Thursday, April 25, 2013

You Can't Handle the Truth!

Famous line from a pretty good movie, A Few Good Men. Famous, and probably true. Many of us can't handle the truth. Especially when it comes to health and fitness. We would rather embrace a lie than grab hold to the truth. Why is this?

Before I answer this, let me give you some examples of what I am talking about:

Lie: If you skip breakfast you will get fat.
Lie: If you eat breakfast you will get fat.
Lie: You have no business strength training if you can't touch your toes. 
Lie: Olympic weight lifting is the best way to train if you want to run faster.
Lie: If you want to continue to improve and get stronger, you have to introduce lots of variety into your training.
Lie: If you eat after midnight, you will turn into a gremlin.

You get the point. Maybe? There is a whole lot of misinformation out there. The more complex and complicated the information seems, the more we are ready to believe it. After all, complicated information has to be correct. Look at all the thought and research that goes behind it. 

Many moons ago, I received a degree in Statistics. If I learned one thing in college, it was that you can prove anything you want to prove by adding variables, massaging numbers, and muddying the waters. You can makes things complicated to prove a point. But the point is only true in that particular angle with all those particular variables. In other words, you can "prove" anything with partial truths. However, a partial truth is not the truth. Partial truths are lies. Look at the first two examples I gave as lies, they are partial truths depending on how they are viewed and applied. But the truth is, they are simply not whole truths. 

There is a very deep rabbit hole that we could go down here, but I don't want to type a novel, or bore you to tears. So, I will just keep this simple.

And that is the point: Truth is simple. It is not complicated. Truth is usually so simple, we dismiss it. This is ironic too, as most of us have always been told to follow the KISS principle (Keep It Simple Stupid), yet most all of us are drawn to the complicated like moths to a flame.  

Here are some simple truths:

1. The body was not made to be broken.
2. Crawling is foundational strength training. It ties the body together.
3. All muscles in your body are connected to your vestibular system. You should probably move your head often.
4. Your body needs carbohydrates, specifically sugars. Get over it. That is truth. 
5. Farmers keep the world alive. Paleo people (and I love you all) espouse that agriculture is the downfall of man, yet if it were not for farmers, they would not enjoy all that coconut oil, almond butter, and avocados they love to eat.  
6. We were not made to sit for hours at a time, at least not in comfortable chairs. 
7. You were literally made to move. Movement nourishes your brain and your body.
8. If you want to have beautiful muscles, you have to use them regularly.
9. Saturated fat is not evil. You need it.
10. Man overcomplicates almost everything. If it seems logical and smart, like say boat shaped shoes that are patterned after barefoot running tribes in Africa, you can bet that it is foolishness. Our design in perfect.

Again, these are just simple truths. And that is the truth - simple. We just need to breathe (with our diaphragms), take a step back and look at everything around us. The truth will speak to us if we listen.

We just make things too complicated, and it imprisons us. The truth, the simple truth, really is freeing. Can you handle it? Can you handle the truth?

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Always Choose The Chicken

What is the secret to being strong and resilient? Well, let me ask this another way: What is the physical key/secret to being strong and resilient? It is having reflexive strength and stability. Reflexive strength is the foundation for being healthy, strong and durable. It is reflexive strength that will allow you to build and become the superhero in your imagination!

If you have read Becoming Bulletproof and Original Strength, you know that we use the words reflexive strength and reflexive stability interchangeably. Why do we do this? Well, really, they are one in the same.

In Original Strength, we define reflexive stability as your body's subconscious ability to anticipate movement before it actually moves and prepare the joints and muscles involved in that movement for that movement.  Now let's define reflexive strength. It is your body's subconscious ability to anticipate movement before it actually moves and prepare the joints and muscles involved in that movement for that movement. Yes, that's right. I just copied the definition I gave for reflexive stability and pasted it for the definition of reflexive strength. Other than the difference in pronunciation and spelling, reflexive strength and reflexive stability are pretty much the same thing.

If, however, I had to draw a line and just choose one word over the other, I would choose reflexive strength. In case the above definition(s) was a little confusing, here is a simple definition: Reflexive strength is "automatic" strength that is there for you before you need it, when you need it, and when you will need it. It is reflexive. We are not supposed to have to think about bracing our muscles to perform a pushup, or to pick up a pencil.  We should just have the natural ability to do these things without thought while our muscles do what they need to do, when they need to do it.

So why would I choose saying reflexive strength over saying reflexive stability? Because I like the chicken or the egg question: Which comes first...? Strength comes first and stability comes from strength. Strength is required for movement. Stability is "held movement". So, in my world, strength is required for stability. If I am reflexively stable, I must have reflexive strength.

What is the point to this rambling? Nothing other than reflexive strength and stability can be used interchangeably, or at least they often are. It really doesn't matter which term you use as long as you own them in your body. A reflexively strong, stable, solid center is the key to strength and vitality. It is the foundation for all the athletic qualities the human body was designed to have: strength, speed, power, fluidity, mobility, explosiveness, suppleness, endurance, etc... None of these qualities can be maximized without a reflexively strong foundation.

