Perfect Alignment & the Real World

I never really get into disagreements with other coaches.

After all, we can all learn from each other, and surely everyone’s goal is to get better themselves and to help other people. That being said, there are always idiots that you cannot even engage in a debate with. They have given a few people six packs and made them stronger, so clearly they have figured out the SECRET to strength and conditioning.

I like egotism, I think it creates some really interesting people! There is nothing wrong with having confidence in what you do and standing up for what you believe in – but you do always have to keep yourself in check otherwise you will stop learning and developing as a coach. Professional development is everything: especially if people are placing their trust in you.

I will listen to anybody about anything, but the second they say that you should only train in neutral positions and only practice perfect posture and they are a coach? We are going to have a discussion, and if they don’t immediately change their mind… we’re going to have a debate….. and if they still don’t change their mind, we’re going to have a punch up. And I’ll probably let them punch me, just so that they break their little weak ass wrists. Bitch.

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The number one thing I end up changing about someone’s training when they are in pain or stuck with breaking PR’s is their lack of focus to joint mobility

The body is capable of amazing things and personally I think everyone should devote some time everyday to discovering something about themselves. My angle on training is that there are obvious positions which are best for generating force and building strength: your squat, your deadlift, barbell pushing and pulling, but the number one thing I end up changing about someone’s training when they are in pain or stuck with breaking PR’s is their lack of focus to joint mobility. Look at how many different positions you can flex your elbow in just by slightly changing the rotation of your shoulder, my argument is:

If you overload and strengthen one position out of ten possible positions three times a week and completely neglect the others, how can there be no repercussions?

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My training is always geared towards, well firstly having fun, but secondly, being able to do anything I want to do and not get hurt. Preparing your joints for any eventuality is the best way to avoid injury and coincidentally get crazy strong. No matter how much you can squat there is still always a chance that you have to jump out of the way of a car and land funny on your ankle, if that’s the first time your ankle ever ends up in an unfavourable position… good luck. I can walk on my hands… still managed to walk into a table this morning – accidents happen, but you can prepare.

Neglecting time to the things that COULD happen makes you only half the athlete you could be.

In anything that require rapid changes in direction and contact, requiring you to move reactively and fast, you are not going to end up in a perfect square on optimal position with all of your joints stacked and in line: that’s called life. It doesn’t mean you don’t practice “good” movement, as that is the way you ultimately WANT to move, but it doesn’t necessarily mean you will move that way when your team is losing or you are getting punched in the face. Neglecting time to the things that COULD happen makes you only half the athlete you could be. I’m pretty sure when someone is going to tackle you they don’t really have your knee health for the next twenty years in mind… they want the ball.

The safest way to get a simplified method to learn about how to strengthen your joints is… starting gymnastics when you are five. If you are not five anymore though you may have to work backwards from whatever way your body has ended up from your current movement history. For me that was zero, I had a score of zero movement. Your own personal structure can play a role in how well you can move but the largest part is your brain. If you haven’t moved your body in a way before or for a long time, your brain will deem that range of motion as either dangerous or just not needed. This is where REAL training begins: rewriting your own mind/body connection, how cool is that!?

If something goes left, check if it goes right, if something goes up, check it goes down, if something rotates, check it’s smooth, and with all of those things, check if they work under tension. I’m tired now, think I’m going to finish here…

But yeah, move more, in all directions, as often as possible.