Mobility Drill: Banded Hip Flexor Stretch

Why Your Fitness Program Needs Integrated Mobility Work

Are you on a training program that states it will get you the sexy or shredded body you have always wanted?  Does it have nutrition integrated in with it’s programming?  If it doesn’t…drop it like a bad habit!  This is similar to how I feel to fitness training programs that offer to make you fit, stronger, or lean but don’t have integrated mobility work paired with it.  If you want someone to achieve these attributes you are doing them a disservice if you aren’t looking out for them long-term.

They may help you get the results you want short term, but if you want to have a healthy strong body long term and do the things you love pain free, mobility work and stretching is a must!  Let me give you a life example of my own:

I participated in Track and Field from my young adolescent years all the way through college.  I loved it and it seemed to work for me.  I got great results aesthetically from the training we did and decent strength gains when we were hitting the weight room.  But…the biggest issue that I have come to realize now that I am pushing 40 is that we never emphasized stretching or mobility work.  When practice was over and all the hard work was done…you were on your on with no guidance in these areas.

Now don’t get me wrong, I loved all my coaches and they all had an impact on my life growing up.  But I wish they cared a little bit more about what was going to happen to me long term if I didn’t do proper recovery and maintenance work on my body.  I should take responsibility as well because I knew stretching helped to some degree, but didn’t care too much about it if my coaches didn’t.  Go figure, we were all so smart in those days…

Let’s fast forward to the present day.  I have been competing in Spartan and Obstacle Course racing now for almost 4 year.  Prior to that I was doing Crossfit.  My body is an absolute mess and it isn’t all due to the training I have been putting in these past few years for the sport of OCR, it takes time and hard work to beat the hell out of it.  There are many athletes in my age group and older that have healthier bodies and have had similar athletic backgrounds to me.  The main difference I find is that they had coaches in the past that incorporated proper warm ups, cool downs, and stretching for these athletes…and if they didn’t they have excellent genetics on their side…mine must be from the basic gene pool.

On the same token I find as we get older, we get wiser with our training and recovery protocols.  I find that I spend more time working on my recovery and mobility work more than actually working out.  Crazy right?!  Why?  Because of all the tight connective, muscular, and fascia tissue problems I have due to a nonexistent recovery protocol in my past and overtraining in college to stay competitive with the top athletes.  Now pair that with training hardcore in Crossfit and OCR and all while over 30 and bam, you got a train wreck a coming (I’m there now with a bad foot injury still).

In our 20s we bounced back quickly and in are early 30s you can somewhat get away with it unless your basic like me…I had to start working on reversing the damage from the past all while keeping up with the wear and tear I am doing to my body in the present.

How does this relate to the training program that you are on?  It does!  Let’s say the program you are on is getting you excellent strength gains and you look great too.  The problem isn’t short term.  The problems you will deal with training on a program without integrated mobility work will come up maybe a decade or two later, maybe sooner if you are like me and trained hard most of your life with very little to no mobility work. Fortunately for us there is so many programs and gyms out there now that give you the tools and knowledge you need to keep your bodies healthy and hopefully pain free and still have the positive results that we all want.

How do you find these places?  Google gyms, fitness, Crossfit, etc. in your area and look at their websites.  See if they blog or post anything up about what they represent or apply with their clientele.  Do they have Facebook and Instagram pages?  I find that social media is the best way to get a quick glimpse of what each gym is all about and I can make a pretty good guess whether I want to train or send someone there.  When all else fails…try them all out and do a comparison.  In my opinion a gym or fitness program that is nailing it has:  strength and conditioning, mobility, and nutrition fundamentals built into their program.

Now go out there a win!

 

 

Are you being honest?!

Are you being honest?!

I find this question super intriguing, especially when talking about fitness.  If I ask most folks if they believe they are honest, I bet most will raise their hand.

But in truth, all of you would be lying to yourself.  We all lie!  There’s no way around it.  Even if you are the holiest of saints, or a kid with his hand in the cookie jar, we all do it.  And the most common lie is to ourselves!  Let me explain…

Let’s take a topic we are extremely familiar with.  RELATIONSHIPS.  We have so many people we care about.  Family, friends, co-workers, etc.  We lie to each of them everyday.  I hate to say this, because I strive to be as honest as I can.

How many times has someone asked you a question about how something looks and you haven’t told them your gut reaction?  Most of us.  We choose to save face and choose to say something that will make them feel good because most of us are genuinely good people.  There is a distinct difference between being a good person and being a honest one.

Let’s get back to the point I was trying to make earlier.  The biggest lie is to ourselves.  I find this happens a lot when someone is starting their fitness journey or trying to get back on the wagon.  They decide, “today is the day I am going to go to the gym! Hell I already got my membership right?!  I’ve made the first step!”  Then comes step two, putting that plan into action. Until BOOM, life happens!  What happens next?  They go to the gym or they do what’s comfortable and push it off another day?  9 times out of 10 it’s the latter.

And it happens day after day after day and what do you know…another year rolls by.  It’s July 2018 right now.  If you are reading this and haven’t committed to your fitness journey, stop making excuses and get your ass to the gym, park, or on a workout program that sets you up for success at home.  Most of us got to get away from “home and life distractions” to accomplish this, unless you know you are extremely motivated individual who doesn’t have those distractions at home.  I find that I need to be around other people who are getting their fitness on as this encourages and motivates me more towards my fitness goals.

So the next time you call yourself a honest person…I challenge you to evaluate yourself.  I fight this internal struggle just like you, EVERYDAY.  Choose to do what you know is right.  Right for you and your body, because you deserve it!  And be as honest as you can.  Tell someone how you really feel.  Go to the gym when you say you are.  These are just a few things you can do to take that step in the right direction with being honest with yourself.  Write it down!  Post it somewhere!  Make someone commit with you!  Sign up for a race or event!  Make yourself accountable!  Get that healthy body you know you deserve!

My latest lie to myself was thinking I would find passion working outside of the health and fitness industry.  You can read all about that experience HERE.  But here I am, back to my commitment to being honest with myself and holding myself accountable by sharing my journey with all of you.

Are you being honest?

P.S.  Please reach out to me at mattdbrown30@gmail.com.  I would love to help you anyway that I can.  We all have struggles, and it’s better if we don’t deal with them alone.  Accountability is crucial.