“It always seems impossible until it’s done.”
- Nelson Mandela
There are 95-and-over age brackets at track tournaments.
People scoff. I send them clips of the 102-year-old record holder: https://youtu.be/tOzCoDvRqyk
There are people missing limbs whose strength performances rival division I collegiate superstars.
People scoff. I send them clips of amputees pulling 630lb deadlifts: https://youtu.be/wnmKXzq6Zuo
There are 50-year-old moms in better shape than most of my male peers when they were in their 20s.
People scoff. I send them a clip of Olympic gymnast Oksana Chusovitina who was THE top ranked vaulter in the world just a few years ago: https://youtu.be/XNNmjH0nxWM
About 90% of billionaires are at least in their 50s, 70% are at least in their 60s, 40% are over 70. The average age for a person’s net assets to exceed the millionaire mark is their late 50s.
People scoff, ready to give up at 30, 40, 50. I forward them the FIRST book Bertha Wood ever published: https://www.amazon.com/.../ref=cm_sw_em_r_mt_dp.... She began penning it at age 90. It first published when she was 100-years-old.
There are destitute people with no advantages who find a toehold and make a way.
People scoff. Learn Oprah’s backstory. Read Mark Mathabane’s “Kaffir Boy.” Read Nick Vujicic’s “Life Without Limits.” Jim Kwik is now a world-renowned expert on learning and memorization. Growing up, he was known as “the boy with a broken brain,” saddled with a learning disability so severe that most educators thought him a lost cause.
Disproportionately, a majority of my best clients and employees were/are minorities and very unlike me. People with broken cognition, broken thyroids, broken bodies, broken spirits, broken mentality, broken trust of society, have all shown me that they can excel specifically where others say “it’s impossible; the game is rigged.” Well, the game is rigged. I agree. But you will never catch me agreeing that it’s impossible.
Mandela was right. But he didn’t go far enough in that quote. Even after we see that it’s possible, we still round up “difficult” or “rare” to “impossible.” The resistance against improvement is so fragile and so dedicated to its victim narrative that there are now sophisticated ways to try to shame encouragement. I’ve seen simple realistic encouragement replied to as “toxic,” or “culturally insensitive,” or worse. People will insist that an event of the past must enslave them for the future. When they choose perpetual victimhood, what other conclusion is there but "impossible"?
What is more toxic and culturally insensitive than to label a well-meaning advocate as “toxic” and “insensitive”? Those labels only work for someone who is mired in their own ethnocentrism. They only “work” for an elitist and exclusivist. Absolutely, I agree that people can misuse/abuse rare or outlier stories as a way to dismiss averages and become tone deaf to underprivileged people. That does happen. But to throw the blankets of “toxicity” and “insensitivity” on every single factual item which challenges victim narratives is the bigger error. It’s the biggest error. It’s a selfish, arguably narcissistic, opinion-brandishing which seeks to undermine positivity and honest encouragement. Insisting on perpetual victimhood is primarily a way to persecute and bully others. Hurt people hurt people.
It always seems impossible until it’s done?
The mind determines what’s possible before it even tries and certainly when it doesn't know. Those who insist on victim narrative debate that all things are impossible. All things are impossible to the person who insists on remaining forever a victim to that which isn't currently happening. And possibilities unfold precisely at the juncture where we choose not to be victim, to no longer be victim, to stop imagining the present is shackling us because of our obsession with the past or the imaginary.
Unfortunately, many people let one misunderstanding destroy their health. In most cases, it destroys their lives. People clamor for fat loss and stamina; but they tend to completely ignore the single capability which makes those two things possible. When this misunderstanding runs amok, they get the trends which are only intensifying in the developed world: rapid acceleration of the loss of health. If we can just keep this one item in mind, we can begin to reclaim a lot of our lost health prospects.
There is only one thing missing in all of the elderly people in assisted care or nursing homes: strength. Some are thin. Some can walk all day. Some can stand for hours. None are strong. None. Endurance and body comp are nice. But there is only one thing we’re destined to lose when we don’t attend to it. This is a particularly damning problem, because the remaining physical abilities are all contingent on how much strength potential is left.
Be strong. Be mobile. Be enduring. Perhaps, be relatively lean. But don’t throw away health because of idolatry to body composition.
I once had a client who was in the best overall shape of her whole life just three years before she totally threw away her life. It was one of the starkest examples I’d ever witnessed of a person opting directly into rapid loss of health.