By the way, in case you missed it, you were made to have all of these athletic qualities. They are in you somewhere. If you own your reflexive strength, if you build your foundation and regain your original strength, you can unlock all of your body's athletic potential. You just need to use the key: reflexive strength.

How do you use the key? You do what a child does. You help your body remember what it used to do long ago. You regain the Original Strength you once had.

And, in case you are wondering, I choose the chicken. You know, "Which came first? The chicken or the egg?" The answer is simple. I always choose the chicken. You should too.



Wednesday, April 10, 2013

The Next Chapter

I have been blessed. Over the last couple of years I have gone from a full-time firefighter (who was miserable at his job) to a full-time trainer and an author (who loves what he gets to do). It is amazing to see the "distance" I have traveled in the last two years.

I now get to spend so much more time with my family - I get to be a full-time husband and dad. I get to train really good clients who have become friends. I get to write, which I never would have dreamed I would ever want to do. And, on an almost daily basis, I get to hear how people are being helped by Becoming Bulletproof. If I had to count my blessings, I am pretty sure I wouldn't be able to count that high. 

Speaking of Becoming Bulletproof, what a wonderful journey this has become. I had no idea how powerful that little book could be. I did, but I didn't. I will be the first to tell anyone that I can take no credit for writing that book. It is truly an answer to a prayer that I gave to God - I asked for the best way to train to become resilient. I was tired of being injured and I believed I was supposed to be strong and healthy. Then, in a matter of days, God answered my prayer, gave me some wild ideas that my friend, Mike McNiff, and I played with, and Becoming Bulletproof was born. I believe that is the reason this book is so powerful. 

That was almost 3 years ago. Now, because the teaching and the learning never stopped, another chapter has developed: Original Strength. My friend Geoff Neupert and I have learned so much more since the writing of Becoming Bulletproof. Through more revelation, training our clients, and watching our children grow, we have expanded on the ideas in Becoming Bulletproof. Geoff was even blessed with a child of his own during this time. He has actually been able to "see" how resilience and strength are built through watching his son, Michael, learn how to move.

We believe Original Strength is the foundation. It is the foundation for strength, mobility, resilience, power, speed, grace, athleticism, and life. It is the foundation for everything that the body was meant to be. The truth is that we truly are wonderfully made and we are supposed to have durable, strong, healthy bodies. That is the truth. 

We want to share this truth with you. We are healthier, happier, and stronger than we've ever been. Every day it seems like we discover something else we never knew we could do before. Strength, mobility and ability have been regained in our bodies. It feels good. Really good. 

You were indeed meant to become bulletproof, and Original Strength is the foundation. 

If you are even just a little curious, check it out. It is available Here, at Amazon. 

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Is It Movement or Food?

Why do you think so many people in America are overweight? Do you think it is because we are the land of the plenty, so we eat too much? Or, do you think we are the land of the plenty, so we don't move as we should? 

I guess what I'm asking is: Are people overweight because they eat too much, or are people overweight because they simply don't move as they should? 

Many would look and argue that diet is the cause of our weight issues. But I think that perhaps the increase in our weight as a country has more to do with us not moving our bodies the way we should. 

There have been studies that show children who receive adequate nutrition can actually grow with signs of malnourishment if they do not receive tender love and care from a parent or guardian. So even with adequate nutrition, the body can show signs of malnourishment. What is my point here? Food may not always point to the issue. 

Based off these studies, I'll bet that people who receive adequate nutrition can also display signs of over-abundance of food. Why, because their bodies are not moving like they should. 

Movement keeps the entire (the whole thing) body healthy. It takes movement to keep your digestive system operating correctly. It takes movement to keep your lymphatic system running smoothly. It takes movement to keep your hormones at optimal levels. All systems in your body are effected by your body's movements. Movement is health. 

If we don't move, our digestive system and our hormonal systems could be way out of balance = overweight, diabetes, low thyroid, blood pressure issues, or just about whatever other issues you want to think about. If you want a healthy metabolism, movement is probably more important than the food you eat. 

Don't misunderstand me, food is important to a healthy body. And, too much food can lead to obesity and other health issues. BUT, movement may be just as important, if not more important, to how healthy your body is, or to how your body responds to the food that you give it. 

I think people are quick to look at their diet when it comes to their weight. And, I also know people would rather change their activity level than their diets when it comes to "getting in shape". So this raises another question: Why doesn't newly introduced activity levels solve the obesity epidemic? There are too many reasons to discuss here as to why this might be, but I will say that perhaps the new physical activity is full of all the wrong movements, and non of the right movements. Ponder that for a while...

Anyway, the body was made to move, in certain wonderful ways, and unless the body is engaged in what it was designed to do, the body's systems probably are not going to run optimally. Which means that our obesity epidemic could very well have more to do with our lack of movement than it does our over-abundance of food. 

I could be way off here. But, I could also be way on, too. 

Just something to think about....