"Every day is a game day"

When you woke up this morning, did you feel READY for the day and its physical challenges?

If you asked me that question today, I would have said YES. But then again, yesterday I would have said NO. What was the difference? Did something suddenly happen to my fitness level over 24 hours? 

The difference lies between Preparedness and Readiness. 

You might have prepared (=trained) for the big day for a long time, but it is just part of the equation – you also need to be READY, when the gun goes off or the whistle blows? The Olympians in Rio at this very moment know this paradox all too well. You can be ‘prepared’, but not ‘ready’, when it matters the most. 

Preparedness and Readiness are terms made more understandable and scientifically available by scientists behind physiological tracking systems such as Omegawave. Omegawave tracks various physiological systems and their readiness at the given moment. To give you a quick illustration, here is my result from yesterday and the day before.

 Tuesday 8/15/16

Tuesday 8/15/16

 Wednesday 8/16/16

Wednesday 8/16/16

The Windows of Trainability give you an idea of which systems are ready for development and which ones require more recovery before they are ready for a new developmental stimulation.

The concept and the principle of Preparedness vs. Readiness is a great help in optimizing each training session, whether you have access to technology or not. Just understanding the fact, that sometimes (maybe often) recovery is your best workout for getting better. And learning that sometimes (maybe often) the athlete who is more READY wins. And you can almost always improve Readiness, even when its not possible to improve Preparedness. Here is my Omegawave reading 25 minutes apart with some relaxation in between, both before the workout. While understanding that sometimes technology can give us false readings and assumptions, I would always prefer the latter state to build fitness and performance on. 

 8:45 am Wednesday 8/17/16

8:45 am Wednesday 8/17/16

 9:10 am Wednesday 8/17/16

9:10 am Wednesday 8/17/16

As the founder of EXOS performance Mark Verstegen would say: “Every day is a game day”.

Get prepared and be ready!

Tommi the Trainer

Where are you going and what are your 'movement tasks'?

In the pursuit of improving human movement abilities (function & performance) it is vital to identify a few important landmarks in order to establish the starting point, direction and distance to the goal and the key navigational factors for planning the route. Basic questions, such as ‘where do I start from?’, ‘where am I going?’ and ‘how do I get there?’ are reasonably simple, but often overlooked inquiries that could help us to our goal by guiding us towards the most optimal path in terms of effectiveness, safety and speed.

So let’s examine these questions a little bit more and start by asking…

Where am I going?

If our goal is within the realm of movement (life and/or sports), we probably have a desired ‘task’ in mind, an activity or a specific motion that we would like to enhance, improve, upgrade, repair or ,just simply, make better. The desired task is clearly one of our main landmarks on the map of better movement. The less visible the landmark of the task becomes on our journey, the easier we might get lost and confused in regards to our goal and the path to our destination. The better we understand the task in its relationship to our bodies and to our environment, the better our planning and execution of the journey can become.

movementtasks

The task can be evaluated, for example, based on the WHYs, HOWs and WHOs.

WHY = What drives us to perform that specific movement? Maybe a need to make an accurate pass or to swing the white ball as close to the little hole as possible…  Or perhaps the need to pick up a 2-year old from his car seat…

HOW = How does the body execute the motion? What is the chain reaction in our movement system that the given task initiates? What is the role of gravity, ground reaction force or momentum? How  do the body parts function biomechanically during the movement?

WHO = Who is performing the task and what are his or her individual characteristics of producing the movement? Where are they the most successful and is there potential for improvement? Maybe there is pain involved…? Or is it possible that the task is influenced by psychological or behavioral factors?

As you might notice, assessing the task and its variables might easily become quite complicated. However, the actual training and conditioning can be made simple and inspiring once the initial brainstorming is done.

One of the objectives of Movement Map is to simplify the evaluation and the training of the given task. By using the principles of Applied Functional Science AFS and with the help of Movement Map, we are able to establish the key landmarks of the movement and direct our training resources in the most efficient way.

reachtest

In summary, the analysis of the movement task is important. We can and should know at least the following points before making the plan/program of approach…

1.       The drivers of the task movement, both physiological and behavioral

2.       The general and specific biomechanics of the task movement

3.       The individual characteristics of the person performing the task movement

Thank you for your time and remember to enjoy the journey, whatever the goal!

Tommi the Trainer

'Efficiency'- get more done with less!

Someone asked me, "What is ONE WORD that I would describe my general goal of improving one’s movement with?" After an intense bout of mental gymnastics I said;  ‘EFFICIENCY’.

