Category Archives: Physical Training

Fitness vs Health

The problem is that we have equated fitness to mean health, and health to mean fitness, and neither is accurate nor true.

fitness-vs-healthFitness can be gained in a relatively short period of time.  The predominant research today in performance has nothing to do with health, its all about fitness. HIIT (Hi Intensity Interval Training) programs which are most heavily researched lead to quick gains, and in a society where yesterday is still too late, quick gains are a must.  Problem though is that fitness gains do not equate with gains in health. In fact the opposite is often the case… the results from intense training come at the cost of your health.  I ain’t making this up, the reverse J chart correlating cardio-vascular disease and training intensity has been shown to be both reliable and valid.  Therefore, athletes who suffer heart attacks, strokes, or die during competitions are not a genetic oops, but the outcome of an athlete straining to deliver a performance way beyond their capacity.

Put another way… you may be fit enough to finish a marathon, but not healthy enough to deal with the strain of the effort. Sounds paradoxical but it isn’t.

That’s the problem when two different metrics – fitness vs health – are confused and substituted for one another as if equal.

Unlike fitness, health cannot be gained or lost quickly. Why is it that despite not exercising for a decade (typically in the mid 20s for most) we do not suffer any real health setbacks or diseases? Because the health of our youth manages to hold on. We lose the health of our childhood over decades, not a weekend at Bernie’s.

Equally health takes a long time to regain once it has been spent. Yes, spent. Not keeping up proper sleep, proper eating, proper exercise over one, two or three decades depletes our health asset column. Once our balance sheet inverts and our health liabilities grow larger than our health assets, disease should be no surprise to anyone… you should predict and be able to predict that you will end up injured, chronically in pain, fatigued, or end up diagnosed with a disease simply because you no longer have the assets to keep your body operational.

Balance sheets are used to identify the ‘health’ of a company, well it ain’t any different for you and I.  If our life balance sheet is overleveraged, with a few our of assets depreciating to the point of becoming impotent, then why should it be any surprise that your health fails? There will be no foreclosure or bankruptcy proceedings when it comes to health, there is simply impairment, then dysfunction, which leads to disease and finally death.

By our mid to late 30s, once our health asset column is coming close to our health liability column it starts… aches, pains, nagging niggles that won’t go away. So what do we do? We pop an anti-inflammatory, take a few pain killers, get a massage, an adjustment, tape over the injury, fill a prescription for a medication that will reduce our signs and symptoms. Because the signs and symptoms are managed, we interpret it that we are once again healthy, that our health asset column has been restored and off we go.  We sign up for an obstacle race, start to train for a half or full marathon, or take on the immensity of an iron distance triathlon. The fact that we are not cured nor healed of our aches and pains matters not, as we simply progress to stronger and stronger ointments, potions, pills, and treatments, to continue to manage our ills.

When we really start to breakdown, when medicine no longer has a cure for us… all of a sudden we wake up and realize that the years of neglect and then the years of leveraging the remaining health assets using a variety of health care instruments to prolong our denial of dwindling resources hits us like a 2 by 4 in the back of the head.

Is that what you are waiting for? A reality check from a hospital bed?

Do you need heart palpitations in your 40s, arrythmias and a pacemaker in your 50s, TIAs or a full blown stroke or early onset dementia in your 60s or will you wake up today?

For your sake, for the sake of your spouse, your kids, your family, your own life, I implore you to wake up! Stop buying what everyone is selling you desperately as a quick fix solution, and start to reinvest in your health, in you, in your vitality and your longevity.

The fitness craze is only that… a craze of protein powders, HIIT workouts, compression clothing and gym memberships designed to make you look healthy, but fail to actually make you healthy. If you want health, you have to pursue health, not fitness.

Health is a different form of fitness, its not tolerance, its capacity.

Cause of Current Epidemics

Part 2 in a series on why articles on ‘nutrition’ and nutritional advice from ‘experts’ on diet is a waste of time, energy and effort [for the non-medically institutionalized population].


The LO Fat / NO Fat Diet Craze

It started earlier but it was the 80s when I remember the low fat / no fat diets being blown up as the answer to all our health issues… which back then was more or less limited to heart disease. With fat being fully demonized as the source of evil… the root cause of heart attacks, clogged arteries, the war on fat was well underway. Margarine was the replacement for butter, 1% skim milk replaced 2% and 4% milk, first low fat yogurt then no fat yogurt, and then the snowball engulfed every conceivable item on grocery store shelves. When the war on fat started to plateau, then the war on sugar began. Not to be left out, soft drink manufacturers started on their own ‘solution’ which was low calorie and no calorie drinks with aspartame another solution. In the end, I’m not sure what we were actually eating… as everything was either no fat, or no fat and no calorie.

Today we know that fat is not the devil in disguise that it was made out to be, in fact, fat is healthy, a key part of our diets as it is responsible for critical functions such as nerve conduction.

And who was preaching to eat no fat/fat free.. that’s right… all the so called experts in nutrition.


The 6-10 Small Meals a Day Diet Craze

I recall sitting in the National Coaching Certification Program (NCCP) Triathlon Level 2 course and around me were triathletes / triathlon coaches of all levels. In front of them were piles of tupperware type containers with grapes, nuts, rice cakes, raisins, others with entire rice dishes or salads topped with quinoa, chia or pumpkin seeds, or pomegranate (as I think that was at the top of the pandemonium surrounding pomegranate as the critical superfood that everyone was supposed to be eating). No one waited for a break to eat; eating or snacking was constant. Someone was shoving something in their pile hole every few minutes, and when there was an actual break in the course, that’s when forks and spoons were unleashed digging into new containers that emerged from backpacks below the table. Eating, eating, non stop eating.

Today we know that without intermittent fasting, the body is constantly producing insulin, constantly packing away the calories we are eating, never unpacking a single calorie that was meant to be released when there wasn’t anything to eat.

And who was preaching to eat non-stop, alternate snacking and eating so that there isn’t a single second in the day when you aren’t chewing on something… that’s right… all the so called experts in nutrition.


Consider just the two diet crazes above – as there are other, and even crazier diets – that were preached as the solution by all those so called experts in nutrition that were claimed will prevent us from gaining weight, ensuring our health.

And the result of all these diets… epidemics in obesity, in diabetes, in hypertension, in heart disease and cancer.  It would seem experts in nutrition are the source of problems, not the solution as they so sincerely claim to be.

Let’s look at this another way…

Who have all these diets enriched?

Who have all these diets impoverished?

As far as I can tell, the major food manufacturers are raking in the revenues. As far as I can tell, so called nutrition experts are raking in the revenues from sales of diet books. And as far as I can tell, the rest of us are diseased: fat, overweight, obese, and suffering from one disease or multiple diseases… diabetes, arthritis, heart disease, hypertension, cancer, and so on.

