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Tag: #mobility

purposeful primitive

Muscle Motivation

“Man is the only creature that refuses to be what he is.”

Why do we train? Why do we diet? Why do we take supplements? Why do we join gyms? Why do we invest time, money, energy and effort into all thing’s strength, health and fitness-related? What motivates us?

Our communal motivation is a dissatisfaction with our physical self. A dissatisfaction so profound we are driven to do something about it. We refuse to be what we are – we seek to metamorphosize from ugly earthbound caterpillar into gorgeous celestial butterfly. Our dissatisfaction spurs us to start a diet, join a gym, jog, hire a personal trainer, start taking supplements…we refuse to be what we are. It is a trait buried deep in our DNA.

Success is another matter. Effort is no substitute for success. Success is dependent on a combination of elements, i.e., the soundness of mode or method selected, the degree of sustained effort brought to bear, the ability of the trainee to exert the degree of intensity required to trigger hypertrophy.

Is the transformative acolyte able to perform progressive resistance and cardio on a consistent basis and regular basis and in a periodized manner?

Does the trainee have the determination to eat and drink power foods, eschewing poor or counterproductive food choices?

Optimal training and eating requires discipline and preplanning. Fuel muscle growth with quality calories and hardcore lifting.  Melt body fat with clean eating and consistent cardio.

tao of transformation

Four disciplines should be proportionally practiced. Optimally, all four disciplines, resistance training, cardiovascular training, nutrition and brain-train are given equal billing and practiced in a balanced and even fashion. By eliminating or ignoring one or more of the four core elements, results will be disproportionately deficient.

The Purposeful Primitive system is designed to operate as an integrated whole: the sum total of results is greater than the logical sum of the unassembled parts. When used in unison, after a few weeks of total adherence, a physical synergy takes hold and results occur at an accelerated rate. This phenomenon only occurs (but predictably occurs) when the trainee hits that magical sweet spot, that balance point where all the disciplines are in place and practiced with persistence and evenhandedness.

We do not subject ourselves to restrictive diets, train with manic intensity, engage in ferocious cardio, deprive ourselves and exert ourselves in order to stay the same.  In return for our concentrated and comprehensive efforts, we expect improvement in physique, health and performance. We seek dramatic improvement - not infinitesimal or barely noticeable changes, we want extraordinary results in return for our time, money, sweat, blood and herculean efforts. We seek radical physical transformation.

The Tao of Transformation

The Iron Tao has two defining characteristics - yin, yang.

iron tao

A trainee can be said to have undergone a radical physical transformation when they successfully construct a significant amount of new muscle and successfully melt off a significant amount of body fat. Muscle is constructed using power training to become stronger. Fat is melted combining cardio and diet. When the athlete becomes dramatically leaner and stronger, athletic performance automatically improves -and to a dramatic degree, regardless the sport or drill.

How do we attain a radical physical transformation? How do we add lean muscle mass? How do we lose body fat? There are four interrelated disciplines that need be executed in a balanced, “periodized” fashion. Each discipline has pre-planned goals that are pursued simultaneously.  

The Four Transformative Disciplines

The Levers of Progress


1.

Progressive Resistance Training

Builds functional, usable muscle that equates to more raw strength allowing strength to be maintained late into life. This means that we can retard the detrimental degradation of aging and retain function and mobility far later into life if diligent in our practice. The use of full range-of-motion movements strengthens tendons, ligaments and muscle insertion points to make the trainee more injury resistant and thickens and strengthens bone, fighting osteoporosis.

2.

Cardiovascular Training

We need train our “internal plumbing” with the same regularity and intensity we use to train our external musculature. Targeted training of these internal muscles strengthens and improves their functionality while increasing organ capacities and capabilities. To obtain results from our cardiovascular training efforts sessions need to generate a pure physical effort sufficient enough to trigger the adaptive response.

3.

Nutrition

Our goal is to establish critical thinking as it relates to nutrition. This approach puts the science back into eating and relates a collective consensus of nutritional modes and methods used by professional athletes, elite spec ops, MMA fighters and competitive bodybuilders to accelerate workout recovery and muscular growth. Eat nutrient-dense power foods - seasonally appropriate, locally sourced produce and proteins from the farmer’s market and butcher-shop. Get rid of empty calories and sugar (download guide "Sugar-Is it the new enemy?")

4.

Brain-Train

By subjecting the body to intense physical effort a trainee can trigger the "fight or flight" response. The body awakens in order to cope with the severity of the training effort. This state can be achieved with astounding regularity using high intensity progressive resistance and cardiovascular training. Learn and master autosuggestion, berserker psyche, meditational techniques for long-term adherence. This is the subtle psychology of the transformative process.

Cut Through The Training Confusion!