Many people would choose ‘strength’ or ‘flexibility’ or ‘stability’.

‘Efficiency’ however, is not exactly the trendiest term or a word that you could find on the cover of the fitness magazine attracting attention. 

So, who cares about efficiency anyway?

Well I do! And maybe you will catch some of that enthusiasm too if I can make my case well enough.

 Please, look at the general definition of ‘efficiency’, if you wouldn’t mind....

"The ability to do something or produce something without wasting materials, time, or energy." Merriam-Websters.
OR
"Efficiency
generally describes the extent to which time, effort or cost is well used for the intended task or purpose." Wikipedia

The term efficiency relates to…

  1. The intention or the goal of the action (specificity of the action or movement)

  2. The precision of the process that leads to the goal (accuracy of the process)

  3. The assessment of how well the mission was accomplished (effectiveness)

  4. The amount of energy consumed in the process (the cost or the calories required for the task)

  5. The amount of energy wasted in the process (the waste or energy potential to be preserved)

This picture illustrates what kind of layers could be found around the ‘efficiency’ of movement.

efficiencyofmovement

So now a good question would probably be; “Where is strength and endurance and all the good stuff that are always linked to the exercise and that I work for every day at the gym? “

Well if your goal is ‘movement’, which is an action towards a specific goal, you could start by assessing the quality of your movement solution to a given situation. Then you could choose tools or strategies with which to improve the quality of your movement solution. The strategies might very well consist of strength training or cardiovascular development, but they might also be more related to the quality instead of just capacity of movement, such as ‘removing obstacles from the path of movement to save energy’ or ‘increasing the accuracy of sequencing within the movement’. You just won't know until you evaluate and learn to know the individual in front of you.

 Strength without efficiency is like...

Strength without efficiency is like...

If your goal is an action or movement within the world of sports, the efficiency of your motions getting that specific task done is of an outmost importance. Efficiency in performance means goal-driven precision with effective and strategic use of the energy available.

So next time you work out, don’t think how many calories can I burn during the workout,  but how much energy can I save and still get to my goal safely and effectively. That’s efficiency!

Have a victorious New Year!

Tommi

PS: This and many other posts I have written are inspired by my journey into Applied Functional Science - AFS. (www.grayinstitute.com)

A guided journey into moving better

Life is a journey, and so is discovering better movement. It is a journey of striving forward towards a goal or goals. On our path we will encounter a few obstacles and hopefully a lot of successes. I have certainly had a journey with some of each. Even the challenges and the struggles have had a landmark of great importance as part of the process.

As a movement coach I want to guide my athletes towards their optimal capacity in sports, and in life as well. This requires constant study and reconnaissance of the terrain in between the start and the destination. The terrain is never the same and I need to have solid principles in my backpack, skills and experience to navigate through the changing environment. I carry my compass to keep me directed, my map to determine my current location and my knowledge of human function as my eyes in observing the movement. I rely only on equipment I know how to use  and  I also want to travel light. This allows me as a guide to be free and more precise and efficient in my task of taking my athlete to their desired destination.

Where are you in your journey of movement?

Which direction are you heading?

What is keeping you from destination? Got lost in the 'Valley of Nagging Pain' or stuck in the 'Marsh of the Forgotten Fun'?

mapofdiscovermovement

Enjoy the journey my friend!

Tommi the Trainer

368 Training Systems -principle: Always train all planes, stations and chains!

368 - Training Systems answered to my own need of developing a system that makes the complexity of human movement a bit more simple to put into practice in terms of training and conditioning.

The backbone of 368 is based on the following concepts:  

368codeofmovement3justapic.jpg

- that human movement occurs in three planes

- the body can be divided in 6 anatomical stations

- the muscles, ligaments, tendons and the fascia form integrated chains that are anatomically connected and that work together functionally (our system uses 8 chains)

368 concept is inspired mainly by three wise men, Gary Gray, Thomas Myers and Gray Cook, the mentors that have made the dynamic miracle of human movement a little bit easier to understand for a coach/trainer such as myself.   

368 gives me a tool through which I can observe movement and be reminded of its dimensions when planning exercise protocols and coaching athletes. 

How does 368 help me in practice? Here is a an example of that; 3-D lunges combined with upper body patterns (medicine ball). This sequence is can be used for training the chains.

Train smart!

Tommi the Trainer

Sources of inspiration:

Gary Gray www.grayinstitute.com

Thomas Myers www.anatomytrains.com

Gray Cook www.functionalmovement.com

Vern Gambetta www.gambetta.com/blog.html