She was at her peak while we were training only twice weekly. At the time, she was plugged in with me, with a yoga practice AND a variety of endurance training and activities.
A busy season of work and life began to chip away at her availability, first bringing us to unpredictable once weekly meetings. At that point, her strength did remain, just barely. However, she stopped yoga AND any cardiorespiratory efforts. Body composition began to slightly worsen, only slightly; but it was evident that her top-end endurance vanished.
Over the course of the next two-and-a-half years, our frequency lessened all the more, all the while I increasingly encouraged her to find a way to become more plugged in through the week, perhaps finding a new yoga studio, signing up for a cycling club or ANYTHING.
I no longer had the availability to take her more than once every two-to-four weeks or so. Otherwise, I would’ve encouraged her to return to the template which worked, our original weekly split. She began reporting back “exercise” as “going for walks.” This would be a win for someone who was completely sedentary. But for someone who had been very athletic, this was a significant downgrade and a probable sign of continued worsening.
In exercise science studies, strength can be maintained and even built a little in as infrequently as once weekly. If it’s a targeted practice, there need not be high frequency. In fact, too much frequency will not allow progress. But at far less than once weekly and with no real targeted effort, strength will vanish. This is not “getting older.” This is a specific request we make to the body, pleading to get weaker. Young people, too, get weaker if they train the body to get weaker.
Unfortunately, strength is the key to all other aspects of health and fitness. Endurance, mobility and body comp can all be achieved pretty rapidly once there’s strength aplenty. Without strength, they’re a dice roll at best and an impossibility at worst.
Long story short, this same client I described above decided to become incredibly weak. The first thing I noticed was that her frequency of colds and regular illness skyrocketed. I tend to followup with people for years after we worked together, just to check in and make sure they’re alright. In her case, every check-in was substantially worse than the prior. I worried for her, as she had become quite slight, and now had really big risks of bone break or trauma with even a light fall. In fact, this is precisely what happened almost at the three year mark to the day from when she’d let busyness first distract her. She took a routine simple fall at work one day, resulting in traumatic brain injury. In the three years since, she has not recovered cognitive function. She did not rebuild her strength. And without rebuilding it, I don’t see her making a neurological comeback.
I still check on her. At last look, she was attending her therapy, but had become even less regular in her fitness practices than when we discontinued working together.
The most worrisome report of hers was the all-or-nothing false religion that so many Americans errantly believe. Since she couldn’t be immediately lean and high cardiorespiratory output, why bother even strengthening, right? Never mind you’ll never get the leanness and high output capability without strength. I worry for her. I worry for a lot of people in the developed world.
Her false religion is ubiquitous. If people can’t lose weight readily, they quit strengthening. If people don’t have high cardiorespiratory capacity, they stop with mobility practices. This single misunderstanding is literally killing us.
Fitness is bigger than magazine covers. And force production is THE ONLY thing that will keep you out of the nursing home. There are plenty flexible, thin people with endurance in the nursing home. There isn’t one person at the nursing home who can squat 200-500lbs.
Don’t throw away your health just because you misunderstand fitness. Don’t let this one item destroy your life.
Almost. Researchers are finding that if we use a peptide (GLP-1) or related drug to artificially suppress appetite, people can keep about 40lbs off at one year after the weight loss: https://healthsciences.ku.dk/.../researchers-find-the.../ .
This is sognificant, because in studies and at medical weight loss clinics, the 10 year follow-up is a 99% fail rate. At the 2-3 year follow-up, over 90% of success stories, testimonials, and jaw-dropping transformations turn to complete failures. It’s so bad that most clinics won’t even publish anything after year 3.
I have clients who are 80-150lbs lighter at 10-20 year follow-up. I have peers who do as well. I’ve seen outliers. They exist. There are people 200+lbs lighter at 5, 10, 15 years later. It is exceeding rare; but it exists. In ALL of these cases, I’ve only witnessed the continually successful approach being centered around long-term development of strength and habit-building for athleticism. On the dietary side, tactics vary greatly. Some had surgical alteration of the body so they can’t physically binge easily. Others rely on a cocktail of drugs. VERY FEW lock in a lifelong balanced practice with regard to food.