Learn how to create a Transformative Plan using our FREE Step-by-Step E-Course. Create your own personalized Transformative Template whether a new or experienced trainee merging your progressive resistance, cardio and nutrition goals!

Human Performance: The Five Bio-Motor Abilities

How is human performance improved upon? Systematically improve performance within each of the five bio-motor benchmarks.

1.

Strength - Become Stronger

2.

Speed - Become Faster

3.

Endurance - Improve Endurance

4.

Agility - Improve Agility

5.

Flexibility - Become More Flexible

How is systematic improvement within each bio-motor attribute attained?

Create a strategy for improvement for each bio-motor attribute. Set battle-tested strategies into a timeframe and set about achieving the overall goal by attaining a series of incremental weekly mini-goals. Be aware that there are subdivisions, shades and degrees, within each of the bio-motor attributes. The extremes within each bio-motor skill demand different improvement prescriptions.

Bio-Motor Bar Graphs - Detecting Nuance

Within the five bio-motor attributes there exists a range, shades, types and degrees of effort that flow from one extreme to the other extreme.  For each bio-motor skill a bar graph can be created: the extreme left of each graph is pure white; if your eyes follow the bar graph, left to right, the pure white on the extreme left becomes increasingly grey and totally grey in the exact middle. The grey becomes increasingly darker as grey morphs into black and finally the blackest of black on the extreme right. We would add a 6th attribute of Psychological Recalibration.

Strength

Extreme Left

Middle

Extreme Right

Powerlifting

Absolute Strength

Olympic Weightlifting

Explosive Strength

Kettlebell or MMA

Sustained Strength

Speed

Extreme Left

Middle

Extreme Right

40-100 Meters

Pure Sprint/Burst

100-400 Meters

Outer Sprint Limit

400 up to 800 Meters

Strength/Endurance

Endurance

Extreme Left

Middle

Extreme Right

Marathon/Triathlon

Ultra-Endurance Flow State

800 Meters to 5K

Steady State

MMA Style Training

Intense Muscle Contractions

Agility

Extreme Left

Middle

Extreme Right

Defensive Back

Speed-biased

Linebacker

Balanced

Nose Tackle

Strength-biased

Flexibility

Extreme Left

Middle

Extreme Right

Yoga

Flexibility in Its Purest

Dance

Flexibility with Power

Rock or Wall Climbing

Effort + Cardio + Flexibility

Psychological Recalibration

Extreme Left

Middle

Extreme Right

Psyche for Training

Instantaneous

Modifying Habit Force

Sustained Discipline

Long-Term Adherence

Solar Power - Self-Sustaining

Practical Programming

The competent programmer creates training regimens designed to increase power and strength and stamina while preventing or rehabilitating injury. The first duty of the able and facile programmer is to determine the trainees exact needs. After absorbing the facts, data and idiosyncratic differentiations, the programmer constructs a training template, one that will enable the trainee to morph from what they are into what the seek to become. We do so incrementally and methodically; “creeping incremental-ism” deposits the athlete at the predetermined goal at the end of the allotted periodized timeframe – essentially transformed.

No one trains, diets, performs cardio or goes to the trouble to plan and periodize in order to stay the same: we train because we want to improve our physique and we want to improve our performance. One sure-fire way to improve performance is to improve the body. When we become stronger with increased stamina, when we are leaner and more muscular, performance in any and all athletic benchmarks automatically improves. When we look at the individual athlete, there are questions that need to be posed….

  What is the goal?
  Is that goal realistic?
  How much time do we have?
 What needs to be maintained, improved or corrected?

All elite athletes periodize: periodization sets goals into a timeframe then works backwards to a starting point. The periodized athlete ‘reverse engineers’ a plan based on the intended result and the amount of time allotted. To understand periodization we start by quantifying time….

  Macrocycle is the overall length of the periodized cycle.
  Mesocycle is for a single month.
  Microcycle is for a week.

The most basic form of periodization is linear periodization. The classical linear periodization model is a 12-week macrocycle that contains three, four-week mesocycles and twelve one-week microcycles. Categories are created and placed in vertical columns. Each week has replanned performance goals for exercises. Periodization tactics need not be confined to weight training.  In a nutshell, the way to periodize or “cycle” any lift is as follows….

  • Create a realistic goal
  • Establish a realistic timeframe
  • Reverse engineer: work backwards with a calendar
  • Place realistic goals within a specified timeframe
  • Work backwards to establish weekly benchmarks
  • Every 3-4 weeks alter the variables in anticipation of stagnation
  • When instituting changes, make change dramatic, not minor
  • Synergy = Longevity

    The synergy of these individual components creates human longevity. Our population is living longer and wanting a better quality of life later in life. Challenging ourselves to push against the tide of aging is the answer to improved functionality and happiness!

    Follow the steps below to never miss an episode of the Raw with Marty Gallagher podcast! 