Think about this…

If you ate less, what would happen to revenues of the major food manufacturers?

Hmm… if you ate less, if all of us ate less by fasting intermittently in order to regain control of our insulin levels (without medication), major food manufacturers would have a problem. With falling or not even falling, just stagnating sales of food, revenues and profits would steady, with the side effect being a drop off in the company stock price. Well, it seems that what is more important that our health, is maintaining corporate financial health even if it comes at the cost of our health, the health of the population of an entire nation.

Think about this…

If major food manufacturers are going to continue to grow their revenues into the future, then doesn’t that require all of us to have to eat even more than we eat now? We have to consume even more food than we are consuming now, a level which is already driving us into disease as a result of our obesity. If we are already obese, already suffering from lifestyle diseases related to over-eating, then isn’t the goal of the major food manufacturers rather sinister if they need us to eat and consume even more?

And who is the mouthpiece of all these major food manufacturers, preaching to us how we need to buy this food item, buy into this food trend, buy, buy, buy this superfood, that superfood… promising that we will all end up thinner, healthier, sexier than ever before?

That’s right… the so called experts in nutrition.

Its The Fire That Matters

Part 1 in a series on why articles on ‘nutrition’ and nutritional advice from ‘experts’ on diet is a waste of time, energy and effort [for the non-medically institutionalized population].


Summer is winding down, but hopefully at some point this summer you spent some time in the great outdoors. If you did, and if you did spend some time outdoors in the evening and into the night then its likely you had to build a camp fire or you hung out by a camp fire.

If you have never built or worked to maintain a fire then this blog may offer an experiment that you need to explore – safely so you don’t set yourself or anything else on fire – in order to truly appreciate that its the fire that matters, and not the fuel (and why advice on nutrition is the equivalent of pushing on a string).

If you focus on the fuel… as in what you want to burn, you will never build a fire that is able to be sustained with ease.

If you focus on the fire… as in what stage is the fire, and what fuel the fire needs at that stage, then you will be able to get a fire going, build it up, sustain it and eventually get it to the point that it can be left to generate heat, cook food, boil water, dry clothes… do whatever it is you need it to do without constant attention.

So how do you start a fire? Have you ever watched the TV series Survivor? Have you ever seen contestants of that series have to compete in fire building? If not, then it may be worth searching for and watching on Youtube. For the purpose of this post I will quickly run through the steps of starting a fire so that I can draw the analogy to nutrition, and nutritional advice.

To build a fire:

  • Start by accumulating a variety of fuel… you will not have time once the fire is started to go search for the fuel needed at each stage: you will need paper, or leaves, or twine, anything that is bone dry and will easily take a spark and turn it into a flame; you will also need every conceivable size of fuel to help the fire grow from flame to the size of fire you want. A collection of twigs, small thin branches, thicker branches, thick branches and a log or two.
  • Needless to say this is also the time to accumulate all the items you may need to either put out the fire if it gets out of hand or if it spreads… water either in a bucket or coming from a hose, sand is an alternative when water isn’t available, a shovel or rake or other tool that will keep you at a distance from the fire but can be used to put out a fire.
  • Plan the location of the fire where at its full size you will not set anything above or around on fire and start something you didn’t intend… like a forest wild fire.
  • Plan the location of the fire so that wind doesn’t put out the small flames that you will start with, nor blow the full size fire in a direction that can cause anything else to catch on fire.
  • You are ready to build your fire… (here are the pivot points to this post):  you need to create a spark or a small flame to start… matches, magnesium & flint, magnifying glass, whatever.. and that small flame needs fuel that will catch on fire easily. As the flame catches and grows, the fire will need to be fed a steady diet of increasingly larger pieces of wood as the fire will burn through smaller items faster and faster to the point that the fire can extinguish itself if it doesn’t get fuel that is hardy enough to grow it or at least sustain it.

Now think of fires that you have enjoyed this summer or in past summers. What are the best fires to sit around, to cook hot dogs, smores, to warm yourself by, to simply be around? Its definitely not small fires that are constantly requiring attention in order to be built or maintained. Its definitely not the fires that are raging in all directions, fires so big that we have to escape their flames if the wind so much as whispers in the wrong direction. The fires we are enjoy are the ones that have burnt long enough that there are coals, hot coals, coals so hot that even if a damp log is put over top… the coals will dry out the log and in time make that log burn. These fires we can cook food overtop, we can sit beside for long periods warming ourselves, we can even sleep beside them through cold fall or wintery nights.

What’s this got to do with nutrition?

Today, the nutritional advice is focused solely on the fuel (as in the food you ought to eat), yet as the analogy to a wood burning fire demonstrates what a fire needs depends on the stage and size of fire.  When was the last time that a nutritionist evaluated your ‘fire’ (as in your metabolic rate, your physiology, your psychology), before advising you on the fuel you need?

Nope. Exactly. Never. Its straight to the superfood fad of the week… Goji berries, Acai, kale, blueberries, walnuts… oops, sorry no, almonds and sunflower seeds, oh and dont forget gluten is bad bad bad (even though only 1% of the population has Celiac disease and needs to go gluten free). Which makes my point…  nutritional advice is a waste.

What fuel you put into a fire is entirely dependent on the type of fire.

What food you put into you is entirely dependent on the type of fire in you.

If you do not know the type of fire burning, if you have no clue how to assess type of fire, if you have never built a fire, never maintained a fire, never experimented with different fuels with different fires then what business do you have calling yourself an expert on fires or in the case of nutritional advice, what business do you have calling yourself an expert on nutrition? You may be an expert in the nutritional value of different foods… but that’s like being an expert in insects, it has nothing to do with what insects if any we should be eating!

Anyone claiming to be an expert in nutrition yet lacks the education, and clinical and non clinical experience in relation to how the human fire operates [imo] should not be preaching anything about nutrition as they are clueless on what to prescribe. How can you prescribe fuel when you are clueless on the type and size of internal fire – metabolic rates & processes – of a person.

Knowing how ‘healthy’ a food item is and how much ‘health’ that food item may or may not yield when consumed by a person, or the ‘health’ of the person as a result of consuming that food… has no proven consistent correlation on any scale that is scientifically reliable or valid.

Yet we expect that by eating ‘healthy’… we will become healthy.

How’s that working out?

Let’s see… we have epidemics in obesity, diabetes, in chronic and lifestyle diseases… hmm… it appears that it ain’t. Meanwhile everyone is giving nutritional advice… from Oprah to Dr Oz.