Thus, although I’m as anti-intervention as you can get, perhaps we have to acknowledge that the most widespread substance abuse and drug addiction is food and drama. You heard me: people are friggin ADDICTED to food, stress, and drama. AND, frankly, it’s maybe going to take medications for most people. Drug therapy may not be ideal. But if the average people walking around are severely mentally ill junkies, it’s probably not going to work to tell them “move more; eat less.” That’s to say nothing about how that advice misses the point altogether: a lot of people need to eat MORE of nutrients in order to keep excess useless body mass off. A lot of people need to learn to stop getting high from seeking and choosing drama and chronically invoking stress responses. Yes. It’s a real thing. We dump dopamine and get high when we thrust our brains into drama:
It sounds odd to people who don’t study human behavior as their profession. But there is an opiate-like high from the drama of wrecking your health, quitting a healthy diet, sabotaging love-ones, stressing work environments, engaging in useless debates, and so on. That’s right: there is a mental “payoff” from failing. There is a psychological “benefit” from drama addiction.
So, incretin drugs like GLP-1 may play a critical role in offsetting the widespread self-destruction. With appetite more sated, people won’t get quite as high from sabotaging themselves. This has to do with the neurotransmitter balance associated with satiety and hunger-reduction. To a certain extent, cravings and hunger are a yearning for drama. They are the withdrawal symptoms of sobriety. People tell me “the craving/hunger is overwhelming.” And I say, “welcome to sobriety.” Getting and staying sober is a daily journey. You don’t get the luxury to quit your addiction without a single withdrawal symptom.
That’s probably where GLP-1 can step in. I’d add that you should also pay attention to nutrient sufficiency, choline and cholinomimetics until you’re past the 3-5 year barrier. But all of that is going to take more than popping a pill a day, which is simply too much for people. On average, anything beyond a pill from the doc is too much. Just a reminder that half of people who would die from skipping a life-saving pill DO SKIP taking that one simple daily step: https://www.uspharmacist.com/.../medication-adherence-the...
Morbid obesity in America DOUBLED in the exact same period of time that FitBit and other tracking technology exploded into popularity. Obviously, I believe in health and fitness. Absolutely people should incorporate healthy behaviors. But human behavior doesn’t care about exercise science, nutrition science, or logic. Rational approaches to irrational problems can’t cut it. We need non-rational solutions to our non-rational problems.
Paradoxically, swapping one drug for another may be precisely the answer. I hate to say it. But I am ultimately a pragmatist. We have to do what works, regardless of what we believed “should be.” And right now, GLP-1 is looking pretty good for people who just straight up are not going to manage themselves or develop discipline.
Sustainable weight loss is here; it just may look unlike anything we expected. And that could be a good thing.
“Not one of you can out-will me. You may have been born with more genetic prowess than I have. But you cannot out-determine me. You can’t out-will me. You can’t out-want me. You can’t out-work me. You can’t out-desire me.”
- CT Fletcher
People ask about the right diet or workout plan. All of it is superfluous and immaterial without a mindset like CT Fletcher.
Your total program could be one single push-up and one single squat. The next day two. The next day three. In six months, 200 and 200. In a year, 500 and 500.
Your total program could be two days of total body lifting and four 30-minute jogs.
Your total program could be whole food, paleo, vegan, etc.
None of that matters AT ALL. Without a mindset like CT Fletcher, it wouldn’t matter if you had infinite resources, personal chefs, trainers, and more. Look at Oprah. No one on earth has had a greater advantage at being in shape than she; and she cannot even pull it off a little bit. It’s not her priority. It’s not where she allocates her drive. She’s not a bad person or weak. She just will not apply herself for wellness. Not another genetic gift, dollar spent, or hour of freedom will make that choice for her.
What WILL you do? That’s it. In 5 years, what WILL you do? In 10 years, what WILL you do?
People talk about starting a business, changing a social structure, altering their lifestyles. Consulting groups ask tens of thousands of dollars to help you build business plans. MBA programs ask 100k. Advocacy groups ask for your law degree. Weight loss apps ask for your credit card.
Without the mindset, none of it matters AT ALL. You could argue that people putting their money where their mouth is would be a testament to the mindset. I disagree. I’ve coached double-PhD researchers who were deep in depression, MDs and lawyers who wished they ran a bakery, multi-millionaires who begged for significance, and fitness celebrities with imposter syndrome. People can talk. Hell, they can even succeed in spades and still be unfulfilled.
