2020 has brought many things – not least of which the closure of gyms around the world. So, I get it, we’re working out at home. Maybe you’ve hired an online trainer, maybe you’ve purchased virtual fitness classes, maybe you’ve got yourself following a free program you found online. Sadly, sports and exercise related injuries are through the roof. People doing bad workouts coming from a place of self punishment really grinds my gears. So, I’m meeting the market where it’s at. Starting this week, I’ll be posting one workout every week, designed to fit most, with little to no equipment required. Stay tuned.
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No sources, just some thoughts.
***I’m not a doctor this isn’t medical advice always consult your doctor before doing anything
When a majority of your cells are healthy, you are healthy.
When your cells are given enough energy and produce enough energy, you are healthy.
Mind your own health by minding the health of your cells.
The immune system is comprised of wwhite blood cells and bacteria. Namely, it’s bacteria. You’ve got trillions of bacteria living INSIDE and outside your body. The ones INSIDE your cells are mitochondria – producing energy for you. The ones OUTSIDE your body are on your skin, mucous membranes (eyes nose ears mouth gut and lungs). Of course, there’s interaction between the bugs inside and outside the body. Autoimmunity is defined as an immune response run hay-wire, where the immune system attacks your own cells. Why would it do this?
Pathogens – viruses fungi and bacteria, all share a common strategy during ACUTE infection. They target the mitochondria inside your cells. Your mitochondria, being bacteria, less complex than your own cells, make easy targets for these invaders. Mitochondria are simply bacteria which we have a symbiotic relationship with – we provide them with energy, they provide us with energy. Namely, we provide them with input protons and electrons, and they provide us with ATP, CO2, and water. Yes, mitochondria produce water in the process of converting protons and electrons into ATP.
So, with pathogens targeting your mitochondria (think, lyme, candida, mold, the flu, or cancer) we’re at a risk of our cells having hijacked engines (mitochondria). Inside of one of your liver cells, for example, there might be some mitochondria producing energy efficiently for you, for healthy cellular respiration, and there might be some mitochondria in that same cell which are hijacked by a pathogen. While your overall vitality is high, stress is low, and energy is high, the hijacked mitochondria probably will just do nothing. However, in times of stress, our bodies begin to conserve energy, and it is during these times which underlying infections can manifest. For example, inorganic iron, a common excess mineral in most people’s bodies, feeds yeasts and bacteria while being more or less unavailable to our own cells (we need heme-iron, converted by an animal). You take a shower in water from a well with very high levels of iron, and your body is suddenly flooded with iron. This iron lends energy and resources to underlying infections, and suddenly, the mitochondria which have been hijacked by the pathogens start producing energy.
This is when you want an immune response. Except – the buggers are INSIDE your cells. So, your white blood cells work overtime, attacking YOUR OWN CELLS which are producing energy for the pathogens.
From a more distant perspective: ask yourself, how are you fighting yourself? Are you giving energy to activities/people/pursuits which don’t quite ring true?
Consider the other side of the spectrum: a person, or better yet, an animal, who has absolute sovereignty over their thoughts and actions. They always step precisely where and how they mean to step. They never second guess themselves. All of the energy being produced in their body is being very efficiently managed and directed towards the preservation and happiness of that creature.
Don’t starve yourself trying to starve out the disease – most infections occur from a lack of energy, not an excess.
When a majority of your cells are healthy, you are healthy.
When your cells are given enough energy and produce enough energy, you are healthy.
Mind your own health by minding the health of your cells.
Where’s Your Head At?
If you’re going to pay for a membership, spend the time and gas to get yourself to the gym – it’s worth considering the purpose behind each calorie you spend there. Setting goals for yourself is worthwhile – it’s much easier to stay committed when you know what it is you’re moving towards – and why. Because you might be training for any number of reasons, I’d like to offer some very general advice here.
We only ever have the ability to change that which we first choose to observe.
External Focus versus Internal Focus.
If you want an example of extreme external focus – consider the power-lifter. His joints are achy after years of training at extremely heavy weights. He’s wrapped them in spandex sleeves as a temporary analgesic for the meet. He smells ammonia seconds before walking up to the platform, and with maximum psyche – he tries to pull the heaviest weight he can off the ground. His training logs are filled with numbers – how much weight he has been moving. Or, consider the marathon runner. His training log is again filled with numbers of his times and distances. He measures the value of each session in terms of speed and distance.