The exception as I have stated at the outset is the medically institutionalized population as in patients of hospitals, long term care facilities, and hospices. In these scenarios, the patient is under constant observation thus it is possible to assess the impact that dietary changes have on the individual (and doing so without extracting applicability to the level of populations).

There is another exception which is disease specific individuals who would benefit from certain food items being eliminated from their diet, where the food item eliminated is the source of overwhelming and persistent inflammation which adds to the underlying dis-ease… but eating any specific food and obtaining health as a result… has yet to be demonstrated to occur with any degree of consistency, and reliably.

What matters is not the fuel, but the fire – its quality, its robustness, its longevity!

Want to change your health… then you need to change your fire, what it can burn, how it burns, what are the byproducts of it burning, etc…   How do you do that?

HEALTHY EXERCISE PERFORMED OVER LONG PERIODS CONSISTENTLY

Not just any exercise, and most definitely not the exercise that is prescribed by virtually all trainers, coaches, gyms and so called health clubs: i.e. it is not HiiT/hi intensity interval training.

The exercise we are sold today as healthy is not, its ‘exercise’ in name only as it is designed to cause you to buy, buy, buy feeding the industrial machine that is our economy. Your health is irrelevant. What is relevant is looking as if your health is improving, as if your health is important, and selling you on the belief that everyone actually cares about your health when all they want is you to buy, buy, buy. We’re promised that if we only buy, our health will be restored: its is just a matter of spin sessions, yoga tights, and smoothees away.


For those who have had ‘results’ with eating properly, eating based on nutritional advice… I would caution you on giving credit to where it doesn’t belong. Why? There is something called the placebo effect.  If unfamiliar with what the placebo effect is… in short, if a person in a white lab coat, with a stethoscope around their neck, a clipboard, basically someone who looks like a doctor or medical expert offers advice, when compared to the exact same advice given by someone dressed like your next door neighbour… the result is that the advice from the medical expert looking person ‘works’ better. How is that possible? Because we believe it will work better because we believe it is coming from someone who we trust is an expert. Our belief in what works and what doesn’t plays a massive role… its for this same reason that fortune telling and why nutritional advice ‘works’ and why both are still in business today.

The placebo effect is so significant that in order for any prescription drug to be permitted to be made available by medical doctors must demonstrate in clinical trials that the effect of the drug is not simply a result of the placebo effect… the drug actually has to work whether or not a patient believes it will work or not.

There is no evidence that I am aware of that demonstrates that nutritional advice ‘works’ (as in not just by placebo effect). If nutritional advice was ever shown by clinical trial not to deliver results greater than placebo effect, then the entire field of nutrition would cease to exist as a recognized and regulated health profession. I doubt that the profession is going to undertake any such research as the risk of self destruction is undoubtedly too high.

Triathlon Legend Mark Allen


“We have to train the physiology so that their body is perceiving that day as low stress. How do you train an athlete so that their mind, their internal emotions are perceiving this day as something they can tackle? And also how do you train their physiology so that inside the body’s going “this is hard, but its not the hardest thing I’ve ever done.” You have to provide them with training that over stresses both of these elements.”

Movement is A Language

I may finally have arrived at a way to concisely and effectively communicate why I hate HiiT (hi intensity interval training)? And when I say hate, I use the word unemotionally, its an authentic expression to the depth at which it hurts when I hear athletes/parents/coaches talk of it.

If movement is a language, then how we study movement should be comparable to the manner in which we study language, to the manner we use language… be it in poetry, in speech, in song.

Imagine if a teacher of language encouraged you to learn only a handful of sounds, not even words, just sounds, and then suggested that effective communication was the mere repetition of those sounds. If the goal of communication is not achieved thru these sounds, the teacher then suggests that the alternative approach is to escalate the intensity of the sounds until a zenith of screaming, screeching, yelling is reached, because effective communication can be achieved if sufficient decibels are put behind the sounds.

Sound familiar?  This is identical to that of a coach prescribing only workouts focused around targets of wattage, speed, or split times (i.e. decibel level), with sport specific technique dumbed-down to a handful of universal principles (i.e. sounds).

There is nothing more moronic, idiotic, ignorant, even evil for a teacher of language to do then to massacre language by dumbing-it-down to a handful of grunts and groans with intensity made the centre piece of communication. It is equally as moronic for a coach to dumb-down peak performance in sport to hi intensity interval training (HiiT).

As caveman grunting is to Shakespeare…
HiiT is to athletic training, to sport, to peak performance.

Those who teach that sport is nothing more than HiiT – i.e. caveman like activities of suffering in a pain-cave (no coincidence that a caveman approach wants a cave to hide in to train), via a “no pain no gain” mindset, where hurting oneself to the point of self harm or self mutilation is believed to be the source of strength, endurance or speed – are morons, idiots, ignorami who should be kept as far as possible from sport, especially from children who are experiencing sport for the first time.

Like language, movement is supposed to be beautiful, inspiring, captivating, intriguing, a creative outlet of self-expression, where an athlete – one who studies the language of movement – arrives to competition commanding such presence, attention, awareness that all eagerly wait to witness what awe-someness they will undoubtedly experience.

What does language have?

  • It has an alphabet which represents all the basic sounds of the language.
  • Those sounds, represented by letters are tied together in syllables, and syllables tied together to form words.
  • There are different types of words: nouns, pronouns, adjectives, verbs, adverbs and every word has a specific meaning, sometimes multiple meanings.
  • There are rules on how words are linked together to form sentences, how sentences are united to create paragraphs, and paragraphs linked to create essays, short stories, novels, and so forth.
  • There is complexity to language… there is figurative language: simile, metaphor, personificaiton, symbolism, and hyperbole.
  • There is more complexity when language uses literary devices: anachornisms, analogies, foreshadowing, imagery, irony, satire, understatements, etc…

The palette may consist of only 26 colours (letters in the case of our alphabet), but the number of paintings an artist can render from those simple starting points is infinite. Hence movement is limitless, hence sport is limitless.

Why is HiiT the training tool of the ignorant?  Because it is the equivalent of stripping language of all its complexity… dumbing-it-down to grunts and groans, teaching that communication is a simple matter of intensifying the grunts and groans to exchange concepts, ideas, to negotiate, to interact.

What sort of individual would dumb-down the beauty, the sweetness, the creativity, the white canvas that is language into grunts and groans? They would have to be the moron of morons.

Any coach who relies on HiiT… is just such a moron.
A moron you must avoid at all costs.

Because the risk is that their ignorance will get all over you, and that ignorance will take you down… in injury, in illness, in blow out, burn out, or meltdown; far short of your potential, far short of you experiencing peak performance.

Find a coach whose love for sport is no different than that of a teacher whose love of language compels their students to inhale book after book, to fall in love with verse.

