Thursday, 04 August 2011

The Unavoidable Guido

Across the world, in parks, gyms and any place 'to be seen', you will find the typical and unavoidable Guido.

This rough and nondescript stereotype, can be found either in the local USN section of a health store, non discreetly flexing his juice filled biceps, whilst on a break from his panel beating job. Or by night, cruising the main streets looking to pick a fight or attempting to out stage the bouncer at a local club. Who spends more time picking out the appropriate gel for his overdone hair-do then he does with his girlfriend.

These typical adolescent young males of our generation are what gives our industry a greasy name.  These guys are about appearance and not ability, flash and not function.

We are constantly being told by the media that we need to sign up at the local gym, that we need to purchase their overpriced verimark equipment and monster protein shakes in order to flex those pecs like the rest.  We are being sold lifelong contracts to facilities with glorified and expensive scientifically engineered machines.
If we are not wearing those R3000 trainers and designer sports bra's we are not going to get the results we strive for.

What complete an utter nonsense. The money driven world has given you this vision. You don't need all this to reach the pinnacles of strength and fitness - all you need is your body, some clothes you can sweat it, your two bare feet, the right knowledge and a bucket load of determination.

Machines, equipment, fancy tools and designer spandex give you all 'show', and no 'go'. Don't even get me started on steroids, while they quickly developing your muscles at an incredibly fast rate, your joints are being left to tether. You taking 10 steps backwards and no steps forward.

Bodyweight training, my methods of training progressively strengthen your joints for life. At the end of the day, why do you exercise? Why do you seek fitness?.... For longevity, strength, endurance, power, athleticism... bodyweight training will give you that tenfold, real nervous power, stamina, inner strength and conditioning for true ability not just for show.

I weigh a whole of 49kg and can probably drop and give you 50 without breaking a sweat, or hold a plank for 5 minutes without as much as a shiver, why you may ask? Because I train for function, for ability.

Next time you wondering around the local gym, take a look around, tell me what you see.  All muscle, pumping away at the pec dec, pressing iron on the leg press - when in your life have you been in a situation that has called for you to press 250kg when lying in submission with your legs in the air?  If this was so necessary - why would George Hurst have invented 'the jaws of life' when one could surely just pull themselves out of a wrangled mess?

Its about understanding the science of movement, compound, isolated and ballistic exercises, the benefits, and the development of functionality.

Learn to train your body for life.

* Inspired by Convict Conditioning

To plank, or not to plank, that is the question.

The craze of 'planking' has taken the world by storm.  Even if you live in a cave, this phenomenon has hit you hard in the face.  The logic of this movement is however left for those who really have nothing better to do with their time, then to place themselves face down on arbitrary props.  The only benefit I seize to find here is that it makes people smile and is good for the soul.

Performing an actual 'plank', the isometric exercise for raw core strength is done by placing your elbows below your shoulders, stretching out and balancing on your toes.  Simple right? I find this exercise to be more mentally challenging then physical on so many levels.

As much as it requires a strong core, this challenging exercise strengthens your arms, your abdominal muscles and strengthens your lower back, its imperative that you keep your pelvis lifted and stabilize your lower back by engaging your core muscles.

This mind boggling, simple yet 'tough as nails' exercise is brutal.  Lets start talking numbers, once you have put in a full minute of this exercise and felt those flames being thrown from your abdomen you will begin to understand the extent of the plank.  You will begin to understand why I say this is mentally challenging.

Physically, depending on your level of strength and fitness after a few minutes you will literally be shaking like a leaf, sweat will drip out of your every pore like the Ganges in monsoon season, and this is when your mental abilities will kick in.  Gold Coast's Paul Drinan at 68 years old did not break the world record of 33 minutes on physical ability alone. You need the mental power of a yogi to be smashing back those minutes.

And why you may ask would you put yourself through the physical stress of such a simple movement?  The plank blasts energy transfer between your lower and upper body, strengthens your inner core muscles that support your joints, improves flexibility in your posterior muscles, improves your posture and with the muscle development you are torching fat like a blowtorch on a petrol tank..

Like a silent sniper sitting in the distance, focus, timing and precision.