You’re always going to be confronted with the same question whether you live on the street or in a penthouse suite: “How do I crush today?” Every single day comes again: “how will I show up TODAY?”. I know people who thought they could ride their own coattails into the sunset. They achieved every worldly checkbox of big houses, planes, etc. and are the saddest, hollowest individuals on earth. A lotto ticket today will not help you crush your day in 10 years. Only mindset will dictate how you show up tomorrow. The cover of Forbes today will not help you crush the day in two years. A weightloss win today will not say anything about crushing the day tomorrow.
Only mindset will. Only mindset will. Only mindset will.
Every single advantage on planet earth will not guarantee you know how to answer that question any better than every disadvantage on planet earth. I don’t like the silver-spooners any more than you do. They’ve never had to confront life in a real way. But they still have to find significance, meaning, and internal validation. Their intrinsic motivation is actually at a severe disadvantage. That can’t be gifted in a trust fund. That can’t be found in a bequest. That isn’t bestowed at a board meeting.
Work ethic is built by numero uno alone. Mindset is chosen by the one in the driver seat alone. Internal development of character does not get an external booster. And it wouldn’t matter anyway. We’ve been dealt our cards. We can play them like CT Fletcher. Or we can keep whining about how we need another hand. None of us are getting another hand. And even if you were, we still have to choose how to play it.
There is no defined health detriment to home-schooled children: https://news.rice.edu/.../home-schoolers-see-no-added.../. Researchers have been trying to unpack this mystery for decades. Even in mental health and social development, there appears zero significant advantage for kids in typical daycare and standard schooling environments: https://www.nheri.org/home-school-researcher-the-social.../. Other findings are more jarring, showing that homeschooled children may, in fact, be healthiER (https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1002/oby.20610 ), and more academically advanced and emotionally more stable (https://www.tandfonline.com/.../10.../15582159.2017.1395638).
We may have all let a single facet of an old wive’s tale misguide our understandings. Just because a little of one thing can be beneficial does not mean that a lot of it MUST be great for total wellness.
Rightly, we all reason that childhood exposure to illnesses is part of immunity development. It is. Wrongly, we conclude that high frequency or any ol’ frequency of exposure is a good idea. That has no scientific support. Moreover, the exact opposite appears closer to the truth.
As of 1980, a comprehensive national survey found that young children developed up to 8 colds per year, up to 3 stomach flus per year, and witnessed up to 30 illnesses among peers and family per year: ftp://ftp.cdc.gov/pub/Health_statistics/NCHS/Dataset_Documentation/NHIS/1980/MEDMAN80.pdf. That was 1980, before the daycare and preschool boom. From 1984 to 2004 parents in the US had to work more hours for less real wages than any prior period of the modern era: https://scholarworks.umb.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi.... This trend continues.
Thus, averages went up at least some, placing frequency of childhood illness at roughly once every 4-5 weeks. Outliers on the low end will be closer to once per 6-8 weeks, which may end up seeming like “never.” Outliers on the high end will be closer to once per 2-3 weeks, which may end up seeming like “always.” Personally, our first 3 years with our firstborn was closer to every 4 weeks, which did seem like “always.” However, in the past 15 months of distancing, both of our children have experienced none at all. And though this dramatic shift in frequency might strike some people as a disadvantage to immune development, there is actually no supporting evidence anywhere in existence for that pseudoscientific hypothesis. In fact, it doesn’t even move them outside the 1980s survey averages at all.
Of course, none of this tells us what “should” be, only what has been on average. Almost the entirety of human history was insular, tribal, even emphasizing that peoples should not commingle with outsiders and foreigners. But that too doesn’t really tell us what “should” be, only what most people decided was most beneficial for most of time.
What we do know is that in comparative studies home-schooled children don’t have any health disadvantage, especially as we assess long-term adult outcomes. Their reduced-frequency exposure to infections shows no negative impact to adult health and wellness. If anything, they may have an advantage. Some exposure may be good. A lot isn’t better. Less may be more. And more may be none.
“I’m trying to get leaner.” - no.
“I’m a lean person in cut-down season.” - yes.
“I’ll do my best to finish X.” - no.
“I finish what I start.” - yes.
I’ve heard master orators talk about only ever answering the question they wanted to be asked. They ignore the noise altogether.
Conversely, I notice that persistently ineffective, impotent, and depressed people are so busy answering questions which they never wanted asked that their minds don’t have the opportunity to wrangle with solutions which would benefit themselves and mankind. Unproductive brain training.
It’s a skill to direct the mind and the emotions. Some people are really developed in the skill. And part of it has to do with realizing that the narrative you spin outwardly and inwardly has a profound impact on your state. Your state DICTATES your follow-through and agency.