Contrast this with the yogi, or the bodybuilder. Yes, the two have far more in common than you might think. Both pursue a deeper connection to the internal sensations during their practice. Both measure the value of each session by a sense of mindfulness in the desired part of their body – for the yogi it might be a stretch through their side-body – for the bodybuilder it might be a juicy pump in his inner quads.
Let me say that there are appropriate applications of internal focus and external focus no matter what your goals in the gym may be. For the average gym-goer, an appropriate external focus might be how long they stayed on the treadmill, and an internal focus would be on the muscles being fatigued while performing lat pull-downs.
External focus is a little bit easier to observe. If you want to stay on the treadmill longer – you check the clock and trudge along. Internal focus, in my experience, often requires some practice and time to develop. It’s not always easy to determine which muscle is producing the movement until you keep directing your mind’s eye within your own skin. However, if your goal in performing lat pulldowns, for example, is the contraction and stimulus for your lats to grow – you better be confident that it is your lats indeed contracting to produce the movement. Before you can alter the way in which your body is producing movement, you must first be able to collect clear information from your body about the way it is producing movement. The specific intent you apply will determine the tension which produces the movement.
Put your mind behind your movement.
Both external focus and internal focus are worthy. Simply focusing on the task at hand – be it a faster mile run or a better pump in your hamstrings – is the first step to making your training more conscious and fruitful to your goals.
Not many things grind my gears like the dissemination of misinformation. Here’s a quick and dirty 5 myths that really just don’t stand up, and we’d all do better to forget about.
- Flexibility is Mobility
Flexibility and mobility are definitely not synonymous. It was inevitable that following the fitness world’s rediscovery of the barbell, thanks to crossfit (seriously, they’ve been the standard since the 1930s), and the glorification of “functional, full body movements” that enough injured, stiff, physically incompetent individuals would see value in achieving range of motion. So we got ROMwods. We started rolling around on the ground on foam rollers – we tried ten different “glute activation” drills before leg day. Being immersed in this, on the floor of a gym, trust me, the payouts for people’s efforts just aren’t there. Lasting changes in motor control and tissue just aren’t happening. Active efforts yield active results, passive efforts yield passive results. Thanks for the succinctness, Dr. Spina. My FRC certification seminar really sunk the point home. Flexibility is defined by the ability of tissue to passively be mobilized. Mobility is defined by the ability of a joint, the place at which movement occurs, to actively produce movement. Consequently, it’s entirely possible to achieve flexibility in any given tissue by applying continued, progressive, external forces, at the tissue’s end range of motion, in order to convince the body to allow movement there. These efforts do not translate to the ability of the joints involved expanding their force producing and absorbing capacity, ie. their mobility. “Lengthening” one’s hip flexors by driving the front of your pelvis onto a foam roller, will not give you stronger end range hip extension, say, at the top of your power snatch. Actively training end range hip internal rotation however, might be a good place to start.
- Fats are bad for you.
I’m a personal trainer. NOT a nutritionist. Still, people love talking to me about food. When people want to talk nutrition with me, however, and their questions reveal that they’re seeing fat as something to be avoided, I admit, those conversations rarely proceed. We’ve been eating all kinds of crazy things for the duration of our species, some with more success than others, and in the past hundred years, we’ve managed to both glorify and demonize every macronutrient (fats, carbs, proteins, fiber?) Sadly, fat still seems to be the most misunderstood, despite the relative popularity of the ketogenic diet. To be as brief as possible on the topic: fats are essential to the human diet. We lack the ability to synthesize fats from other macronutrients and therefore rely on a dietary source. Human tissue is made up of proteins and fats. Your brain in particular is essentially all fat. What kind of fat? The good ones? The bad ones? All of them. Cholesterol is necessary for the manufacture of every hormone in the body. Omega 3s? Yeah, every cell in your body desperately needs DHA, an omega 3 fatty acid, exclusively found in seafood, to achieve electrical coherence with your brain and nervous system. How are fats bad for you? Fats are bad when consumed in high amounts, in conjunction with high sugar or carbohydrate foods. Nature provides the simplest model: very few ecosystems will provide high sugar foods simultaneously with high fat foods. Giving your body primarily fat, or carbohydrates, as a fuel source, is the reasonable choice. Even then – on the high carb route, your body still needs fat for cellular repair. Finally, fats are bad for you when they’re bad fats. What’s a bad fat? Vegetable oil. I’m pointing specifically at canola oil, sunflower oil, corn oil, palm oil, and soybean oil. Highly processed, these fats are little more than economic and agricultural glut, loaded with pro-inflammatory omega 6s.
