Part of me wanted to title this blog something sensational. Maybe something like:
“Training your breathing properly could be the secret to getting you ripped.”
“Proper movement training is guaranteed to put 20# on your Olympic lifts”
“Training your movement to be pain free”
“Put on ten pounds of muscle in six weeks with TTT movement training”
I’ve been told I need a "hook" to get you thinking about movement. Someone I trust told me “…no one gives a $h*t about movement so you have to make them care.” But, that’s not how I want to approach this article.
The Truth Should Be Obvious
The way we habitually move is one of the most important factors of long-term health, fitness, performance, and quality of life. If you don’t agree with that, this article is not an attempt to convince you, and I’m pretty sure you’ll come back to this idea at a time when you plateau, are injured, or are beginning to realize the impact your movement has on the aging process and how your body feels.
So, this article is being written with the assumption that we’re on the same page. We both believe we have only one body for the duration of our lives. Furthermore we agree the way we train has a major impact on how we age. I am going to attempt to give you a framework to think about movement training that is structured and systematic and were taken directly from the Training Think Tank Movement Course.
I think you’ll be able to use these concepts to improve as a coach, and ultimately create a broader scope of practice, which will help you find more success as a coach. I know this can be helpful because many coaches approach strength training, energy system training, and body composition with an organized process, but neglect to do the same with movement. I feel this is a mistake, and I hope to be able to illustrate how to make a change if you want to do so as a coach or athlete.
The Evolution of My Framework
In order to provide context for this structure, I would like to tell a little bit of a story about the evolution of my framework of movement. My understanding and application of movement training has dramatically changed over the years. That feels like a natural growth process, as our conceptual understanding of things changes as we grow.
My concept of movement was very basic and intensely emotional when I was a young athlete. Thinking about it now brings up memories of frustration and being in pain. I remember the times I was working through one of my sprains, broken bones, or torn tendon surgical repairs with a physical therapist. I can vividly recall the experience of hating the fact that I was doing basic, simple, and slow movements but still could not cope with the discomfort - or focus my mind to accomplish the task. I felt a bit emasculated by my feelings of inadequacy and wanted to return to my comfort zone, which was the wrestling mat, the gym, or the football field.
As I evolved past my athletic phase, I began my journey as a strength and conditioning coach. I was not academically trained, and I felt like I was missing out on vital knowledge about how to do things correctly. I didn’t want to train like a mindless meat-head and ignore what the movement ‘intellects’ were saying about training.
I researched explicitly and had a huge index of accessory work, but I wouldn’t know how or when to prescribe the movements. I reviewed old programs and it’s clear how much time and focus I dedicated to my strength and conditioning program, then as an afterthought I would write “20-30 min of mobility work.” This simple approach illustrated that my emotional view of movement training was changing. I was becoming a little less ignorant in that I had acknowledged that this was important enough to put in the design.
However, if I’m being real with myself, even in my own training, I would perform it when I felt like I had absolutely no energy left to give. So while I acknowledged that it was important enough to put in my designs, I was creating a culture that indicated this wasn’t really important in comparison to the rest of the structure.
In my current evolution as a coach, movement training has become one of the three foundational elements in the construction of my program designs. Movement training, energy system training, and strength training act synergistically to tailor a training program to each individuals’ needs. If you come to Training Think Tank HQ, look at a program written by a TTT coach, or go through an assessment with a TTT coach, you will see this philosophy permeating throughout the organization.
Movement training has enabled me to feel sincere gratitude for some of my past feelings of frustration as a coach and athlete. I think back to some of my younger times when I was frustrated with my pains, where I was struggling to make ends meet as a coach because I couldn’t get people to trust me, when I doubted that I was worthy of taking money from others to give them guidance on their bodies. Those insecure thoughts and feelings fueled a lot of my learning about movement. I feel in some ways I need to pay tribute to the concept of movement that has helped me build my business and reputation as a coach.
I’m at a stage now where I have organized my processes and would like to begin sharing my ideas. I am doing this in hopes I can help people find more success as coaches by encouraging them to take the first step on a long journey to find a greater sense of freedom and appreciation of the complexity of movement within people’s bodies. Below is a synopsis to help you understand what I mean when I say movement training.
Why is movement training important for most training goals?
Improve economy of motion through:
- Better biomechanical leverages to hit strength pr’s
- Improved energy cost of movement for endurance tasks
- Better control, coordination, and awareness of musculature of the body
Improve gas exchange and therefore improve metabolic processes for:
- Endurance training
Improve length tension relationships in joints that are experiencing pain
Improve ability to control arousal levels and manage stress/pain sensation