Wednesday, June 16, 2010

health before fitness

Even in the 1800's Eugene Sandow understood the idea of creating functional useable muscle and flexibility to do what he wanted.

Don’t build strength on top of dysfunction

Build Health before fitness.

These are both things that I have heard from talented PT’s and Fitness experts. What does this mean?

If I have I take an old muscle car that has been sitting in the junkyard and just start putting on things that make the engine faster/stronger then the car will rip itself apart. It will not corner well, it will scream bitch moan complain and go fast in a straight line for awhile. In the end it will fall apart.

On the other end of this analogy is, lighten the load of the vehicle without doing any major engine upgrades and you will get more horsepower per pound. This translates into a faster car. However the same idea applies, make sure you structurally advance the car to handle the speed and agility you are adding to it. If you do not you will destroy the car sooner than need be.

This is the same with the human body.

If you don’t take the time to develop the stability mobility, pelvic floor and trunk control you will damage your body.

I see multiple initiators of this problem.

  1. Magazines and the celeb “trainers”
  2. People and expectations without research
    1. Clients
    2. Family members
  3. Personal Trainers
    1. Yoga
    2. Pilates
    3. Big box gyms
    4. Name brands

i. Bowflex

ii. Nordic track

iii. Nautilus

    1. The Biggest Loser
    2. Celebrity Fit Club
  1. Doctors
  2. Nutrition Advice
    1. Master Cleanse
    2. USDA food pyramid
    3. High Carb
    4. Vegetarians
    5. Atkins

The key too all of this is consistency and patience. It is to see where your dysfunction lies and work on that dysfunction. Find the weak spot and shore it up. Dysfunction of the body boils down to a few things.

  1. Emotional/Mental
  2. Physical
  3. Combo of both

Either way it comes down to figuring out what it is and fixing it. After you understand it then you can develop the body that you want. Unless of course you want a fat, squishy body then it is quite easy,

Ensure your goals are realistic and then get them. Continue to check in to make sure that the goals 6 months ago are what you are trying to pursue and if not and your goals have changed then realize your method has to change. Or realize the methods will change once the dysfunction has been addressed. Before you can even deal with longer term goals the first for every human who wants to get healthier and or more fit, must deal with the dysfunction FIRST!

The order that I believe to be most effective:

  1. Nutrition
  2. Sleep
  3. Pelvic Floor
  4. Spine Stability
  5. Flexibility
  6. Strength
  7. Body Composition

Nutrition will help with sleep and they both help with the rest. The spine cannot be stable later under load or movement without first finding the pelvic floor. Strength and flexibility will probably, and good on you for doing it that way, happen at the same time Flexibility without Stability is dangerous and needs to be done under load. In most circumstances loaded flexibility training is overall safer than passive stretching. Body comp can then be manipulated by how you train.

Lastly overall is patience. Realize that sometimes people are seriously metabolically deranged and will take longer to heal than others.


  1. I like this a lot and it goes to show why there is this industry of so-called fitness expertise (celeb trainers etc) including endless women's magazine baloney ('get a bikini body by summer') that clearly never changes anyone. People see no results but keep buying the magazines. The women who edit/publish the magazines have no clue either.

    Q: After doing a lot of *heavy* lifting yesterday and being *really* tired in the afternoon I woke up feeling kind of depressed today. I ate a big meal after it with plenty of protein. Why would I feel emotionally funky? Kind of want to cry. Boo. (Sacrum?)

  2. Clarification - 'depressed' is an overstatement. I meant kind of blah and cranky. It's no big deal but feels chemically different.

  3. How has your normal nutrition been? (WHen I ask this the standard is bodyweight in 3/4 to 1 gram of protein per pound of bodyweight, 50 to 100 grams of carbs and whole fats at about the same as protein.)

  4. Tallied recent days: proteins around 80-90 and fats 75-90ish on good days (i should be 87-117). Tho in weeks before prob was lower.

    Also 2 days before I did a KB/functional fitness work out not to full capacity but fairly long. 48 hours = enough recovery?

    I would much rather hear I need to increase the nutrition numbers than buy the idea it's the sacrum-out issue that is happening. Thank you for input!!

    PS if you buy Trader Jo's "light" coconut milk by mistake like I did, it's 12g p cup fat instead of 48g of fat. Big difference.

  5. Sorry to be annoying - the other thing to add is you said #2 is Sleep. Do you think going to bed too late (12.45) and maybe not sleeping enough after a hard workout (7 hrs) affects mood? Also a long walk today helped.

    I'll stop posting now. I hope this is of some use to other readers. (?))

  6. so sleep 8 to 9 hours a day and try and do so in a completely dark room. Avoiding electronics about an hour before bed. Try to go to bed early enough that you can wake up without an alarm.

    going to bed late isnt a huge problem if you wake up late. Also if you are healing from somesort of dysfunction you will be a tad funky during your healing process. Think about a scab, or a burn they start itching and sometimes hurt while the heal. Same thing...I will do more about the food a little later

  7. Night 2: without an alarm I slept 9.5 hrs which is a marathon 4 me so I think whole thread supports your #2 Sleep point. Honestly didn't realize this to such an extent before. Thanks.