Just try a week where you catch yourself every time you lament first world problems or victim-heroize yourself. And change the wording, honestly, not emptily or begrudgingly. I’m not talking about toxic positivity. I’m talking about being a non-whiny grownup adult. Two billion people walk 6-10 hours per day to find potable water. Please, check yourself. Productive brain training.
When you “hear” the criticisms of others, the questions they may not even be asking (but which you really didn’t want people to ask of you), instead speak in a grateful and powerful manner. Productive brain training.
Just answer the questions you hoped to be asked. And speak in a manner which counts on some beneficial outcome. Your state will place you in a better position to make those beneficial things come true.
I’m not talking woo woo magic. I’m not talking The Secret. I’m not talking Prayer of Jabez heresy. I’m talking pragmatic application. If you immerse your mind in a non-stop pool of “impossible,” it’s very simple and obvious that your spirit will drown. If you immerse your mind in a regular spirit of efficacy and genuine perspective, your spirit can thrive.
Train the brain productively.
Practical awareness (clip here: https://www.instagram.com/p/COfRUwYH7ji/) - follow my good friend @sir.michaeljames - the full video on protection is an eye-opener.
People have asked me for years why we would host workshops on self-defense, situational awareness, or anything of the like at a wellness center. Can you give me an example where LESS education and LESS understanding confer MORE risk reduction or advantage in wellness?
At close range, there is no reason a second round should leave a semi-auto firearm in the presence of people who understand the machinery. Malfunctions do happen when unintended. But they MUST happen when intended.
80% or more gun violence occurs with handguns, and at close range. The FBI stats are 3/3/3 - over 90% of shootings happen in 3 seconds, within 3 yards, and 3 shots. If you never learn anything else about firearms, at least know how to make one malfunction. It could buy you precious seconds.
A skilled shooter with a low-capacity bolt-action rifle makes over 30 hits on a tiny target at 1000 feet within 60 seconds: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mad_minute.
Criminals and violent shooters during a mass shooting kill 4 or more people at close range with high-capacity weapons in an average of 6 minutes. This is absolutely tragic. However, take a moment and compare a mass shooting timeline to the skilled shooters above. This is not to belittle mass shootings in the slightest. But mass shooters are incredibly low skill, clearly not very aware human beings, let alone aware operators, and they are obviously in an agitated and unstable state. Most profiling has determined they are barely able to pull a trigger. They are definitely in no state to troubleshoot a jam or malfunction, and certainly wholly incapable of handling a confrontation or opposing force.
Average shooters are precisely time-bound by the average time it takes to get a knowledgeable person on the scene. The 6 minutes is the average time it takes for a person who understands firearms to arrive on the scene, or for the gunman to turn his chaos on himself. If the general populace could become more knowledgeable about firearms, we could compress that 6 minutes down to 2 seconds. That figure is not pie in the sky. This is a reasonable and practical response time which we can all practice and learn to implement today. A physically smaller and weaker person can make a firearm malfunction in the hands of a larger and stronger gunman in about 1 second. I'm talking right now, not some abstract policy which we hope will one day get legislated to possibly reduce some variable that may or may not impact mental health or access to various firearms some period in the distant imaginary future. I'm talking about TODAY.
This is simply about knowledge, education, and awareness. Like I said, can you give me an example wherein LESS education and LESS understanding confer MORE risk reduction or advantage in wellness?
We must learn this.
Split stance - 360 still works
Hatfield rock bottom pause - 550 still works; 660 NOPE
clips here: https://www.instagram.com/p/COcul5knvba/
Whittling down has downsides to absolute force production. Last week a virtual coaching client lamented her shoulder press decrease (she just lost 15lbs of body mass).
Tread lightly. When “cutting down” is the focus, your athletic performance WILL suffer to some degree.
Part of the reason I work so many metabolic experiments is to have the visceral understanding of the journey. Last year I aimed to hover close to 280lbs. Now, I’m going to discover the floor (down around 240 so far). It would be totally unrealistic to match most performances from last year through the remainder of this one.
This reality is so stark that a lot of pop fad nutrition programs will discourage intense exercise. For good or for bad, they want you focused on the scale, not on your accelerated aging and deteriorating capabilities.
It’s one part wise and one part foolish. You should do a high level strength checkin from time to time. If nothing else, it can give you a palpable confirmation that INDEED the scale really isn’t everything, protein sufficiency is a real thing, and gradual consistency beats undulating fluctuations.