- Salt is bad for you.
Reduce your salt intake – prevent hypertension, control risk for cardiovascular disease. Whoops – looks like more epidemiologically based bogus. Thanks to the work of Dr. James Nicolantonio, author of the Salt Fix http://thesaltfix.com/ – leaders in world health are starting to revise the reduced salt recommendation. My two sense? The correlation between high salt intake and coronary heart disease might be there – clouded by numerous other factors though, like, lack of physical activity, consumption of high sugar + high fat foods, obesity, etc. A better question is – what’s salt good for? When we eat salt and fat together the trigger to our stomach and gall bladder is strong and clear – produce bile, become acidic, turn food to energy. This is absolutely critical to digestion. High stomach acidity is required for the production of key enzymes to be secreted. Sufficient pancreatic enzyme activity is required for food break down and therefore nutrient absorption. The more you digest, thanks to a fiery, acidic, stomach, the more you can absorb. The more you absorb, the better nourished you are, the fewer bottomless cravings you get, etc. Additionally, it’s worth mentioning that the majority of our water absorption occurs at the large intestine. The only way water ever makes it there, however, is when enough salt is present with the food consumed in order to assist passage and absorption of the meal in the small intestine. Think you need to eat an alkaline diet to keep your blood alkaline? You need an acidic intestinal ph in order to prevent the fermentation of starches and growth of pathogens in your guts, which provides a buffer for your blood, which is yes, ideally alkaline. Still targeting an alkaline blood state? Start practicing buteyko breathing. https://www.buteykobreathing.org/
Also – Andrew Mente, Martin J. O’Donnell, Salim Yusuf; Extreme Sodium Reductions for the Entire Population: Zealotry or Evidence Based?, American Journal of Hypertension, Volume 26, Issue 10, 1 October 2013, Pages 1187–1190, https://doi.org/10.1093/ajh/hpt148
- Fiber is necessary.
I know, I said I’m not a nutritionist, trust me, I’ve got more on exercise in a moment. What’s fiber anyway? By definition, fiber is that which is indigestible to the human body. When we eat fiber it doesn’t get absorbed in the stomach or the small intestine – it goes straight to the large intestine. Here’s where we’re told that “good bugs” living in there will digest these plant stuffs and somehow bestow good health upon us. Here’s the problem – study of the human intestinal biome is in its infancy. We have no clue what the markers of a “healthy” intestinal biome are – we aren’t even too sure what the primary inputs to changes in the gut biome are – though diet, exercise, and light are the top contenders. So before we go munching brussel sprouts and raw peppers for that bulky bug food, let’s see why else we’re told to eat fiber. To encourage bowel movements? Sure, adding more indigestible stuff to your diet will increase the mass entering your large intestine, leading to, well, bigger bowel movements. Question is – is this ideal? Epidemiology aside, this one study really makes it clear. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3435786/
Basically, patients with chronic constipation saw significant improvements in just two weeks of a very low fiber diet compared with those who made no changes. It’s definitely not my analogy, but if the problem is a traffic jam, nobody ever recommends adding more cars…
- Daily cardio is optimal for heart health
Aerobic exercise – moving your body with a heart rate elevated for long durations of time. Somehow we got ourselves convinced that this was the best thing we could offer our hearts. Let’s remember for a second that the heart is a muscle itself – involuntary, sure, but a muscle nonetheless. It plays an important job in circulating blood and keeping our cells oxygenated, allowing our mitochondria to produce energy for muscular contraction and cellular function. What do we know about muscles though? That healthy muscles contract and relax, produce and absorb force at various intensities. You want a stronger quadricep? Stress the muscle, challenge it’s present capacity – trigger a super-compensatory response, allow adequate time for recovery and try again, odds are you’re stronger. Why would the training of cardiac tissue be any different? Asking the heart to function at elevated output for extended periods of time might be a great way to trigger hypertrophy and improve aerobic respiration. Repeating the same effort day after day? Sounds like overtraining. Nobody lifts the same weight every day, performing the same exercise, hoping to challenge a skeletal muscle to grow. The heart absolutely needs a similar window of time for recovery. Sure, low intensity steady state cardio sessions can happen everyday, and as long as they’re easy enough, won’t lead to overtraining. Is this the best strategy for optimizing cardiac output? VO2 max? Aerobic respiration? Not quite…
Get in touch with me if you’ve got any questions!
Well, this is definitely just an introduction.
