Tuesday, June 7, 2011

the big three and not ford, chevy, or dodge

The most important parts of the physical both loaded and unloaded, in the most basic way.

What I am using to define loaded and unloaded is external load or weight. You can “load the body” by changing the point of leverage. Meaning on a pushup put your feet on a chair and increase your load. However, in this text I want to use the concept of loaded as with an external load, a weight, a rock, a refrigerator etc.

With both the loaded and unloaded one of the movements is walking. People need to walk more. Walking is far more important than running. I even believe that walking under load is more important than jogging or running. I think that it is harder to walk unbalanced and with bad alignment than it is to do so running. It is definitely a pain to walk with an external load with bad alignment. That proper alignment is really the integration of getting stronger. It sets up the body to move in other planes with more control. If the bulk of your movement is running and sitting which tends to be for even the recreational runner/jogger that trains 4x a week and runs for 30 min to 45 min. That repetitive movement will build horrible habits that require people to wear MBT shoes instead being able to walk barefoot. The strength you get is wonderful.

Now the problem with people who walk, jog or run is the lack of trunk control/stability.

Stability is the keeping of the trunk from moving in an undersired direction.

Control is the moving the trunk through space or alternate planes of motion while keeping the trunk stable.

The trunk is stable when spinal deviation is held to exact tolerances for the desired movement. Meaning the Spine should not bend in any direction more than is necessary for the task at hand. The closer we can keep the spine to neutral the more balanced our bodies will be.

This is all important because of what exercises or methods of movement we chose to employ for our personal fitness.

Now what is fitness?

What I want is for people to have a high quality of life until they die. I do not want to have a bunch of people thinking that they have to train like a pro athlete to be fit. I do think that if you want to and you find a good high caliber functional training program with great recovery built in and good building blocks then go for it. However, for the average American to get healthy you don’t need to run a marathon or be able to deadlift a truck or do 15 pullups.

So what do I think that you need to do?

First is nutrition and sleep.

Second is walk and do so easily not like you are walking for a medal.

Lastly is “fitness”.


Push something

Pull something

Take your hip through a Full Range of Motion, FROM.

If you have access to load then do some of it loaded and some unloaded. If you do not have load than just use your bodyweight to move through your FROM.

Why these three?

They fit a wide variety of regular movements that we all are wired to do. Some of these regular movements are a combination of these basic concepts. Climbing a tree, a wall. Sneaking up on a meal or a hot chick that needs to be clubbed, drug back to the cave and married.

The reason crunches don’t “work” is because they don’t really get the trunk to engage. It does get your abdominal muscles to contract but it doesn’t engage the trunk. It also doesn’t do much for teaching coordination of the trunk while in motion. There is no integration of trunk stability and moving yourself and or something else through space. Look at a really good tennis player or golfer really hit the ball, their trunk does not really rotate. We think it does but it really doesn’t, it only moves just as much as it has to and not lose stability.

What is stability?

It is the integration of pelvic floor, spinal muscles shoulder blades, back muscles, abdominal muscles, side of the body muscles, glutes and some hip flexors. Everything covered by a corset and sexy underwear. These have to fire to stabilize the trunk. The harder they contract and the more evenly that all these muscles integrate and coordinate to apply even pressure to the spine, the more load can be applied to the body safely. Every injury in the body is a mechanical misuse of the body. Whenever the contraction is uneven/weak the maximum load has been achieved.

Notice that in the trunk I described parts that are not normally talked about in the concept of “core”, shoulder blades, pelvic floor, hip extensors and flexors. These are some of the big ones people forget about. This is why the three are important. If you work on these 3 exercise concepts



Hip through FROM

In an integrated way you will automatically improve your trunk strength and stability (and its appearance).

Pushing is moving your body away from an object. Moving your self away from the earth, away from a set of rings. Pushing is moving something away from your body. Pushing a barbell in the air whether overhead as in a push press or away from your chest. like a bench press. It can be something like pushing a wheelbarrow or a car through a field.

Pulling is stuff like pulling yourself up a rope, or doing a pullup, or playing tug-o-war.

FROM hip stuff can be like laying on your back and standing up. It can be a squat, a burpee or a clean.

Some can be a combination move like your Olympic lifts that tend to be all three. If you are going to do one thing loaded I would recommend one of the three

Kettlebell training

Power lifting

Olympic lifting

If you are going to do an unloaded practice I would say do something like

“gymnastic bodies”

Or a randomized selection of good functional movements and amounts.

Mostly remember that 90% of the fitness in the US is based on three things that don’t make people healthy.


Every gym you go into is isolate machines that don’t teach function

Endurance sports

Running, spinning, endurance is one metaboloic engine and none of those guys/gals look healthy

Flexibility and isolated dancer function



All of them are too bendy and most don’t even look good walking.

In summary the basics


Meat, fruits and veggies, some nuts and seeds


8 hours a night




Push, pull, hip FROM

List of push without load


Knees down

Hands on a wall or chair

Hands and toes on the floor

Chest to ground

Feet elevated


One hand two feet and any of the above

One hand and one foot and any of the above

Clapping (dynamic/plyometric)


Between two chairs with feet on the ground to assist you

“ “ without feet or with one foot




Start in a cobra and roll into a handstand

Push a vehicle across a parking lot

List of pulls without load

Body rows


Jumping pull-ups

“½ climbers” 1 arm pull opposite leg squat repeat same side

climb a rope

tug of war


List of hip FROM w/o load

Laydown stand up

Squat and variants



Mountain climbers

Single leg

Two leg

Over and outs

Floor kong vaults

List of push with load




Push jerk

With Kettlebells

Bench press

Better is a pushup with a weight vest


Sled pushes

Push a car

Wheel Barrow

List of pulls with load

Pull a sled/car

Weight pull-ups

Ball smash

From loaded


Overhead “OHS”

Front “FS”

Back “BS”


Overhead lunges


  1. Yay. this lays out the picture out so well, gonna send to some folks. thanks for taking the time to write it and make it so simple and clear. No 23-page outlines for you....!