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    strength training workouts at home

    Crosscore – The Best Suspension Trainer for Strength Training Workouts at Home

    When it comes to strength training workouts at home, the CrossCore Suspension Training System is a superior tool to all other suspension trainers on the market. For the first time a home trainer using a portable training device can replicate the results derived from barbells and dumbbells by allowing the body to perform and move naturally without limitation. By being able to replicate the motor pathway and payload used in barbells and dumbbells the trainee can replicate the positive benefits of strength training. This is huge!

    Barbells and dumbbells are the gold standard for maximizing absolute strength – why?

    Stabilization

    Instability causes muscle stabilizer activation

    Maximum Muscle

    Short movements with crude tools creates a maximum muscular inroad

    Motor-Pathway Freedom

    Free weights provide the ultimate variety, cut your own motor-pathway in space & time

    Instead of being restricted by static straps as is the case with other suspension trainers, the CrossCore Suspension Training System uses all three planes of motion for real movement that produces better results. This gives the trainee a greater ability to tap into the functional benefits of strength training.

    Strength is the "King" of the five bio-motor attributes. These attributes include: strength, speed, endurance, agility and flexibility. Strength can be further separated into three general categories.

    Absolute Strength

    maximum payloads, short distances, no regard for velocity

    Explosive Strength

    moderate payloads, long distances, maximum velocity

    Sustained Strength

    light payloads, extended durations, varied velocities

    What makes the CrossCore Suspension Trainer different?

    The unique, patented pulley pin engagement system gives the CrossCore a leg up on the competition. When the pin is in the CrossCore mimics other suspension trainers. However, when the pin is removed a greater level of instability is created, forcing the body into dynamic stabilization. Dynamic stabilization occurs when abdominals, spinal extensors and gluteal muscles work in coordination with each other and intra-abdominal pressure is regulated by the central nervous system.

    stabilization

    A CrossCore workout produces better results in strength and power because it taps into this state. This more closely mimics the core instability created in barbell and dumbbell training enabling the trainee to replicate free weight techniques using a suspension trainer. Our method of training utilizes intensity enhancing techniques that enable payloads to be amplified dramatically.

    For the tactical athletes/mountain athletes/first responders out there who travel on and off the job, this is the perfect tool in any operational or downtime environment including your own home. This should be issued gear by a department/agency to their folks requiring a physical fitness standard for their position. This is what we needed back in the day living out of a suitcase, jumping on/off planes only to be disappointed by hotel fitness centers/local gyms whose equipment was lacking or a business schedule/location that didn't fit our work schedules.


    CrossCore fills the implement training gap for clients of any age and ability. Easy to set-up, easy to learn/understand the concepts from the client's perspective and easy to cue for the trainer. Progressing and regressing exercise difficulty is easy and instantaneous compared to other strap-type trainers, the pulley device and rope adjuster are simply brilliant.


    I really like the constant time under tension/load protocol with the slower rep tempo and "soft" transition between concentric and eccentric phases demonstrated in the videos. Perfect for those who are older, rehabbing, or for the beat up operator/athlete. I've found that protocol naturally creates a focus on the mind-muscle connection as well as motor control. On my highly recommended list for my peers, clients and family.

    BK

    Personal Trainer

    Is it possible to replicate barbell/dumbbell results using a suspension trainer? Yes!

    Variable Payload

    The variable payload ability is unique for resistance training. The CrossCore allows the trainee to make poundage changes during a set - heavier payload move closer, lighter payload move further away.

    Muscular Imbalance

    The dynamic stabilization created by the pulley is unique to suspension trainers. This aids the trainee in single-limb training to help correct muscular imbalance.

    Motor-Pathway Freedom

    The CrossCore aids the trainee to cut their own motor-pathway in space & time. This means that a trainee can replicate the techniques, payload and protocols of free weights ultimately providing the RESULTS of free weights!

    How to Improve Dynamic Stabilization

    Improving dynamic stabilization of the body starts with focussing on improving breath control. The first thing we work on with any new trainee on the CrossCore is how to use the breath to stabilize their core.  Helping people learn how to change from a chest breathing pattern to a belly breathing pattern gives them the ability to find a better postural position. This practice helps the trainee achieve optimal posture prior to executing a movement.  If the body is stacked properly a better mind-muscle connection can be achieved during each rep.  See “How do you find breath?” in blog post.

    bosu elite

    How to Execute a CrossCore Hardcore Workout

    In the CrossCore Hardcore workout we employ the use of intensity enhancers to maximize the payload and minimize the training time.  The trainee completes one giant set that includes three components.

    1

    Absolute Strength

    The trainee executes a specific dumbbell technique using the CrossCore with a slower, connected grind speed for 5 reps.

    2

    Muscular Imbalance

    The trainee executes a specific dumbbell technique using one limb starting with the weak side first for 3 reps each side.