Inflammation in the body is sort of complicated. But I’m here to suggest that maybe we’ve been looking at it from the wrong perspective. Looking at the word itself we see that if something is inflamed it’s probably hot. Now, physicists and scientists, in particular, Gerald Pollack, have been showing some very curious distinctions between heat, temperature and higher energetic charge, but for the sake of my argument let’s stick with the existing consensus that these three things are relatively interchangeable. So back to the word inflammation, we can infer that if something’s inflamed it might be hotter, have a higher temperature, and transitively, have a higher positive charge.
What’s a higher positive charge look like? Cellular charge is, in my opinion, the beginning of biophysics. Higher positive charges equate to there being an excess of protons in the atoms of a cell. This is exactly what the new science of biophysics is showing us: inflamed cells have a higher positive charge than healthy cells.
Protons have a positive charge – electrons have a negative charge.
That’s literally all the physics you need to understand for this. While from a biochemical perspective, the human body is a closed system (calories in=calories out) it really leaves out a big part of the picture. Calories simply aren’t the only form of energy we absorb or expend. As it turns out, we really aren’t closed systems. From a physics perspective, or specifically, a biophysical perspective, we are quite open – open to our environments. Our bodies absorb radiant energy from the sun in particular, but all spectrum’s of light, as well as exchanging energy through our bare feet in contact with the earth. All it takes is those rubber soled insulators you stuff your feet in to close your system off from the ground. Ask any electrician how important it is to safely ground the wiring in your house and you’ll get a quick yes, it’s important. If too much positive charge builds up in an electrical system, problems arise quickly. Inflammatory conditions fall into perspective much more neatly when we recognize that our body’s are indeed open electrical systems. Taking this electrical energy into account through a perspective educated with simple physics, it becomes evident that no matter how much curcumin and bone broth you swallow, if your body doesn’t have access to a ground, eventually you’re going to build up a positive charge that it can’t balance.
Biochemistry is super complicated science. I’ve put in my time studying nutritional and digestive health, and believe me, it’s murky water. Biophysics isn’t much easier, and it’s unfortunately not getting the attention or funding it warrants. What is simple and abundantly clear to me is that we are indeed open systems. We collect positive charge (too many protons) from things like stress, light, exercise, or inflammatory foods, and because of the way we live our lives (disconnected from the earth) we accumulate this positive charge. If you’re reading between the lines, you’ll know that the point of this article is to showcase the electron. The electron is the negatively charged particle that you’re starving for. Think of it as the superfood of all superfoods if you will. Where are you getting electrons? Well, in part, from the food you eat, but more importantly, from the ground itself. Take your shoes off and put your barefeet on the ground, take maybe five minutes to breath, and you’ve radically changed the charge inside your whole body. Stuck inside? Moving water, in particular, cold moving water, carries an exceptionally strong negative charge (electrons). While anybody who knows me knows I love cold showers, you can reap the benefits of these balancing electrons simply by running cold water on your wrists. Yep, you can wash away inflammation.
If any of this peaks your interest, I couldn’t more strongly recommend you examine this meta analysis of “grounding” https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3265077/, followed by basically any podcast featuring Dr. Jack Kruse, or his website https://jackkruse.com/. Lastly, if you think the idea that water is electrically conductive and 99% of the molecules in your body are water is worth examining, read the Fourth Phase of Water by Gerald Pollack.
Welcome to biophysics.
In my experience there are essentially two types of people – those working out too much – and those who workout too little. “Too much” and “too little” however, deserve definitions. Nearly everything we do adds stress to our body’s which must be cleared during sleep. Exercise is stressful. Working out is particularly stressful because it’s a concentrated amount of movement in a short period of time. As I mentioned in a previous article – the autonomic nervous system (subconscious) works in two gears – sympathetic (expressing energy) – and parasympathetic (receiving energy). So what I really find in the majority of the athletes I work with is a sympathetic dominance – they express too much energy too often and therefore show signs of burnout, overtraining, under-recovering, etc. On the other side of the spectrum are those struggling to lose weight – their musculatures and nervous systems have forgotten how to express energy as quickly as they receive energy, and so they carry that energy as fat. While it’s possible that they exist in a parasympathetic state more often than not – simply being fat does not mean that you have no stress. Fat storage is actually a very common stress response – as the body enters shock mode it tries to meet that stressor with additional energy. The trouble here being that often times our stressors are not physical and do not require more calories. Enough about stress for now.