Find a coach whose appreciation of movement leads athletes to fall in love with the complexity of the language that is movement. A coach who inspires athletes to explore, to play, to engage in movement encouraging not only self expression, but self discovery so that the potential of the athlete can and will be truly experienced.

To become the highest performing version of you… you need to find a coach who is willing to take the time to teach movement as a language so that as an athlete – a student of movement – you can start to learn how to write creatively, and then to write your own essays, your own short stories, perhaps a novel, maybe an entire series.

When movement is seen as a language, then you will come to appreciate that there truly is no limit to pursuing your potential.  If this was not the case, then long ago we would have decided as a civilization that there are no more combinations of words possible… that every book, song, story, play, movie that could be written has been written and we have reached the pinnacle of our existence, of our creativity. It hasn’t happened with words, it hasn’t happened with music, therefore it has not happened in movement, thus not in sport.

Every World Record that stands today is a single chapter in a novel of that sport… its waiting for you to come along and write the next chapter in the history of the sport. But to be able to write that chapter… you will need more than grunts and groans, you will need a full vocabulary, a thorough understanding of the rules, the patterns, the process to writing and sharing ideas.

I challenge you… become a student of movement so you can write yourself into the history of sport.

“No Pain, No Gain” Deafness

Wonder why athletes – who are supposed to be healthy – end up developing heart arrhythmias, heart attacks, strokes, or worst, end up dying? Part of the reason is because they have become deaf. No, not deaf as in cannot hear sounds from with-out, but unable to hear from with-in.

Think about it this way…

If you train yourself to deny what you are feeling, train yourself to repress feelings of discomfort, soreness, pain, well… how are you going to feel when you want to and need to feel?

If you train with the goal of deadening yourself to the messages your body sends, effectively numbing yourself to yourself, what happens when your body actually sends you a signal that you are in… distress? Numbing yourself so that in competition you can ‘hold on’ and live to survive to see the finish line may seem like a winning strategy… but it isn’t. It isn’t because it does not translate out to real life, as in the life you lead the other 20+hrs a day when you are not training, not ‘an athlete’.

What happens when you are in respiratory distress, cardiac distress, or as the athlete in the Runners World article (click here for link)… having an actually cardiac arrest? That’s right… a runner living an active “healthy” lifestyle that he likely boasts all about on Facebook and Instagram had an heart attack, and continued on his way as if nothing had happened, as if nothing was wrong. So “healthy” that he could not hear nor properly interpret the signs and symptoms that his body was communicating that he was in fact in the midst of an emergency situation, a life or death moment. A moment that he is blessed to have lived through and to tell about is a miracle!

If there was ever a time when the cliche was appropriate: “lights on… but no one home”.

This is how we have been collectively instructed by well-intended (but 100% clueless) trainers, coaches, and fellow athletes to train. This mindset of self denial, self suffering, self inflicted harm of “no pain, no gain”, to the point of self mutilation (i.e. I couldn’t walk for days after that CrossFit session… gnarly!) which is supposed to be building us healthier, is in fact doing the diametric opposite.

Look around… today the average person is unhealthy.

How do you think that after training day after day, training not to hear from within, that what… by magic you will hear from within, become self aware of significant health issues when necessary. How?  How will you discern between what you have trained yourself not to do (i.e. hear), when you need to hear in order to take affirmative and possibly life saving action?

You cannot.

You won’t.

If you train yourself to deny what you feel, then guess what… you are training yourself to be an expert in not hearing what your body and brains want to tell you, needs to tell you so that you can make healthy decisions… at work, at home, at the grocery store, at the gym, when out on the town.

That is why we all have heard from family, from friends… stories of people receiving diagnoses of heart disease, dementia, cancer yet absolutely and unequivocally blindsided by the fact that they are sick, they have a disease, they are ill, even terminally ill.

As if cancer is one day not there and then poof all of a sudden you have a golf ball sized tumor, or your arteries just overnight clog up, or your neural connections just all of a sudden deteriorate, or your endocrine (i.e hormonal) system is fine and then next day breakdowns as if abused for a decade or more.

It doesn’t happen that way.

Guess how ‘good’ decisions are when you are missing vital information to make a ‘good’ decision? They are random, and they are not decisions, because without all relevant info they are at most gambles of hope [that you are making a good decision].

Imagine running a business where the CEO refuses to listen to anyone, and I mean anyone in the entire company.  What if the CEO refused to listen, not just listen – has trained themselves not even to hear – the corporate lawyers, accountants, the other C-level executives, to the Board of Directors, to the shareholders? How long would that company last?

Well… that is exactly how we are running our bodies.  We are CEOs of our body and brain, and with “no pain, no gain” we train ourselves stupid because we train ourselves to not only not hear and not listen to, but we train ourselves to purposefully ignore the messages, the signals, the communication that millions and billions of years of evolution have programmed into us in order to keep us healthy.

Yet, we wonder in amazement… how did it happen?

How did I get 50, 80, 100lbs overweight?

How did I get heart disease, end up with a stroke or cancer?

Meanwhile, its back to the gym, pounding the s#!t out of ourselves believing that working out hard, harder and harder still is the right course of action.

Yeah, right.

I do not know how to say it, or how many times to say it… hi intensity training is stupid. HiiT should be reserved for highly trained athletes under the direct and watchful and caring supervision of a coach, or a team of coaches ensuring that nothing stupid happens to the athlete when they are pushing themselves to their limits. HiiT should never have been popularized due to its inherent risks, but that’s industry for you… screw you, all that matters is their revenue and profit targets.

If you are not a highly trained athlete – i.e. an athlete who has thousands upon thousands of hours of appropriate physiological and psychological base training – then there is absolutely no reason for you to be doing HiiT (hi intensity interval training).

If you are a highly trained athlete, then only if you are in a state of health (i.e. no injury, no illness, not recovering or still in rehab) should you perform HiiT.

If you are a highly trained athlete, only if you have developed and trained a profound sense of self awareness, a keen sense of intuition, or are being coached by someone who is well trained and well versed in evaluating and training athletes who are riding the red-line of peaking to perform in competition should you perform HiiT.

Peak performance, and exploration of your peak potential happens only in the condition of consistent training, not peak training. If you do not train consistently, then there is no reason to peak… for you have nothing to peak.

Find and work with a coach who can evaluate where you are at, can progress you in an healthy manner by developing capacity, skill and technique, and refuses to spike performance using HiiT in order to pacify your or their ego, a coach who places health as the priority. There are few such coaches, but taking the time to find one may mean the difference between life and death.