    3

    Explosive Strength

    The trainee executes a specific dumbbell technique using an explosive push/pull for 3-5 reps.

    This is what we call the "one and done" strategy. This technique has taken World Champion strength athletes to their absolute limit.  It is profound that a suspension trainer can replicate the results obtained from a hardcore dumbbell workout.

    Below are video clips showing the key upper/lower body exercises that we consider as the foundation of the CrossCore Hardcore protocols.  All exercises are performed with the pin out and the same length pulley rope.  The length of the pulley rope can be adjusted to suit any size trainee as well as make push/pull angles more or less extreme.

    Back Exercise

    strength training workouts at home

    The graphic illustrates the muscles being used in pulling exercises. Grip width and hand position determine which back muscles will be isolated to the greatest degree. For this demonstration a wide grip pull is used where both a two arm and one arm pull will be executed. Other variations include: a narrow grip pull (handles clipped together/palms facing each other) and a wide grip pull combined with a one arm rotational pull.

    CrossCore Hardcore Pull

    Chest Exercise

    strength training workouts at home

    The graphic illustrates the muscles being used in pressing exercises.  Again grip width and hand position determine which chest muscles will be isolated to the greatest degree. For this demonstration palms are facing down in a push up position where both a two arm and one arm press will be executed.  Other variations include: a fly with palms facing each other and rotational press.

    CrossCore Hardcore Press

    Leg Exercise

    strength training workouts at home

    The graphic illustrates the muscles being used in leg exercises. The CrossCore is an excellent entry level tool for anyone learning how to squat. The key technical points of vertical shins and torso can be taught prior to adding a load to the trainee. For this demonstration basic squat form is reviewed as well as one legged squat form. Other variations include: a side lunge and front lunge.

    CrossCore Hardcore Squat

    The flexibility of the patented pulley design allows for a multitude of exercise variations. The ones demonstrated above are but just a few. The pulley also makes CrossCore an excellent tool for training both mobility and flexibility in multiple movement planes as well as strength. It can be used across many disciplines from martial arts to baseball to golf to pilates to yoga.

    CrossCore Rating

    I would give the CrossCore Suspension Training System a 5 star rating for its versatility and portability.  It is the priciest suspension trainer on the market, however its patented pulley design and easy rope adjuster give the user many more training options compared to those of static straps.  The tool can be installed one of two ways:

    1.

    The anchor strap has a cam buckle on it that easily goes over a door.  Putting the cam clip and webbing over a door and shutting the door on it towards you provides the easiest, most stable option without any additional installation. When you pull the door shut towards you over the webbing with the clip on the other side you have complete stability.

    2.

    The second option is to install something like the Dimok X-mount Wall Bracket to the wall.  It must be mounted to the studs for stability. Once the bracket is installed a carabiner can be attached to the webbing with the cam buckle.  Click it into the bracket and you are ready to go.

    strength training workouts at home

    Maximize Your Training with the Magical Dumbbells in a Bag!

    CROSSCORE SUSPENSION TRAINER

    It's a game changer for home training!

    Check out what Amazon customers are saying!

    strength training workouts at home

    Recap of CrossCore System Features

    • Pin Engagement System™ can be locked to stop the rotation of the pulley wheel when stable movements are desired
    • Unlocking Pin Engagement System allows pulley wheel to rotate freely and enables CrossCore® to act as a pulley machine by attaching a counterweight, such as a kettlebell, dumbbell or sandbag, to one end. Using two counterweighted CrossCore units spaced eight feet apart makes for one of the smoothest cable crossovers on the market
    • Rope Adjuster Device™ allows for true self-leveling handles / foot and arm cradles. No more readjusting the height of your handles in the middle of your workout
    • Handles/foot and arm cradles pad the feet and arms when performing certain exercises like knee raises and hamstring curls. These cradles open and close for a snug fit on the hands and feet so the user won’t slip out while exercising
    • The mountain climbing grade rope used for the pulley is rated up to 1,200lbs. The anchor strap with cam buckle is rated up to 1,800 lbs. The adjustable handles / foot and arm cradles with ergonomic grips and webbing are rated up to 1,800 lbs. Each handle has heavy-duty climbing-grade carabiner rated up to 2,000 lbs. The CrossCore is built to withstand any load.  The cam buckle is rated up to 750lbs.
    • Take it with you! Your CrossCore® system weighs about 4 lbs. (1.8 kg) and can go with you to the park, to the gym, on vacation or wherever for a change of pace, and it all fits into a convenient carry bag
    • Warranty: Pulley Unit 2-Years | Everything Else 1-Year
    • Ship Weight: 4 lbs.

    For more training information on utilizing the CrossCore Suspension Training System. Please contact us at stacygallagher@functional-strength.org.