I came across this video on the Crossfit main site recently. Although, I may not be the biggest advocate of Crossfit itself I am an advoacte of trainee success stories and their education. Besides, the video is with former New England Patriot Don Hasselback, father of former Boston College quarterbacks Matt and Tim. Did I once call into The Ferrall Show on Sirius to talk to Tim live on the air about his glory days at BC? Yea. Moving on……… Don talks about the real value of movement and training as it relates to being a human, not just a superstar athlete. I saw this video and thought to myself, that’s what it’s all about. That’s why I go to work everyday. Whether it’s someone who is 55 or 15, I can teach them how to physically get better at sport or simply life. Check it out.
An article entitled 150 Years of Dieting Fads and Still No Quick Fix was in the North County Times recently. It isn’t mind blowing but provoked some thought. I believe that one point the author is trying to make is that we have long been looking for the quick fix for dieting and/or losing weight. During that time we have found some meaningful ways to eat healthy but there is still no fast acting magic potion. I think the same goes for training. Many times clients or athletes look to lose weight, increase their speed or strength, in a short period of time. Well, there are no fancy machines or potions that will dramatically improve these. This reminded me of the last book I read, “Switch”, by Chip and Dan Heath. The book talks about having clear direction in your next move, otherwise change is much more difficult. There is also a chapter on “Shaping The Path”. This means that behavioral changes and better habits can be built when simple tweaks in the environment are made. By making the road just a little bit easier or “getting the ball rolling” slowly change can start to occur. People ask me nutrition questions every now and again and I don’t claim to be any kind of expert, but as always I start with the basics (I’m a simple man). I can remember listening to a few different college strength coaches talk about dealing with their athletes. They didn’t try and make drastic changes to a college kid’s life. Often times it was as simple as asking the kid who never eats breakfast to make a habit of just eating something every morning. It doesn’t matter what it is. That will be addressed later, just eat something. That’s the first approach I take. Many times the average person is putting in a decent effort to be active on a daily basis and when you do the math, they are hardly eating anything. Break things down into small, clear steps, and “script the moves”. Maybe you have to tweak things along the way but build good habits. Obviously the book is far more in depth than just these few points but can be applied to any kind of change situation.
Apparently “they” weren’t lying. Recovery and regeneration are important. Don’t get me wrong, I do some soft tissue work and mobility a minimum of 4 times a week. And, as I’ve said to many of my clients, no one is better at sleeping than I am, period. Sure it’s possible I could have a mild form of narcolepsy but I say it’s a skill. I work pretty hard in the gym and enjoy spending time under the bar/bell. In turn, I enjoy napping each day and being physically lazy on Saturday afternoons and just about all day on Sunday. What I’m really getting at is the fact that I have recently had a couple of massages and my body feels so much better. Now I realize that this a pretty simple concept but by actually exploring some more of the strategies I have been taught and even preached myself, yet with without action in the past, my body is feeling really good. I have also added in some extra mobility and light swings and get-ups on my non training days to counter act too much sitting or even standing, which is what I usually do at the computer both at work and home. Now go rest as hard as you train.
– Mike Baltren