Just because working out is stressful doesn’t mean it’s going to have a negative effect on our health. Working out is a luxury – an expression of energy we have acquired because we are fortunate enough to live in a state of relatively strong food security. We train to acquire physical ability not yet possessed. This process is simple: work hard, rest, grow, repeat. Seeing it in this light, there are two pieces of advice I have for the two majorities I’ve found in the population. To all the gym goers and athletes, people already exercising consistently: if you’re training even just three times a week, but don’t look forward to your next workout, take more days off. If you don’t feel energized, chances are, you’re not done recovering. If the goal of your training is ultimately to improve your health, shouldn’t you be feeling healthier day to day?
To all the people who’ve done less than three intense workouts in the past two weeks: walk more. Walking is the activity which humans have evolved to spend the most time doing. While walking, neither your heart nor your muscles are taxed – but both are in motion. Body’s in motion stay in motion. Chances are if you consistently walk for an hour every evening, you’ll be feeling much more energized and fight less internal resistance on the way to the gym next time.
Finally, some general guidelines in terms of exercise frequency, assuming all outside life stressors are accounted for. High intensity cardiovascular exercise, or HIIT sessions are roughly on equal ground with a lower body weight training session. They tax your respiratory systems and musculatures, respectively, but both leave the nervous system shocked. For 90% of the population: make the days before and after such intense sessions considerably less demanding. This doesn’t mean you shouldn’t remain in motion. If you’re looking to workout on these days, keep things less taxing in general. Think a low heart rate cardio session lasting no more than an hour. For the weight lifters: target your small muscle groups (arms and calves). Weekly, this means most people can recover from 3-4 intense sessions, and 2-3 gentler workouts. Keep energy balanced – keep growing stronger.
Have you ever wondered what determines your energy swings throughout the day? Our bodies do not and cannot stay in one gear all the time. While it is somewhat simplified, your has two primary states – and it wouldn’t be an oversimplification to call them yin and yang. The nervous system is sort of a transmission system for the body, and determines whether you will be in sympathetic or parasympathetic p. To put it simply, the sympathetic nervous system is responsible for all yang energy in the body – reaction to stress, physical movement, mental acuity, all are channelled through the sympathetic. This is the gear we want to be in when we exercise, when we focus on mental tasks – such as me writing this article – when we engage in sexual activity, more broadly – when we express ourselves. The parasympathetic nervous system is responsible for the body’s yin energy. It is restorative, digestive, and receptive. You cannot actively be parasympathetic aside from one activity, meditation, and even then you might find your mind naturally arriving in a sympathetic state. Just because digesting is a trigger of parasympathetic hormones and processes does not mean that putting food in your mouth will start this response. So understanding this, here’s some tips to make sure that your meals are maximally restorative, and best digested.
- Calm down. I don’t care how hungry you are, food is nearly guaranteed to us here in the first world, your muscles will not disappear, your stomach will not eat itself. If something else is stressing you out, try taking a brisk stroll before sitting down to eat.
- Move more. Aside from sitting to eat, and resting to digest, we are meant to be bodies in motion, more hours out of the day than not. Moving more will increase your daily caloric expenditure, improve your hormonal profile, and trigger a greater restorative response from food. You’ve gotta spend some time expressing yourself, burning energy, in order to create a demand for restoration.
- Stay hydrated. Both movement and a lack of movement, in and around meals, demands more water. Exercise, aerobic and anaerobic, disturbs homeostasis, and water is the only thing which can wash you back to baseline. Things which claim to alkalize your digestive system or your cells will never compare to the healing properties of water, it’s the solvent of the whole planet.
- Sit down. Sitting allows more blood to return to the abdomen and relaxes the muscles of the low back, which are primary signallers of stress response. It is difficult to enter a parasympathetic state while your muscles are still working against gravity.
- Breathe deeply, and exhale your stress. Putting your conscious thought behind nothing but breathing has been well studied to promote restfulness, lower all markers of stress, and in short, trigger the parasympathetic. Deep breathing before a meal will help stimulate the contraction of smooth muscle in the intestines, clearing the way to absorb more nutrients.
- Chew your food. This one shouldn’t require much explanation – your stomach doesn’t have teeth! Digestion begins in the mouth with enzymes released in your saliva.
