The principles behind how we train at FitStrong is the culmination of quite some time in the health and fitness industry and spending time learning from some of the best thinkers in the ‘business’.
However, the high street, commercial version of fitness is very far removed from the refined methods we employ to help people move better, develop real world strength and add to their wellness bank account. You won’t find machines for targeting each and every muscle but rather, a system that allows the body to move and develop as it was intended. Machines are a great convenience for big gym owners and have their place but are a poor choice to optimise ourselves as well functioning, able and useful human beings.
So, what do we do? What are our intended movements?
Everything we do is movement, from intentional movements to involuntary functions like breathing and digesting. The intentional movements we are beautifully designed to undertake can be listed as:
- Crawling, Walking, Running, Climbing
- Lifting and carrying
- Squatting and deep knee bend activities
- Pushing and pulling activities
- Throwing, jumping and other explosive activities
- Precision, ‘fine tuning’ activities that involve all of the above
This list may or may not look comprehensive but really you could categorise them as:
- Precise and adaptive
You could add fun in there too, like dancing.
These categories of movements are what we practice in the gym and apply well in real world situations in our own lives when the need arises. The skills we develop when practicing and adapting to human movement training adds to our long term health and wellbeing. Longevity is an overarching principle of why we train and how we train.
‘It’s not about building bigger muscles just to have big muscles. It’s about developing useful bodies that will help us live more physically capable today, tomorrow and into our old age, whilst feeling really good about ourselves.’
While adaptability is a valued component of training plans, random is never a consideration. Each training session is part of a larger part. We start each program with simple movements and organically progress elements such as the loading, the volume or density of repetitions or complexity. Interestingly, intensity waves between 50% to 75% of perceived effort. Unless someone desires to test their maximum ability (under strict conditions), programs are designed to expand comfort zones with the progressions mentioned above.
Think of it this way. If you can do something physical for 5 minutes before your comfort zone starts to stress, and with training you are able to do more before your comfort zone is pressed, do you think you have improved, become stronger and more able?
Yes. Of course you have. And as your relative strength has increased, so too has your maximum strength. It then raises the question – do we need to test maximum? That’s an answer only the individual can answer.
As a final thought, I do like to see physical wellness as more than just the moving ’stuff’. Optimal health has many moving parts. I put together the simple venn diagram below to demonstrate just some of this concept.