Monday, June 22, 2015

Office work is bad for you

So when I'm not living my dream as your strength coach, I still have a day job in an office where I pretend to know something about writing software. There are days where I'm busy and on my feet all day at the gym lifting weights, demonstrating movements, etc. There are days where I sit in meetings all day talking about how to make it easier for the drones to spy on/kill us. Guess which days I feel strong? Guess which days I get a deadlift PR? It's not the days where I'm sitting in a windowless conference room all day.

Sitting is terrible for you. I bet you're sitting reading this right now. Look at your body - what's different than when you're standing, walking, and moving throughout your day? (If you're reading this on a mobile device with your neck hunched over and a claw holding the phone, it's even worse, but we'll get to that later.) When you're sitting all day, especially with an office job where you're hunched over a keyboard typing, all of the tissues on the front half (anterior) of your body are chronically being shortened, and all of the tissues on the back half (posterior) of your body are chronically being lengthened.

Your body will mold to the shape it's in most of the time. That means the office worker has short and tight quads, short and tight hip flexors, short and tight pecs, short and tight biceps. It also means you have long and weak hamstrings and long and weak traps and lats (and a whole cacophony of muscles that attempt to control your shoulder).  You also get structural changes, like your spine curves forward giving you the attractive look of Mr. Burns.

So if you spend most of your day sitting, how do you fix this? To start, you need more than an hour in the gym to undo the 23 other bad hours. I promise to give you the tools you need and we'll give you the instruction and practice to start turning things around. I've talked to a number of you over the last week about "homework" to help the pain in your shoulders or the pain in your lower back, and every time you've been surprised that I'm not giving you extra work on your shoulders or back. It's always been something in your front that we're stretching and mobilizing. That's because we need to lengthen the front to release the pressure on the back.

We want to give you sufficient time to work on your mobility. So get to class on time, go through the on-your-own warm-up, and then spend about 10 minutes on your homework. If you don't already have homework, come find one of us we'll show you some good work for you to do. We'll be sure to give you the time to work on getting ready for the workout, we won't rush into the workout and frantically push you through the hour. We want you to all be strong and have injury-free training and have time to prepare. For those of us who spend too much time sitting in an office (or in school), we need to put some extra work in before we put the weight on the bar.

Today's workout is one where you're going to want to be able to open those hips and keep those shoulders retracted.
10 1-minute rounds:
20 KB swings