- Don’t drink anything! Drinking stimulates gastric emptying, and blood, along with water in your body, is pulled away from the digestive system – think of it as a flushing signal. Drinking water with a meal or while food remains in your stomach cuts short the time your stomach needs to break down food into workable pieces for the small intestine to absorb. With food in your stomach, you want to maximize abdominal blood flow and minimize muscular exertion – think conserving energy. Make sure you give your stomach at least 15 minutes after the last bite before you start sipping anything.
- Watch out for coffee. Coffee is really amazing stuff, and the only pre-workout I’ll ever use. That being said, it has the potential to absolutely wreak havoc on your digestive system. Caffeine is a stimulant, and stimulants stimulate the sympathetic nervous system, draw blood away from the digestive system, and put tension in the muscles of the low back and legs. Bottom line – drink coffee on an empty stomach first thing in the morning, or with small quantities of the lightest foods – think light vegan eating with coffee. Fresh fruit, honey, or coconut oil mixed right into your java are all acceptable, but of course add calories which will need to be burnt before you start mining those fat stores. Is it ok to drink coffee after a meal? Yes, but wait 3 hours at least.
- Eat significant meals. Nobody lost weight eating like a bird. The metabolism slows to a crawl and the body starts turning muscle protein into vital organ tissue. When you do sit down to eat, make sure you’re getting at least a third of your daily protein, along with some carbohydrates or fat. All three together do have some drawbacks, but nothing significant. You’re eating now with an intent to rest and repair, make sure you’re supplying a good portion of necessary materials to fuel this recovery.
- Always stop before you feel full. You don’t want a meal to be so large that it expands your stomach so much that it puts pressure on the other internal organs. Also, you only really have so much stomach acid, meaning there is a maximum amount of food your stomach can actually break down and make available at any given time. Lunch is indisputably when will be able to digest the most.
Keeping all of this in mind, understand that eating might take more time than you previously allowed, and so I recommend you plan time for eating into your days. As stressful and overfilled our modern lifestyle tends to be, eating should be a break, enjoy it!
My name is Liam Pinson, I’m a personal trainer at Optimal Self Community Health and Wellness Center on Congress Street. I work with clients specifically on correcting their movement patterns and creating a foundation for stronger, functional movement.
Depending on who you ask, and who you are – exercise can’t be too easily summed up. Within the industry, we love to debate the nitty gritty details of the “best” programming – what exercises, how many days per week, the duration of your rest intervals – but all of these factors inevitably will depend upon the personal goals of the client – and the personal opinion of the trainer. This isn’t an article like the one’s you’ve probably seen – “five new moves to a six pack” “ten diet mistakes you didn’t know you were making” because those articles (I’ve read almost every single one) can’t take into consideration your current position, your habits, and your body. Every good question I’m asked about exercise and nutrition inevitably turns into a small evaluation of the person’s current routines and program – because I can’t just give people a single answer without understanding the other factors involved. When I realized this problem that just about every exercise recommendation runs into – I began to wonder what things can apply across the board – to every human being – to every type of exercise – to every kind of athlete.
These are the two I’ve come across – Quality and Consistency. When I talk about quality I mean quality of movement – taking the time to make sure your form is flawless. Whether it’s the depth on your squat, the wobbly point in your transition between warrior two and three, or your footstrike while you jog – you owe it to your joints to make sure that you’re using your muscles the right way – every single time. Remember – one good rep is worth ten flailing ones – even if you have to use half the weight you normally do. This can mean a lot of work, unlearning flawed movement patterns (we all have them) asking for help and spotters, and maybe reevaluating your exercises entirely, but your joints will thank you. Your muscles are designed to move your body in movements which your joints can handle – if you’re experiencing joint pain – I’m willing to bet part of your musculature isn’t working right. Fix this, now.
When you take the time to really learn the most anatomically friendly movement patterns for your exercise, the second factor comes much more readily. The best program is worthless unless you keep showing up. By protecting your joints through mindful movement you significantly increase the chance you’re able to show up for your next workout. Don’t pick up a program and drop it after a week – don’t drop it after a month – drop it once you reached the goals you set for yourself at the beginning. Identify the things in your life which convince you not to workout – stressful jobs, relationships, children who keep you up, can all be serious obstacles. I’m not telling you to quit your job and abandon your families to get a pump – just identify the scenarios which add up to missing a workout and see what you can do about that. It might mean waking up earlier to dodge traffic, it might mean packing extra food to keep your energy up by the time 5:30 rolls around, just remember – if it were easy, you would have already done it.
So next time you’re wondering what your program is missing, why you aren’t seeing the results you want, take a moment and make sure you’ve really got your quality of movement and consistency locked down.