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Slow Fitness

Lots of people get out of shape, don't think about it, and then one day hit rock bottom or have a realization and go crazy to get into shape.

I'm not sure that's the best way to go about it.

I was pretty significantly injured in March (described here), and my fitness probably hit a low point in May. Now it's interesting - I actually haven't been on any sort of hardcore program since then, but I see my fitness levels improving.

I started working in movement and motion into every day. I tried to go for a walk, at least 15 minutes but ideally an hour every single day. No matter how busy you are, you could find time to do this.

I multi-task the walk. At the very least, I listen to an audiobook. This seven hours of walking time each week means I get through lots of audiobooks, which is great. I'm learning every day.

Don't waste your time with mobility exercises

On minimalift

I was asked by a fellow coach the other day if I do any mobility work before training. I think my reply would be of benefit to some lifters, so here it is along with some elaboration.

Mobility work revolves around two perceived benefits: pain/injury prevention and preparing the range of motion for load (either to increase it or just work through the range about to be used). So really, we’re looking to avoid future pain and improve imminent performance. Here’s what I say to that: phooey.

If you want to warm up the range of motion you’re about to use, do the movement. Taking squatting as an example, this would mean empty bar squatting. For snatching, I use snatch pulls, overhead squats, drop snatches (because calling snatch balance drop snatch really annoys Giles) and empty bar snatches. If you can’t get your full ROM with an empty bar, something’s wrong, and you need to seek and destroy that problem. Except you should have done it before you got to the gym, which brings me to the other perceived benefit: injury prevention.

So you walk into a gym, and you know full well you can’t hit your positions (and will hurt yourself) if you don’t perform a bunch of band and soft tissue work, you messed up. How bad did you mess up? If you’re at this point, you’re already on the brink of injury. There’s nothing wrong with training injured - you work around the problems and do what you can. But if you have to rely on all this mobility crap just to get through a normal training session, you have issues that you’re ignoring. Worse still, you think your mobility work is helping these issues. If that’s the case, why do you have to do them every single workout? And why do you still get injured anyway?

It’s because mobility exercises are short term triage. It’s like a tourniquet on a gaping artery wound - it’ll do but it’s not going to solve the problem! The mobility work addresses the symptoms, but as soon as you finish training your body goes right back to how it was. It’s possible your form is a contributing factor, but most likely you walked in a wreck from computer work, driving, sitting too much, an old injury, or a combination of stress factors that chewed your movement up.

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