three key areas of optimisation are tied together by focusing on five core components I will get into below.
Stay in the ‘no threat’ zone
Whilst most programs focus on ‘going to the max’ and muscular failure, this only leads to gradual central nervous system stress and eventual plateau or worse still, injury and / or emotional burn out. With the A12 system, you do not “go to the max” and get shut down by your own central nervous system (CNS). Instead, you use a level of effort that is comfortable for your body to stay in the ‘no threat’ zone.
Learn to communicate to your Central Nervous System
Your central nervous system (CNS) overseas and governs your bodies reaction to physical stress. If your training entails maximum efforts there will come a time when the stress is deemed excessive and the CNS will shut you down. A cramp, extreme fatigue or injury are all ways the body will react to repetitive high physical stress in order to stop you. It is a self defence method albeit an unpleasant surprise when you least want to experience it.
This type of traditional and all too common training is based on falsehoods. Maximum efforts does not always equal beneficial results. A younger, enthusiastic beginner exerciser may progress for a few months with this method, but thereafter, it is an incredibly risky behaviour to continue.
The Amazing 12 program ‘speaks to the CNS’ and uses the language of pain and comfort, threat and safety, effort and risk. We make sure the CNS always feels safe about your actions by remaining in your comfort zone, thus perpetuating the fastest and safest possible progress to take place.
Release your inner superpowers
Every single one of us has untapped strength and fitness within us.
Our CNS is the reason why we’ve all heard tales of spontaneous feats of superhuman strength. What is happening during these feats is your central nervous system is allowing the use of more motor units than it would under normal circumstances.
Normally, your CNS prohibits this because if it ever allowed you access to 100% strength, your muscles would actually break your bones. We’re all incredibly strong and the central nervous system has a trip switch that controls this access.
The A12 system never triggers this threat response in the first place, allowing fast and profound gains.
Mathematically hack the superhero system
With the A12 training system, you’ll begin training in a place of extreme comfort. Then we skilfully expand what is comfortable without ever going to a peak, without ever triggering a threat response from your CNS.
The A12s Ai manipulates the maths behind the program’s progression so that the weights used increase at a pace proportionate to your progress.
By using mathematical manipulation, your CNS consistently allows your comfort zone to expand, effortlessly pushing the peaks of strength and performance higher and higher.
Expand your comfort zone until it envelops your limits
Possibly the biggest misconception in physical training is that in order to make any significant progress in any given time period (let alone just 12 weeks) we must first ‘leave our comfort zone’. The irony is, once you fully understand how the body BEST makes progress, you quickly realise that the polar opposite is actually true. There exists a direct correlation between time spent training in relative comfort and the ultimate long term productivity of the program.
The magnitude of the gains you make are directly proportional to how well you can manipulate the maths to perpetuate numeric progress, NOT how difficult the training is.
Attention to detail and applying multiple 1 percenters to the Amazing 12 program takes it above and beyond the abilities of other transformation programs. I am very blessed to able to coach this program.
To discuss how to become an A12 candidate in Brisbane this year, hit the button.