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Thursday, November 3, 2011

Training Movements... Not Muscles

One of the most common questions I get during a training session is "What muscle does this work?"  This is both a complicated and very simple question to answer.

Burpees:  All of them
Squats: All of them
Pullups: All of them
Pushups: All of them
Thrusters: All of them
Wall Balls: All of them
You get the idea...

When training functional movements, I am not thinking about training muscles, I am training movement.  By functional, I mean movements performed by humans in the real world like sitting and standing, running, picking stuff up...  These are movements which were vital to our development as a species.  These are movements which get us through the day.  Without these movements we become shells of what we are as humans.

When training, we are not just improving our muscles.  We are improving bone health, ligament health, tendon health, joint health, soft tissue health, hormone profile, cardio-respiratory health...  The benefits go much further than simply working out a muscle.  We are benefiting our entire body when we train.

My goal in the gym is to get people better at moving.  I want everybody to be able to stand out of a chair without assistance at the age of 90.  I want everybody to be able to perform yard work and not have back pain for a week afterward.  I want everybody to be able to place their carry on into the overhead bin on a plane.  Whatever the task may be, I want people to have the ability to complete it.

The time spent in the gym goes far beyond building muscle and losing weight.  It is about improving you as a person.  It is about gaining the ability to live life.


might be one of your best posts.
I love the fact that I am able to run to the corner (or anywhere else). I can't imagine not being able to live functionally. Yesterday I had to jump our back fence to get the dog toy, and thought, "I am glad I'm in good shape and can do that"

Thanks Chuck! That's what it's all about. Being able to live life!

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