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Speech of the Week: Movement should get easier

I like to workout with my clients. 


I try to get a workout in with the majority of them once a month or so.  This is good for morale but there is actually a purposeful technique reason behind it: if I’m fully warm I can demonstrate what good movement looks like with realistic resistance.  I’m not always the strongest or the fastest but I usually move the best.  


Just like the title of this week’s speech, movement should get easier as you get stronger not more difficult


Does that sound like an oxymoron?  Then it’s something you probably need to experience.  The un-initiated observer (inactive lifestyle or poor exerciser) is liable to think “if squatting 60 lbs is really hard and makes me hurt then I NEVER want to able to squat 135lbs!  Those ‘bodybuilders’ must be mentally SICK!”  But nothing could be further from the truth.  

Human beings actually can’t lift heavy weights without a tremendous amount of coordination.  And they certainly can’t continue to lift repeatedly without the ability to recover and get stronger and without some sort of reward-system.  

When you move poorly, joints and skeletal structure get punished and smaller muscles kick in in all the wrong ways.  Yes, you can temporarily strengthen a poor movement pattern but you are limited to a short ceiling.  And when you hit that ceiling: PAIN.  

On the other hand, learn to recruit the right muscles into good movement and your body’s whole team (Nervous system, Musculo-skeletal system, Cardio-respiratory system, etc) get trained proportionally.  Progress.  Strength.  Much less pain.  

Look at someone doing bad pushups.  Doesn’t it just look painful and awkward?  Now look at a well-conditioned STUD just repping out good pushups.  It looks easy and robust and healthy.  That’s what I’m talking about.  (The same can go for squats, kettlebell swings, running, anything).     


Additional points to consider:

Are there gyms out there that grind their members into powder and leave their joints crying?  Yes. 

Is that the way things should be done?  No.  


Will you overdo it sometimes and hurt a little deeper than just good, basic soreness?  Yes.  Will you have to learn how to make some small tweaks and adjustments?  Yes. 

Should you avoid exercise? No.  

Is overtraining real?  Yes.  But breaking down on the couch is also very real. 


So you can break down, or you can break-in. 

I choose the latter.      


Full disclosure: there is a bell-curve to this. 

Folk that are hyper-strong and wading in the deep end of the pool (think 800lb + squats) are going to find that difficult.  As you approach your genetic potential, you have to expend a disproportionate amount of effort to see marginal improvements (law of diminishing returns).  But to MOST people (heck even to most athletes) that rarely applies.  


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