Strength: noun. the ability to overcome.

The Key To Success: Becoming A Student of Your Body

by GEOFFN on January 19

My buddy Adam T. Glass has been posting a lot on his success and results with biofeedback. Biofeedback is simply communicating with your body about its opinion of what you’re doing. It is a form of autoregulation, which is kind of a fancy way to say intuitive/instinctive training.

Regardless of how you define it, it’s good stuff.

I’ve been using this over the past two weeks to guide my training. I’ve built a small foundation from my 30 day experiment in December but what I discovered was absolutely startling:

After 4 years of Z-Health, my body no longer likes most mobility work and is craving heavy stability and strength training.

That’s the good news.

The bad news is all the Z I’ve done has stripped me of most of my compensations, and therefore many of my strength patterns. So I am left with imbalances and weaknesses!

This really isn’t bad news at all – it’s actually quite exciting. It allows me to truly find my weaknesses and eliminate them. To do so, I am using new and exciting exercises and making rapid progress on them. The biofeedback has been amazing.

Here is what I’ve noticed in the last 2 weeks:

  • My strength is up
  • My lean body mass is up
  • My body fat is down
  • My scale weight is up between 3 and 5 pounds
  • My posture is much improved
  • My energy is up
  • My powers of focus and concentration have improved

What do I attribute this to really?

Just finally listening to my body. After 20 years, I’ve stopped treating my body as my slave and seeing it more as a servant, a good employee, a partner to my mind and will even.

As hesitant as I was to do my 30 day experiment with the Program Minimum, it was arguably one of the best things I’ve done for my body in a long, long time.

Another thing I did that I strongly recommend that everyone who owns and uses a kettlebell should do, is pick up a copy of my very good friend Brett Jones’ Kettlebells From the Ground Up… It is arguably one of the most under-rated and wonderfully beneficial programs you can do for your body. And the results are very fast – like in the same training session.

Here’s a case in point: I took a couple of my clients through some Kalos Sthenos inspired Get Up movements tonight and it opened both of them up in different ways. We tested their 2 Hand Swing between each set and the Swing just got cleaner, tighter, and crisper. So not only are we opening the body with safe mobility work and creating more efficient movement patterns, we can start to cement those patterns with load – the Swings.

For as much controversy as the Kalos Sthenos created in the kettlebell community last year when it was released, it truly is an epic piece of work.

(Ok, I’ll move on – I realize I’m off topic – point is – you need it and are cheating yourself if you don’t get it…)

Back to becoming a student of your body.

So learning how to listen to my body with regards to loading it, whether my mind wants to or not, has been highly beneficial so far. I’ve created new mobility, stability, and strength in both hips, which was the point of doing all this in the first place. Unfortunately, I’ve had to depart from what my mind wanted to do on many days. The great part has been competing against myself to become better in each training session. And I have.

I test out some of my newfound strength on old movements. My barbell clean baseline has moved up from where it was last year. I’ve still got about 25kg to go until I meet old baseline numbers, but I’m sure that gap will close very quickly as I give my body what I need.

I have also regained my overhead squat. I no longer need to look down at the floor. This, although a good idea at the time, was an aberrant movement pattern. I was using eye reflexes to initiate gross core musculature activation and stability instead of its natural reflexive pattern. I can now look straight ahead without any pain in the hips or knees and keep my torso much more upright. As a result, I can *almost* do a kettlebell Sots Press. Almost. I’ve never been able to do those. Now I know why…

So what’s my point with all this – where am I going?

First, you need to know what your body likes and needs. Because what your mind wants may not be what your body needs at this time. As an aside, I have a theory about body fat and this, but I’ll discuss that in the future… So how do you do that?

Simple. Three things:

  1. Get a training journal. Write down everything you do.
  2. Check your movement ability before and after each exercise. If you are moving better after each exercise, it’s good for you and your body likes it. If your moving worse, it’s a bad movement for you – at least on that day. Make sure you record this in your journal.
  3. Review your training journal before and after every workout – to check progress or lack thereof – and do the same on a weekly basis. Look for trends.

And that’s pretty much it. Nothing fancy. Nothing over the top. But, if you start doing this – becoming a student of your body – a partner with it if you will, then you will make faster progress than you are used to, perhaps faster than you can imagine.

I’ll keep you up to date with my progress. Try this out and let me know of yours.

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