Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Obligatory XKCD

There's an XKCD comic for everything (at least in my nerd world). When I saw this one, I immediately thought of Antifragile and hormetic stressors. Why is movement important? Your body won't spend resources maintaining something you don't use. The reason you body even works is that you move and give it signals that it needs to get stronger (to support the movement you do). It also gets weaker and saves resources when you don't move.

Your heart doesn't have a fixed number of beats that you use up (there is some staggering cross-species consistency in the average number of beats in a lifespan, but that's not what I'm talking about here) , your knees don't have a fixed number of bends in them, the more you use your body, the stronger it will become. That's why we lift heavy. When you max out on your deadlift - like yesterday - you're telling your body that it needs to get stronger so that the next time it sees a heavy weight it won't feel so heavy.

The work we do in the gym protects us against our sedentary lifestyle. In a perfect world, just moving through your day would give you everything you need. Even if you think you're active, look at what movement your body does. If you run, basically it's only your legs moving (in a very specific, repetitive pattern) relative to your body. If you cycle, your hips and knees only move a fraction of their full range.

I try to program a lot of different movements so that your body sees lots of different things, but I still don't get it all. Most of what we do is up-and-down in the sagittal plane*. Why don't I do more? I can't do everything or else you won't progress at all, so I pick the stuff that will give you the biggest reward for the time involved. Plus I expect you do to other things on your own (really, I expect the strength you get here to help you do other things). tl;dr - look for many ways to move, being sedentary is bad for your body.

*mini nerd rant: The fitness and movement literature talks about movement in a plane. Moving your legs back and forth like walking is movement "in the sagittal plane". Physicists and mathematicians talk about movement normal to a plane. So I would call walking "normal to the coronal plane". I hate when people redefine centuries-long definitions.


row 500 / run 400
crawling lunge
10 KB swings or snatches
double KB overhead lunge
10 TGUs or windmills
10 goblet squats
5 pull-ups or push-ups or dips


power snatch 5-3x5


5 push-ups between strength sets

Group Workout

4 rounds
0:30 hold at the top of a ring push up (scale to plank if needed)
5 heavy ground-to-overhead (barbell or kettlebell, your choice)

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