The Scientific, Lab Tested and Explicit Versus the Tacit, Experienced and Observed
You have probably already realized that I’ve created an all out, no holds barred false (or true?) duality slug fest. Each with it’s own trichotomy. And you’d be right that the problem is not this simple. The issue isn’t this plain. The solution isn’t this formulaic. The process not this black and white.
And no, I am not part of the anti-science or scientism band-wagon. I believe science may just be the best “systematic” conduit to some sort of functional truth that we have created. At least as of this writing. But without the accompanying fuzzy real world experience, is scientific knowledge enough to justify professional expertise?
No. Knowledge is second hand experience. Experience is second hand knowledge. Both inform each other. Two sides of the perceptual coin. But neither one is better than the other. I can’t trust anyone who only has one side of this expertise coin covered…no matter how thoroughly.
Good Form Versus Bad Form
Stop looking at form through the binary lens of GOOD versus BAD.
View it as BEAUTIFUL form versus UGLY*.And things will fall into place much quicker and smoother.
Though there is no such thing as ” good form ” in general, there definitely are empirically identified biomechanical constraints that we probably should not push to their terminal end points (think hysteresis for proper metaphor) — to reduce injury risk and the accumulation of the potential for injury. Otherwise form is like a written signature — every Tom, Dick and Harry will write Tom, Dick and Harry in their own way — so long as they don’t write mot, kidc and rarhy.
*not for inexperienced trainers. Either get hurt and recover or go mentor under someone better than yourself. The eye for aesthetics of movement comes with time and experience.
Psychology Of Physiology
Obesity should be recognized as a psychological problem. If recognized as a problem to be or that can be “solved” at all. It’s like crime, it isn’t as much a problem as it is an expression of psychological wants meeting physiological needs designed by natural tendencies responding to nurtured cultural dogmas and beliefs.
A Hormetic Apple A Day Keeps Decay Away
Your body and mine is always trying to achieve homeostasis, bio-psychological equilibrium. But nature has rigged the game. The body chases its own allostatic tail. The minute we can remove ALL stressors is the minute we create the stress of no stress. And fall down a slippery slope of decay. The mind and the body crave disturbance, challenge and resistance. Mental, physical, cognitive and physiological. When they get their fill, they digest and absorb and change accordingly. Till they hunger and hanker again.
Feed The Work
You visualize, intuit and plan what physical alteration you are going to put the client through, and how much and what type of work that entails… THEN YOU FEED THE WORK PLAN with a food plan. The fitness industry has it backwards. The body will begin to process food according to the metabolic nature of the demand. Your workout tells your body what to do with food. You can have an excess of EITHER. That isnt the point. We are talking about getting the formula right; which means the training “recipe” should dictate the eating “program”.
A calorie is a calorie. Sort of. It’s also about whos body is taking in that calorie. Sort of. Thing is, the biological constraints are elastic. And where there is elasticity of law, there are various degrees of freedoms; there are permutations of expression. Some things in small (the right?) doses are progressions and excess (the wrong?) doses are regressions.
Anabolic Catabolism and Catabolic Anabolism Or A Confused Metabolism?
You can build muscle and lose fat at the same time. For a while. But everyone has their own individual constraint signature which restricts just how far this metabolic sweet spot of anabolic catabolism or catabolic anabolism will go before it chooses direction. Keep pushing for fat loss and muscle loss will follow. Keep pushing for muscle gain and fat will gain ground eventually.
The Stress Of Strain
To coach, you must understand and appreciate that there is an emotional component to physical stress and strain. And a physical component to emotional strain and stress. So does every gain come with a pain, in terms of price paid? And does every pain with a gain, in terms of hormesis? That I leave for you to decide.
The same people that claim that the type of food can matter for health, have no hesitation in proclaiming that the type of exercise does not. This idea stems from their myopic understanding of the bigger picture; that food is energy in and exercise is energy out. Aesthetically and in my opinion, from an optimally functioning perspective: Food is what could happen, exercise is what does happen.
Periodization is one of the sexier underground concepts masturbated to in the intellectual coaching worlds greatest circle jerks. But there is a simpler and more effective way than what the Eastern Bloc has you convinced is best practice. The way to get to your best possible body is to move more and eat less most of the time. But eat more and move less some of the time as well. Take that as an axiom for understanding long term training and diet planning, and understand this: With energy you need to flux, fluctuate and facilitate a cycle of highs and lows.
Contradict Yourself To Express Your Best Self
And the best approach for your physiological state of being — may be a complete contradiction to your psychological state of mind. The psychological assessment of wants and needs is not MORE important than the physiological assessment of needs and wants; considered holistically. Because what may be the best approach psychologically, may not necessarily be the best approach physiologically. Usually, its a complete contradiction. You mentally cant handle what it takes to change your body physically. The best approach for your physiological state of being may be in complete contradiction to your psychological state of mind.
Moderation In All Things At All Times Is An Extreme Idea
Moderation has consumed us? And you know why? Because we are weaklings. We don’t like the discomfort of pushing hard enough to actually achieve our ideals. True moderation, if it means not pushing yourself smack dab into the middle of unrecoverable damage terrain, should be a fluctuation between very intense application and not so intense application of training and diet, of expending and ingesting. OVER TIME. In the same sort of “rest recovery cycle” format we use for weekly training. For day working and night sleeping. This spiralling of high demand with low demand tasks is natures essential cycle. Adaptation is proportionate to disturbance within the constraint of the outer most periphery where a psycho-mechanical breakdown resides. And each disturbance has it’s own stress signature with its own short and long term adaptation curve. This is why moderation cannot be sustained indefinitely, because you will eventually regress without stepping outside of your moderate constraint. The key isn’t moderation then, the key is understanding how to surf the curves of extremes; of highs and lows and to understand what to expect in terms of physical and psychical feedback.