Most Intense & Most Diseased

As a follow up to the prior post [titled “Most Advanced & Most Depressed] I thought it would be appropriate to shed light on the tactics used by trainers, coaches, heck… the entire sport and fitness industry regarding “getting you healthy”.

The tactics used by the entire sport & fitness industry are NO different than the addictive “persuasive techniques developed by propagandists and the gambling industry” used by tech companies like Facebook and platforms such as Twitter, Snapchat, and Instragram to addict their users to get the average consumer to check their phone 150 times a day (at last count, and rising).

In the world of tech, the addiction is created by users seeking another and another hit of dopamine which comes with every ping, ding, like, follower, swipe and star.

In the world of sport & fitness, the addiction is created to endorphins where the trainer or coach teaches a trainee or athlete to suffer under the guise of “no pain, no gain” so that every workout becomes a quest for ever more self inflicted pain and suffering.

The epitome of achievement in the world of sport & fitness is when you obtain “beast mode”, a level of such self hate that you are willing to push your body til you cough or pee blood. Trainers & coaches revel in the limelight of being able to ‘hurt’ trainees and athletes, with those who can hurt you the most feared for the level of punishment they can push you to cause yourself.

It’s absurd.

It’s juvenile.

It’s bulls#it!

If we are wondering what on earth we are doing to children’s brains through the addiction to technology, and especially social media apps, then perhaps the sport & fitness industry can shed some light…

In a time when health and fitness clubs mark almost every street corner and strip mall, a time when trainers have become TV celebrities, interviewed as if experts on all things health, placed in positions of authority when it comes to health and wellness… then surely there must be some evidence of success. Is there? Is there any evidence of success of all this endorphin seeking high intensity interval training?

NO!

Even the godfather of HiiT himself – Trainer Bob Harper of Biggest Loser stardom – has had his own heart attack proving that what he has preached adds up to a big fat ZERO! Review the aftermath of Biggest Loser contests, the stories shared by contestants while on the TV series and you will read that the weight loss on the show was exactly that… a show, with most unable to keep up appearances once out of the spotlight.

HiiT is a bunch of smoke and mirrors, selling cosmetic health as a proxy for true health.

If all this ‘health & wellness advice’ was accurate in anyway then we – collectively – would not be the most diseased, most overweight, most obese, most medicated, most depressed, most anxious, the most addicted and sickest society ever!

If there is anything more indicative of the health of society then it must be the state of our children… but unfortunately they are as overweight, obese, and addicted as their parents.

A recent study predicts that 57% of children today will be obese when they hit 35!  Think about that… just for a moment. If 57% of the population is obese, and obesity comes after being overweight… will anyone be of healthy weight?

We are nowhere close to these stats, meanwhile my daughter has already been bullied at school for being too thin, aka too healthy! Now, that is sick.

For one child to look at another, and instead of hoping and wanting health, instead wants the healthy child to become sick like them… now that is a sick mindset. It leaves me wondering… where are the parents? Do they not see the suffering they are inflicting or perpetuating upon their own flesh & blood? Do they not care? Or, does their social media avator have them so desperate for attention and acceptance that the health and well-being of their child has become secondary?

And this is the the outcome of the most technological and medically advanced society! So whats gonna happen when we become even more technological and medically advanced?

Let’s cut the crap…

HiiT… is bulls#it.

“No pain, no gain”… is the bulls#it that started this whole mess.

“An endorphin high” as a measure of a ” good “ workout…. is bulls#it.

Health does not come by slapping 30mins of exercise as a bandaid to cover day after day of intense stress, of toxic relationships, of unfulfilling work, of improper eating, drinking, where insufficient rest, recovery and sleep, are made up with “sports nutrition” products along with prescribed or over the counter medications to keep both ends of the candle burning brightly for at least one more day (hopefully, fingers crossed, knock on wood… as if that makes any difference).

You want health, then it must be the priority, not a close second.

You want health, then all decisions need to be made through the filter of the impact they can have, will have, even may have on your health, on you and/or your family.

That is the price of health, and that IS the truth.

Anyone telling you otherwise is bulls#iting you.

Good Bones

The Town of Oakville is giving the Oakville Arena – located on Rebecca St – an uplift.  The 64 year old building will have $29 million of renovations, updates, and additions.

Driving past I had to stop and take a few pictures before the original structure was entirely engulfed by the new. I had to capture the construction of the original structure.

Take a close look at the construction of the domed roof… its wood.  Wood from the 1950s.

It got me thinking about structures built well from the start, it got me thinking about athletes who are built well from the start (and conversely those who are not).

Today our primary building block for structures is steel bar reinforced concrete. Problem… as with most things we do these days, we are little concerned about the long term. Steel reinforced concrete allows us to build taller and lighter structures than if there was no steel. Fabulous! We can leverage a plot of land by building floor after floor after floor. What few mention is that steel bar reinforced concrete has a long term issue… the steel eventually rusts, the concrete loosens, deteriorates and falls away from the steel, eventually leading concrete to literally fall off in chunks, or it having to be cleared away, the underlying structure cleaned up and reinforced to prevent the entire structure from collapsing. Wonder why construction on the elevated Gardiner never seems to end, its because it can never end because if it ever did stop… the Gardiner would come crumbling down. All thanks to the go-to solution of steel bar reinforced concrete. At the time of its original construction, the concept of an elevated highway made affordable by using steel bar reinforced concrete must have come across as space age brilliance.  Today, the Gardiner is a drain on the City of Toronto budget to the tune of hundreds of millions of dollars (verging on billions if you add up past, present and future commitments).

Funny, eh? The pyramids have stood centuries, the Gardiner cannot last one.  The pyramids were built with solid blocks of rock, yet the Gardiner was built with 21st century architectural and construction technology. So… are we actually progressing or regressing as a result of all this so called technology?

We can erect a structure in no time flat… is that what matters?  Is what matters how quickly we can complete a project, and how many projects we can complete all at once? What about getting one project done, and done well… with quality, with excellence. Nope. No time for that.

We are busier than ever, moving faster than ever, doing more than ever, but are we solving anything or simply creating more problems, while kicking the can down the road for the problems that have already started to boomerang? It seems all that we are doing is loading future generations with debt and with projects that we know today will crumble if not maintained constantly.

I remember the day my daughter came home from school and shared that she learnt on her field trip that First Nations people (she didnt refer to a specific tribe) made decisions based on how that decision would impact multiple generations into the future.  If the impact was negative, even if the here and now stood to benefit, the decision was not approved by the elders.

Just stop and think about that: how many people put any effort into just thinking let alone thinking about how their decisions, how their behaviour today will impact tomorrow, and their children tomorrow? Does anyone consider consequences or costs to today’s actions? How much time do you put into the decisions that will affect your health, your well-being, your performance in life, that will affect the health, wellness and performance of your children? Anything beyond a couple seconds? Anything beyond a poll of what everyone else is doing?

