Sunday, January 10, 2010

The Perfect Training

Let me start with this very important question that most people do not think about but is worth taking into serious consideration.

Why does the US have more obese people than any other country in the world yet, we also produce the greatest and fittest athletes?

If you think about it, it should be the same across the board right? Fattest people, worst athletes. Or countries with the healthiest people should produce the best athletes. So why this division of extremes in our country? It is like most things in our country, things get divided. This time, not between the rich and the poor but between our best athletes and the common person.

The US even with all the temptations of modern living, sedentary lifestyle, can somehow manage to produce superior athletes. The regular gym goer may think, it's probably because athletes have more time to train. That's partly it, they make it their full time job. But that doesn't answer how our athletes are superior to other countries, even when a lot of times our athletes train for less time than other countries. We are the most advanced country in the world and it is no surprise we also have the best methods of training our athletes. Something that is not commonly shared with the regular person, not even our celebrities. Most people mistake entertainment or trainers/training with personality as training/trainers with substance. You need an architect of the perfect body not a cheerleader. Would you go to a cheerleader and ask them something a scientist would know?

Perfect training creates perfect athletes. 

Before I explain what perfect training is, let me go into what most of us do.

For most the answer is simple. We eat bad, sit too long, and don't exercise. Well there are gyms on every street corner here full of sweaty people. What about them? As I mentioned before even though people are working out and sweating, a lot of times gyms are still full of people most would consider out of shape if we saw them in street clothes. So the answer there isn't as obvious.

One of the main things is, we run too much. Americans love to run. That is a good thing but Americans also tend to do everything in excess. We are a complex machine with many systems and pieces and if all you do is run, you are only training one system in one way. Not only that you are repeating the same movement patterns, that causes pattern overload. Also our bodies adapt to new stresses very quickly. This all means doing it too much will overtime show little to no results while risking injury to yourself. One adaptation is, instead of burning calories, you enlarge your heart because of the amount of blood and oxygen your asking your body to move. This may cause even more serious problems later. It is a cardio obessed world for some of us.

We don't stretch enough. And when we do, we overstretch which leads to more injuries. You see people prior to engaging in exercise or warm up just stretch in every imaginable position. Talk on the phone, stretch. Run, stretch. Hence the popularity of yoga and pilates and ballet type fitness. You are supposed to stretch muscles and move joints within a range of motion. What most people do is stretch joints and move muscles within its range. People try to almost rip themselves apart and thinking its somehow beneficial and therapeutic. It's not. For some it is a stretch based world.

We also focus too much on the wrong muscles and try to lift too much weight. Which also causes not only injuries, but also warped muscle shapes and inefficiencies in the body. For some it's a heavy lifting based world.

We overstretch to prevent injuries, but instead we tend to hurt ourselves more. We run to make our bodies smaller but in the end we overgrow our hearts. We lift weights to try to become better athletes but in the end it hurts our results. We get too caught up in one thing. If I were to ask you, what's most important, money, happiness, or meaning? And you picked one of the answers. You would be wrong. It's a trick question. To have a good life you need all three. If you were a fighter, would you only learn to punch? That's half fighting. You need to learn to do it all, punch, kick, wrestle, etc.

So to be fit, you can't focus on any one thing. You have to balance them all together and do them correctly. Especially for those starting out, they just do cardio. Let me ask you this. Without muscle, how will you burn calories? Are you expecting your fat to burn your other fat? You are trying to fat burn, but you don't have that much muscle so what will your body use while running to burn calories?

Without muscle, you can't burn fat. You can't build muscle without endurance. You can't build endurance without stability. There is a science and a method to fitness and physical training. Without science or method, you are basically going to the gym and hoping to accidentally get in shape. NO ONE ACCIDENTALLY GETS IN SHAPE!

Our athletes train in a specific order. They also make sure to prehab (type of conditioning to prevent injury). They treat their bodies like a very expensive piece of machinery. They don't focus on any one thing and also don't train everything at the same time.

We are machines engineered from the inside out. Like how a baby is made in the womb, there is a reason it had to happen in that order. If you want your work outs to recreate for you, a new better you, you better also work out in that order.

When we were made, it was our nervous system first, blood and oxygen systems, and then muscles. You must also train your nervous system first. All athletes and even martial artists first control their nerves, control their breathing, then get their muscles ready before their events right? Same thing in how you train. This is how you will peak, this is how you will maximize your results. Putting effort into the correct areas at the right time.

Someone who comes to me and tells me they are in great shape because they run a lot, I would challenge them with this. If you were going to explore outer space and you needed a spaceship, would you pick one that could go only straight forward in a moderate speed? Or would you pick a spaceship that could not only go forward and back, up and down, and move in all directions and axises, but do it while changing speeds or directions at will? Which would you feel safer to explore the universe with? Which is a more fit vessel? Which would break down less? Now instead of a ship its your body, and now its no longer outer space but life. And which would you feel safer in moving through life?

This is why most people think they are healthy yet statistics tell us otherwise. This is what most of our athletes already know. Imagine how liberating your life is, when you were no longer trapped in your body but now free to move about and be safe in whatever life threw at you. The perfect training WILL create the perfect athlete. Whether you know it or not, all of us are athletes. Just some of us train better than others.
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