And that’s ok. Learning MORE is never bad. Know your performance trends with precision; and you’ll know what asks are realistic.
Growing up, my mom and sister set a lot of the tone. My dad was present but worked multiple jobs; thus, most of my first years were spent hanging out with them. My first best friends were moms to me. Thanks be to moms.
When I was a teen, my mom and sister were in social work. While my friends and peers grappled with the difficulties of teen hood, daily at the dinner table I would hear the incredible challenges of the destitute, orphans, homeless, foster care, abuse, neglect, and worse. I never had the chance to think gravely on my tiny problems of adolescence and coming-of-age. I didn’t have the opportunity to believe my situation was anywhere near hopeless. That was a good thing. Thanks be to mom.
With my dad as well, but all the more with my mom, no subject was determined. We could discuss in a way other people only dream. I was never pressured to think a certain way, vote a certain way, or live without a critical thinking apparatus. Other than to consider people less fortunate than I, other than to pursue a meaningful life, there was no directive on how to live. Thanks be to mom.
Even in my professional journey, it was never as if males couldn’t be managers or that they inherently lacked the leadership qualities. I had some fantastic guys with whom I worked. I had some great father figure managers. But, on average, the moms and moms-to-be and the would-be-moms all showcased greater advantage, greater acumen, greater skill, FAR greater awareness. Thanks be to mom.
In business dealings and in support of me, it’s been a very recent development to have the majority of peers or clients be male. For most of my years in the fitness industry, 5-1, women were more dependable. I seldom heard a mom back out of her other responsibilities because of a workplace difficulty. Sure. It happened from time to time. But it was a wholly male phenomenon to correlate a small raise at work with a large shift in how much to care about others. Single guys would complain about a “mere 5% raise” and how they’d have to cut out all charitable contributions for the year. Single moms would get no raise or even lose a bonus; and their support for their community might increase. Thanks be to moms.
In fact, my wife was the only constant for the past 18 years, both in the large scale and the small daily setbacks. When the going got tough, only she kept going. When trouble or doubt struck, others stepped back. She always stepped forward. She always stepped up. Thanks be to mom.
Even with my kids, I see beautiful caretaking from both for each other; but my daughter is the more perceptive of need, the more in tune when others feel down, the more in touch with the practical balance of a day. And she’s the younger. Thanks be to a “mom.”
Even in archaic theology, there are these fascinating motifs about the Hebrew names for God being admixtures of feminine and masculine nouns. It was inaccurate to describe the creator of all without any reference to being a caretaker, without any reference to inherent compassion, without any reference to being what a mother is to her children. Early Church writers insisted on “God” as mostly verb, not noun. But Clement, the bishop of Alexandria in the very Early Church actually used the word “mother” to describe God in the act of forgiveness.
There is a spirit of “mom” in a lot of people, not just the moms, per se, but possible in everyone sometimes. I’ve seen it in friends. I saw it in my dad. I pray I show it as often as is possible. Wherever that spirit thrives, we all give thanks.
Thanks be to mom.
For many people -
Since I started professionally assessing people’s movement patterns in 2004, I noticed foot dynamics and capability had a large role to play. This doesn’t mean that people without feet or without good movement in the foot can’t have success. Indeed, the human body can adapt to almost anything.
However, if you have a foot, it’s good to remember that the number of structures in it rivals the dynamism of the hand/wrist. Unfortunately, most of us did or still do treat it like a hoof. We take the 126 structures in it as if there are only 1 or 2 pieces.
My peers in the strength coaching world already know that knee, hip, and back issues always have at least some foot-ankle problem tied in. I’ll be sharing some foot training videos soon. For now, and for those who don’t know about orthopedic troubleshooting, let’s simplify to a few basic skills:
- get the foot completely vertical (or beyond) while toes are flat on ground
- learn to squat/lunge in each iteration: heel up, toes up, all outstep, all instep, toes gripping, etc.
- work on moving big toe independent from others and vice versa
Summary: it’s probably going to be uncomfortable as you let the 30 joints of one foot be more dynamic than the frozen hoof they’ve been. That's ok. That's growing pains. And intentional growing pains beat unintended shin splints, calf tightness, knee irritation, plantar fasciitis, hip pain, back pain, and more.
Foot training is one of the most underutilized areas of potential, perhaps the greatest area of athletic potential for many people.