The parallel to sport, to training, to performance, to health is this…

We have our own structures: our body, our brain, our organs, which total as our health.

If we are ‘building’ our health the same way we build buildings… well, lets just say that the epidemics and crises we face should be no surprise. That we live in a society of victims afraid of their own shadow, afraid of being shamed and hated at any instant, so fearfilled that now the average person is not healthy but unhealthy: overweight, obese, addicted to medical prescriptions, recreational drugs, or all of the above. It really should be no surprise based on how we behave.

Its time we stop with the bandaid – i.e. steel reinforced concrete – solutions, which although tempting, and appear to be ideal solutions for the here and now… are not long term solutions.

What do you want your structure to look like, to work like in the coming years and decades? Do you want it to be like the Gardiner? Needing almost a billion in renovations to keep it alive? Seems with all the cosmetics, cosmetic surgery, and health and wellness interventions that that is the plan for most.  Lets continue to bandaid over the crumbling infrastructure despite the fact that the core is rotting. The Gardiner was once a triumph of city planning and construction, now its called an eye sore and a barrier between the City of Toronto and its beautiful waterfront? Is that what you have become? An eye sore, with the health of your body and brain a barrier between you and your potential?

What about being like the Oakville Arena? Built from what many would consider inferior material as compared to concrete, yet the original building is not being torn down, far from it, it is been added onto and more importantly the building is seen as beautiful and worthy of upkeep so that many generations to come get to enjoy skating and playing hockey under its wonderful wooden roof.


FYI… we are cutting the same corners in residential construction.

A firefighter whose daughter swam with my daughter a few years back shared with me one day that he was called out to a fire in a row of townhomes.  Due to poor construction, they no longer enter these buildings for risk of total collapse. The construction these days is so poor – the cross beams supporting the roof are not nailed together but held by thin NON FIRE RESISTANT metal screens – that when a fire breaks out, it literally melts these screens leading to total collapse/cave-ins of the home. He shared that firefighters have been caught on main and basement levels when the entire residential structure above caved in and collapsed on them.

Gee… now why would we skimp on nails, NAILS for crying out loud! Replacing them with thin sheets of metal?

Because some MBA sitting at their labtop hired to figure out how to save a few pennies identifies that nails are too expensive.

Because today… money matters more than human life.

Because today… time matters more than human life.

Because today… now matters more than human life.

Because today… what we want matters more than the impact it has on our children.

Because today… I want what I want, and all that matters is that I get what I want… NOW!

Its time for all the adults to grow-up and start acting and making the tough decisions that adults are supposed to make.  For their own well being, and that of their children.


Does Daniel Clarke Have A Death Wish?

After reading the title of Clarke’s Vlog #047 “Nutrition Breakthrough”, I wondered what was the epiphany this triathlon neo-pro had today. I don’t watch all of Clarke’s vlogs but once in a while I give in and think… why not. It tickles me now being in my 40s, with two kids of high school age to watch the arrogance/ignorance of youth, especially youth which has been put on a podium or puts itself on a podium.

Today, there was no tickling… I watched Clarke’s video and was gob-smacked.  He didn’t really say what I think he just said… did he? Hold on, let’s play that back and listen… and then I had to listen again. He did! He really did say what he said… and the thought crossed my mind…

Does Clarke have a death wish?

Below is a transcript of Clarke’s vlog #047 starting at 2:39, and here is the link to the Youtube video if you want to hear for yourself:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=14LqTn0cglY

Daniel Clarke:

“Usually when I do longer harder workouts, I feel like literally everything has been drained out of my pores, I feel really weak, sometimes I would have headaches, there would be a little bit of dizziness, sometimes my vision would be a little bit blurry. I always in the past just attributed that to the fact that triathlon training, Ironman training its hard, its meant to be hard, you are pushing your body I just accepted that’s the way it is and I never investigated it further. The big takeaway… just because you are doing something one way doesn’t mean that its optimal for you. And because what I was doing wasn’t broke then there is no reason to fix it… but in Tremblant it broke and fixing it is something I needed to do.”

Clarke’s fix… salt pills.

—————————————————–

Cadel Evans, leader of cycling WorldTour team, TEAM BMC, winner of the 2010 Giro d’Italia, winner of the 2011 Tour de France, winner of 2009 World Road Race Championships shares in his book “Cadel Evans: The Long Road to Paris” that on one mountain stage he started to lose vision as a result of the effort he was putting forth.

Its one thing to be a GC (General Classification) contender, to be a leader of a cycling WorldTour team, to be leading a team of top professional cyclists with the expectation of winning the Tour de France, to be competing in the Tour itself, a race that lasts 21 days covers 3,500+ km of horizontal and 35+ km of vertical distance, to be on a mountain stage at altitude, in the moment of competition against the best of the best in the world of cycling, to be an athlete with over a decade of training and racing experience at an international level as a pro, to be an athlete who knows what they are doing to their body, who understands and is able to weigh the risks of their actions.

Its one thing to be the leader of the Tour or to be going after the yellow jersey – because there are a select few times in life where it may be appropriate for an all out effort – BUT…

Its an entirely different thing for a neo-pro, who demonstrates little evidence of having enough knowledge or understanding of basic human body function, let alone advanced physiological and psychological principles and training concepts to push themselves routinely to extremes. Besides, Clarke is talking about training; he is not experiencing these medical signs and symptoms while competing in the race of his pro career, he is talking about headaches, dizziness and vision loss in regular training! Worse, he is talking about training during a long distance session… as in training which should be aerobic, not at or beyond VO2 max.

Clarke inflicts upon himself signs and symptoms that anyone else would seek medical assessment, emergency medical assessment if these signs and symptoms were severe.

[Honestly, tack on slurred speech and you have ALL the symptoms of a TIA or a stroke!]

Clarke, thinks its A-OK to repeatedly subject his body to stress & strain of such intensity and duration that pain, vision, and balance are compromised.

FYI… its NOT!

Hey, Clarke… ya think asphyxiating yourself on a regular basis to the point that you’re dizzy, to the point that you have visual disturbances is in an way healthy?  Can you consider that maybe you are so high on yourself that you falsely believe that the account from which you constantly overdraw from (i.e. your health) to bulk up your fitness is not endless and maybe, just maybe, one day the piper will come calling, and your debts will have to be paid?

Think about it…

Your brain – the most important organ in your body, the organ your body will defend to ensure that it gets the resources it needs – is FAILING IN ITS ABILITY TO FUNCTION… ya think that there may be an issue with what you think is “not broken”?

