I think the notion of intensity is one of the most misunderstood aspects of training, and that this is particularly true for beginners and those who have injuries or are returning to activity post-injury.
Plyos without the less cool tools like weight training, muscle activation, foam rolling, and stretching, is almost always problematic. And unfortunately this is how they tend to be used. I can’t count how many discussions I’ve had or overheard about an awesome 45 minute plyo session. They may be fun 45 minute plyo sessions; and they may make you feel tired; but I guarantee they are not awesome.
About an hour later I started thinking about the many, many people who train themselves. In some cases, people who train themselves have good and smart programs; in others, not so good. If you train yourself, hopefully you fall into the former category, but either way, the quality of the movement is very important. When was the last time you got an objective view of your form?
My clients have to prove that they have the strength and stability, not just the will, to bench press. They do so with the bottom up KB Bench Press.
There are many causes of low back pain, and I’m far from an expert in most of them. But there is one cause in which I am quite well-versed: movements. As it turns out this is a very important one. Whether or not a person’s movement caused their low back pain, improving it often reduces their symptoms. I help people reduce their low back pain by training their movement: Stretching, strengthening, and ensuring proper form while they move. Considering that, it is probably starting to make sense for a personal trainer to be giving out advice about low back pain.
I almost always use ladders with competitive athletes for agility training, to improve foot speed, to work on coordinated movements, as well as to get the heart rate up a bit. But it turns out, they are really fun. Like in a whole different league from the chops, lifts, squats and deadlifts kind of fun. I don’t know what it is about the ladder, but people love it. They seem to love it even when they are doing a movement that they are not very good at yet. That is the part of ladder drills that is fun for me. 🙂
So why was I saving the ladders for the competitive athletes?
But here’s the secret that can hook even these weirdos who don’t love working out: Making progress is awesome. And when you work out for a while – usually it only takes a few weeks – you make progress. And hopefully you realize that you’re only on the first few steps of a long path filled with a lot of progress. And that means lots of feel good moments in your future.
Today’s entry features the Functional Movement Screen (FMS). This makes my list even though it does nothing to get you strong. That’s because it is an assessment tool. I love this tool because it helps me to see where people have problems with the fundamental way that they move, and then that helps me to create a great training program for them that will not only get them “faster, higher, stronger”, but will also help fix movement dysfunction that they have developed in life.