The First Step

Confucius said that “Even a journey of a thousand steps begins with the smallest step”.

In the world of training most people skip the first step and try to go directly to something fancy, fun and impressive looking.

So much of our training life is spent trying to gain strength and fitness, but is it what we really need? Most people could really benefit from gaining some extra movement skill, joint mobility and flexibility first. What good is loading up a squat if you can only squat half depth with poor form?

And so the continuum of training should be: mobility, stability, strength and then finally conditioning. If I could liken it to a car imagine having a car with bald tires, wheels out of line, no brakes and dodgy suspension. Then we drop a new engine in the car and take it to the track. It’s great going in a straight line but what happens when you arrive at turn 1 faster than you’ve ever been before with no brakes, wheels wobbling all over the place and a car that won’t steer?

If that is your body you wind up hurt.

Wouldn’t it make more sense to put new tires on your car, get the wheels balanced, new suspension and a full service before dropping a new engine in?

In the realm of training, learning how to stabilise a load is pretty much the first thing that is expected of a client. As soon as anyone, whether they are in shape or not, enters a gym they are expected to lift weights. But if someone isn’t able to stand with good posture, or walk with the body held in good alignment then how can they be expected to keep proper alignment when lifting an external load?

Andrew Lock, physiotherapist to the stars has said that bodyweight training is like the primary school of physical training. Without developing these essential skills that we can use for the rest of our lives everything else we do is compromised. As Grey Cook says “there is no point stacking fitness on dysfunction”.

If bodyweight is essential skills and similar to primary school then barbells and dumbbells are like high school. A big step forward. But again, if you can’t achieve a full controlled movement, pain-free with just bodyweight what point is there in adding load? So while resistance training is a great tool it is a further step up the chain.

The final step is university level movement skills. And this is where kettlebells come in. By having to be balanced in an extra plane they create a much bigger demand on postural awareness and dynamic balance. Where barbells and dumbbells only have to be lifted against gravity which only works straight up and down, the kettlebells has to be balanced in a forward and backward manner because of its pendulous nature.

So the very first thing people should do is to take a look at well thought out bodyweight training programs. One of the best known bodyweight training books in the world is Pavel Tsatsouline’s Naked Warrior. This has been the number two best seller on Amazon.com’s fitness books list! It’s available now through Dragon Door Australia. Don’t waste another second on performing training that your body is ill prepared for. Learn the secrets of full body tension, muscle irradiation and how to protect your spine and shoulders during dynamic movement.

Contact us now or visit the website for more details.

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