If your brain is going blue (as in blue from vasoconstriction), then how do you think your liver, stomach, pancreas, kidneys, intestines, all your other internal and vital organs are doing? If your brain is blue, how do you think your heart is doing? If your brain is blue, then what sort of training are your muscles, your nerves getting?  What sort of resources are they receiving if your brain ain’t getting what it needs?

What’s the plan?

Do Ironman entirely an-aerobically, holding VO2 max for 8+ hours?

Is this what you deem a smart race strategy?

Is that why you think what you are doing can in any way be called “training”?

I assure you… what you are doing is not training; unless your goal is near death experiences.

“No pain, no gain”, “PR or ER” are impaired mental states and not philosophies that consistent peak performers follow to achieve their fullest potential. These are sales & marketing ploys used by industry to sell you on narratives such as “Beast mode” and other absurd, juvenile, insane concepts of health and wellness.

Clarke, you needed things to break @Tremblant – i.e. you needed a crisis as a pro athlete – in order that your eyes and ears open to the fact that… you might not know everything there is to know about training, racing, lets not mention just basic human body physiology… so do tell… what happens when you are in your late 30s, maybe early 40s and all this catches up to you? I mean… surely you have stopped for a moment and considered what asphyxiating yourself will eventually do?  Right?  You have, haven’t you… stopped and considered the consequences, the side-effects, the long term risks of what you are doing?

What’s the plan? When you hit 40, or maybe ‘old-age’ doesn’t catch up to you til you are 50 and the headaches, dizziness, and vision difficulties don’t go away… then what?  Head to the doctor scratching your head as to why, or how, or what ever could be the source, the cause, the root of all these impairments?

You may not even need to wait til 40, as there are athletes of your age who as a result of their own or their coaches mantra to go hard, harder, go til you pee or cough blood led to them suffering heart attacks, developing heart beat irregularities, even brain aneurysms. I’ve met an athlete who had to have a defibrillator implanted into his chest. Imagine needing a device the size of a deck of cards to be implanted under your skin to make sure you don’t die on a daily basis. Sure, lifesaving device, but what if the need for that device was self inflicted, or perhaps coach inflicted from chronic overtraining, overstressing a young body, demanding that it puke up one more rep, even faster than the last, and then another and another?

Then what?

You are free to do as you please with your body and brain… they are after all your body and brain, but what I believe is 100% careless and reckless is that there are amateur athletes both age group (as in kids) and masters who watch your vlogs and will think to themselves… oh, you mean that’s how hard I have to push myself in training.  You mean that’s what I have to do to myself in order to be considered a ‘serious triathlete’, this is the expected ‘payment’ in blood that has to be made to call oneself a pro? And without any further investigation whether or not its the right way to train, whether or not its healthy… will monkey see, monkey do, and train in similar ways as you.

Clarke, are you prepared to handle the consequences of your “advice” falling on unsuspecting amateur athletes that wanna be like Clarke, who then do like Clarke, and train like Clarke… train til they cannot see straight or retain balance while standing? Are you prepared for the call when they are in a bike accident having pushed themselves til they can’t see straight… when they trained like they heard you train?

I worked in long term care, in convalescent care, in pre and post surgical units, with the chronically and terminally ill for over a decade. I can tell you one thing for certain… not one patient I ever met thought that when they were young that they were living ‘wrong’, unhealthy, in a way that would have consequences on their health as an adult. When we are young, all of us think we are invincible, immune to anything going wrong. When they were young (for example) smoking cigarettes was new, was cool, was the ‘in’ thing that all the ‘in’ kids did. Today, struggling for each breathe, able to function only because of the oxygen they inhale through nasal prongs, dealing with chest infection after chest infection… some will still deny that the pack a day, or two, for a few decades has anything to do with their lung disease, be it cancer, COPD, or however it manifested. Why? Because we do not believe, we cannot believe that we could inflict upon ourselves such injury, that we could ever cause ourselves harm, dysfunction, let alone disease.

Wakey, wakey… we can and we do it to ourselves all the time. We just don’t like to admit it.

Clarke, I hope you and everyone else who trains in a similar manner receive this blog not as a slight, but as a wake up call. Read it appreciating that I have true concern for your well being, for your state of mental and physical health, concern for you from the damage you are repeatedly inflicting upon yourself. Damage that unlike @Tremblant, I guarantee you do not want to ever experience, because if you do, it could very well be too late for a salt pill to make it all better.

Worst Innovation in Triathlon [1]

Short cuts, short cuts, and more short cuts… unfortunately the sport of triathlon has become more of a sport of short cuts, then a sport recognizing proper training, proper skill, tactic, strategy and execution.

Instead of years building a base, nope… short cut… go straight to HIIT, to all-out efforts.

Instead of learning how to move with ease, with agility, balancing and coordinating the entire body, doing so effortlessly so as to maximize efficiency, nope… short cut… go straight to swimming, cycling and running at peak effort, peal power, max speed.

Instead of starting with entry level equipment, and learning to differentiate between gains made by training, and those available through equipment and technology, nope… short cut… go straight to top of the line equipment.

Well, the short cuts are finally starting to catch up with triathletes, and if the double pronged and/or cut out seat is not the worst short cut of them all, then I do not know what is.

The double pronged or cut out seat were created it seems for the sole purpose of solving the numbness and the pain experienced by those riding in a time trial [TT] or aero position on a triathlon bike.

To solve the problem of pelvic floor pain and numbness from an engineering perspective: eazy peezy, find the bones in the pelvis, support those bones, cut away everything else and boom… an evolution in seating! But did anyone stop to ask an health professional? Did anyone stop to ask if this problem is a problem that should be solved in this manner? No way, there are just too many triathletes and cyclists with painful pelvic floors, so stop talking and start selling a short cut that is sure to make millions.

But what if you are an athlete who has even the slightest interest in…

  • retaining urinary control in your later years (not becoming incontinent),
  • retaining the ability to have an erection without it being chemically induced,
  • not having a prolapse of the bladder, urethra, or rectum,
  • not having a prolapse of the uterus or vagina,
  • not experiencing pain during sex as a result of pelvic floor dysfunction,
  • not having to endure any form of treatment or surgery to repair a damaged pelvic floor,
  • not causing and then having to live with damage [that you did to your own pelvic floor] as a result of poor biomechanics and poor cycling technique, then I suggest…

(a) take your pelvic floor pain and numbness issues seriously. They indicate that something is wrong, so seek appropriate, trained, experienced assistance from a registered health professional to heal and recover fully, then

(b) take yourself to a coach who is knowledgeable in anatomy, biomechanics, and physiology, and is experienced in teaching and progressing athletes in cycling technique and take the time to actually learn how to ride with proper technique, and

(c) either get the appropriate bike for your skill level plus a bike fit or if your bike is suitable then get a bike fit with the technique focused coach present during the fitting, so that the fitting reflects your current level: your current flexibility, mobility, and current level of cycling technique and skill set.

Cycling is as technical as swimming, as running, as Olympic Lifting, as any sport. Coaches who do not know the technique of cycling, or don’t have the slightest clue how to teach technique… dumb-down the sport to their level of ignorance teaching that cycling is simply grinding or pounding out power readings.

If you truly are in sport to learn, to discover, to explore your potential, to regain health, to live an active lifestyle, to model healthy living for your family, then start at the beginning… start with technique.


Abdominal Anatomy and Biomechanics Basics

Here’s why and how poor biomechanics and poor cycling technique can lead to pelvic floor damage and eventually dysfunction.

The diaphragm (top black line) is your primary breathing muscle. The pelvic floor (bottom black line) is made up of a collection of muscles which create a concave shape mirroring the shape of the pelvis with a primary role of supporting the internal organs.

Anatomy of the Abdominal Cylinder

Click Image to Enlarge
Image Attribution: GilbertoASanchezA

Between the diaphragm and the pelvic floor are all your vital organs.  Your organs do not compress which means that in order for you to take a proper diaphragmatic inhalation, your organs have to shift downwards when your diaphragm contracts. When your diaphragm contracts it moves downwards expanding the thorax so as to expand the lungs causing air to rush in.

Click Image to Enlarge

When you relax your diaphragm, it recoils back to an ‘up’ position as shown in the image above. Meanwhile, your lungs compress, pushing air out of them, resulting in exhalation while your organs shift back into their ‘up’ position.  This up and down shifting can be called the abdominal piston (see gif image below). The abdominal piston and the breathing cycle are synchronous in an healthy individual. An healthy individual is healthy because they have a proper and healthy breathing pattern, and have proper neuro-muscular awareness, tone, and control of their all their abdominal muscles (including those of the pelvic floor).

An healthy individual is healthy because their abdominal piston moves smoothly, easily, effortlessly throughout its full range of motion.


Click Image to Enlarge
Piston Gif Attribution: R. Castelnuovo

To review… when you inhale the piston head (vital organs) shifts down and when you exhale the piston head shifts up. This is proper use of your anatomy, this is proper and healthy breathing biomechanics.  The result of these healthy biomechanics is that you do not create excessive intra-abdominal pressure, you do not compress and stress your vital organs (e.g. stomach, pancreas, intestines, kidneys, liver, gallbladder, spleen, bladder, uterus, ovaries), you do not stress your pelvic floor, you do not pinch or compress blood vessels and nerves which travel through your abdomen. With healthy biomechanics – i.e. with proper use of your musculo-skeletal system – you do not lock, brace, make rigid any of the musculo-skeletal structures in your core. With healthy biomechanics you do not stop the abdominal piston from moving… not ever.

What Happens When We Use Our Anatomy Incorrectly?

Click Image to Enlarge

We have conscious control over our diaphragm even though breathing to a large extent is controlled subconsciously.  We can allow our diaphragm to be used by our body as the primary breathing muscle, or we can use our diaphragm to do something that it was not designed to do… that is to act as an immobilizer of our lower thoracic and lumbar spines, and as a result an immobilizer of our abdominal piston.

Our body was designed to be dynamic: stable yet simultaneously mobile at all times; never fixed, immovable, or rigid. Elasticity – as in flexible movement – prevents injury. Rigid immobile structures bear load until load exceeds their tolerance and then the only option for those structures is to fail.

Fixed bridges do not bend, they either take the load or they fail and collapse under the load.

Your core is no different. When you brace and lock your core (i.e. your spine, back muscles, gluts, hamstrings, obliques, etc…), you stop the abdominal piston. When your core is locked, when the piston is stopped, your core structures can tolerate a small amount of load. Beyond that point, one or more structures will fail. Which one? The weakest link in the group fails and results in injury to one or starts of a cascading effect where more than one structure ends up strained, sprained, or worse, ruptured. In one person the injury may manifest as an inguinal hernia, in another its spasms in their back muscles and/or gluts, in another it results in a bulging lumbar disc placing pressure on the sciatic nerve. Injury with a locked core, injury with a stopped abdominal piston is not only predictable, it is inevitable.

When you lock your core, the first question is how long will be it before something gives?

The second question is how much damage will you cause to yourself as a result of locking your core?Third question is how extensive will the clean be, how long will it take to clean up the mess, then to heal, then to recover and then to start rebuilding?

Is this what you want? Is this what you signed up for from training, from starting an exercise program, from hiring a trainer or coach?

If all an athlete does is heal from an injury, or worse jumps back into training never retraining how to use their core, then re-injury is as certain as the initial injury. Once an athletes starts on a vicious cycle (aka negative training cycle or doom loop) then they are stuck alternating between being injured and not training or training but in pain, never fully healthy, never truly recovering, never truly rebuilt; that is until they take the time to properly retrain themselves.

Your core is not built or designed to function like a fixed bridge, its built like a suspension bridge with distinct support structures, and structures which have the capacity to move and are supposed to move resulting in a bridge that can bend, twist, adapting to extreme loads (e.g. as with high winds in the image below). Imagine if this suspension bridge was fixed, unable to swing, bend, move… then like the stone bridge or the wooden railroad bridge it would fail when stressed. Suspension bridges will fail at some point as well, but their failure point requires far more load, far more stress, far greater forces in order for that to happen.So, what kind of core do you have? What kind of core is your coach training you to have? Is your coach training you to lock and brace under stress, setting you up to inevitably fail; or is your coach training you to be dynamic, flexible, mobile, able to yield and prevail under extreme stress?

Think about it… competition is a form of extreme stress, business and life both can exert extreme loads and forces upon us, what are you training to do under stress? What is your coach or trainer teaching you do under stressful loads? Prevail or lock up and collapse?

If your children are enrolled in sport… what are their coaches training them to do? Are your children learning skills while practicing their sport which translate to competition, and more importantly into academia, into relationships, into life?  What are your children’s coaches training them to be able to do… prevail or lock up and collapse when stressed?


Attribution of Abdominal Anatomy image from Wikipedia:

  • Link:  https://es.wikipedia.org/wiki/Archivo:Abdomen_Anatomy.jpg
  • Author:  GilbertoASanchezA
  • Image modifications: TheAthletesCloud.ca

Attribution of Piston gif from Wikipedia:

  • Link: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Piston.gif
  • Author: R. Castelnuovo
  • Image modifications: TheAthletesCloud.ca