With the fuss and furor over the functional training seemingly on the wane, there seems to be a swing back towards people training for overall athleticism.
We pretty much started here with the origins of the Strength & Conditioning world, back with the Saxons and Sandows moving through to Joseph Pilates and Georges Herbert before the Aerobicists and the bodybuilders took over.
From them we went into the “functional training” nonsense where people mucked about doing physio therapy exercises and circus trick instead of training for actual strength and agility.
Finally people are realising the truth and moving back towards the well rounded training methods that have been around for generations, even before the mass marketing and infomercials that attempt to proliferate our consciousness on a daily basis.
At my gym I have women coming into me asking to deadlift and do pull ups.
I have lads looking to improve speed and balance, not just wanting to get “pumped”
This emphasis on quality is music to my ears.
So here are a few training rules to apply, regardless of your overall training goals, putting these in action will increase your movement quality, athleticism, longevity and all round awesomeness:
- Use full range of motion as much as possible
Partial reps, going for the pump or trying to “peak” a muscle may be good for bodybuilding or specialist training periods, but on the whole try to train through the fullest range of motion you can.
This may require you to use less weight, but check your ego and aim for quality over quantity.
- Work Movements, not muscles.
There are fundamental movement patterns your body follows. Train them. The list is, at it’s most fundamental:
Upper Body Push (military press/bench press)
Upper Body Pull (Pull Up, Bent over row)
Lower Body Push (ie squat)
Lower Body Pull (ie deadlift)
You can go deeper and add in lateral motion, flexion, extension, rotation. But the above four are where most of your effort should be centred.
- Use Joint Mobility or dynamic movements to warm up with.
Here are two examples that we use regularly:
Dynamic Warm Up:
- Stretch after training, better yet, a few hours after training.
Sit on the floor in front of the TV and gently hold a stretch for 2-5minutes. I mean gently. Take it to mild discomfort and only go further as the body allows.
Stretch any areas that you struggle with.
For your immediate post training cool down stretch, gentle yoga like movements are perfect. Cycle though the movements getting gradually slower as you cool off.
Here’s one sequence we use:
- Do extra mobility work in between sets.
Don’t waste your rest periods, gentle mobility or Somatic movement in between sets will do wonders for you.
- Spend time on the floor and learn to run again.
Better yet, play like a child, explore your environment and your body, do movements that you haven’t done since before you worried about being cool and have fun with it.
So there’s 6 ways to improve your overall athleticism and be ever more awesome.
Next Bootcamp Dates: 27th May – 21st June
An intensive 4 week athletic training program. The course is limited to 12 people, with priority given to regular members. If you wish to book a place on the next camp, get in touch asap.