Holy cow! I made it. I'm actually writing my 2nd post the next day! How much I will write will depend entirely on how long my daughter naps, and how much help my son needs with his homework. So far so good.
Spoke too soon...
What I wanted to write about in this post, was what it is that I'll be discussing with you if you come to see me for a session - a a kind of intro to what Simply Stronger is all about. The 1st session is free (for now...) and this is basically how it goes. It's good for you to know why I do what and I do so that you feel comfortable with why you will do what I'm asking you to do.
It's easy to say "just exercise" or "exercise is good for you", and we've been told to exercise so much that we all kind of accept it as fact. There are facts and studies to support this, but where did it all come from? Why, and who can we attribute this fitness industry to? Well, this isn't going to be a history lesson, I'm just going to tell you basically what happened some time around the 1960's with a group of people who were curious to know what could be done to the human body to make it healthier. They were basically a bunch of smart people, with different backgrounds with a similar interests: human health. Heart disease, diabetes, obesity, osteoporosis, arthritis, arthrosis and other diseases associated with our modern lifestyle were clearly on the rise and a problem that needed to be dealt with. Through different methods of study and research, they came up with a solution. The solution was to get people to lift weights. Of all the things that people COULD do to prevent or reverse the effects of the above mentioned health issues, they found High Intensity Resistance Training to be the most effective, efficient and safest way to do that - and most practical in our increasingly time constrained lives.
I was lucky enough to meet someone who was part of this original group. He introduced me to High Intensity Training, and that is what Simply Stronger is based on. There are all sorts of programs out there based on High Intensity Training (HIT), and Simply Stronger focuses on the health benefits of HIT and that is what I'm going to focus on here.
When I used to think about exercise, I used to think it included things like weight training and cardio, but could also include jogging, playing amateur sports and just simply moving around somewhat vigorously. When I was introduced to HIT and its origins I realized there was a whole other meaning to the word exercise. Now I make a clear distinction between exercise - what we do in the Simply Stronger Program - and everything else, and I mean everything else. Exercise as it was developed by this group in the 60's was designed to do one thing: make you stronger. What was discovered, was that by creating positive stress on the muscles, bones and cardio vascular system using resistance training, all of the systems in the body became stronger too! If you go back to my post here, there's a link to a whole bunch of research that shows this. There are also links in the Results sections with links to research showing how HIT (Resistance weight training) can have a dramatic impact on our health and with ONLY a few minutes per week! The point is that what you would do in the Simply Stronger program has been studied, tested, tried, and done over and over for more than 40 years with the same consistent results with every person who has ever done it. With the exception of serious health issues, everyone, at any age, can do HIT or the Simply Stronger Program.
One of the reasons anyone can do this program, is because it's so safe. It has to be! Why would it have been designed to improve health if there was a high risk of injury? Ah ha! Now we see the first clear distinction between exercise and say, sports. If you wanted to "get back into shape" and so decided to start playing let's say street hockey or soccer, the chance that you might injure yourself would be significantly greater than if you started doing HIT. Let me explain.
HIT as it is done in the Simply Stronger program is done using slow controlled movement, where no matter where you are in the movement, you can stop BEFORE you hurt yourself (pull a muscle, twist an ankle, fall etc...) which is obviously NOT the case with sports. That's easy to see, and easy to understand now why so many athletes are injured all the time. But there are similarities in sports and other so called exercise programs. PX90, Crossfit, Aerobics classes, treadmill running, jogging, ANY physical sport, and any other type of similar activity has a higher risk of injury. Bottom line is; if you get injured doing anything, you won't be doing ANY exercise. So, as I said, I make a clear distinction between exercise - what we do in the Simply Stronger Program - and everything else, and I mean everything else. Exercise should be about getting stronger and healthier physically and physiologically, and all the other stuff should be about having fun! It's hard to play a sport, or any game, if you're muscles aren't strong enough to allow you to do them. You do exercise so you can do other things in your life that you enjoy doing, even if it's sitting down - it takes a lot of muscles just to keep you upright!
Once again I see this entry getting too long - longer anyways than I'd have the patients to read (or the time!). So I'll leave it here. I never actually managed to sit down and write this in one go. It took me a couple of days in fact, but it's done. Life is like that, and there are more important things in life than reading someone's blog! ;) But, I'll try to keep these brief and simple - this is Simply Stronger after all - and that way you can take a bit of time here and there to go through each one at your own pace.
Next up... Why do we go slow?
P.S. I often ask people at the beginning of their massage (yes, I'm a massage therapist too! www.RandallMassage.com) if they've ever done Yoga. The majority of the time, the answer I get is "...oh, I know I should..." but that's not what I'm asking... I just want to know, because in a lot of Yoga classes, diaphragmatic (abdominal/belly) breathing is practiced. It's a nice way to calm the system down, and if they've never done it (in Yoga or elsewhere), I instruct them on how to do it. This is basically what I tell them: