Random Thoughts

For those where this is the first time reading this type of blog post, as my time continued to be crunched and crunched over the last few years, I found less time to be able to write.  I also found I was also taking notes throughout the day especially as I got better with Google Keep.
So whenever I have the time, and the list gets too long, I write a few thoughts around the bullets that I jot down every day simply when something interesting comes to mind.
Consider it Twitter where I need more than 120 characters.


Motor skill acquisition can occur in multiple orientations.  The first three apply conventional thought, but I think the 4th one explains where some other things fit in.
1) Acquiring fundamental motor skill expressions (i.e. hip mobility, scapulo-humeral rhythm)
2) Acquiring the skills for the general and special exercises of your training (have to learn how to do the lifts)
3) Acquiring the skills for the specific movements of your sport (deliberate practice)
4) Becoming resilient to the unique and random variables to an ALREADY satisfactory motor skill.
This 4th one is how being outside of biomechanical neutral or training or practicing unconventionally fits in.  Whether it’s creating collagenous “lines” of tissue in directions of injury mechanism or using silly unstable surfaces, we are not suggesting biomechanical neutral is not the ideal to maximize force and minimize joint wear.  And it’s not at all suggesting the ludicrousness of unstable surfaces are “good for your core or glute med.”  It’s simply introducing stress with the intent of adapting to randomness of sport.  Even closed-loop, individual sports are never the same twice.

When you are not as strong as you think you should be, lots of good things happen with eccentric training.
Eccentric training isn’t supposed to physiologically carry over to concentric training vis-a-vis.
Perhaps it, as Pavel suggests, just pulls off the emergency brake, and you always had the strength to bang it out.
Try 3 weeks of Maximal Effort Method with just eccentric and have your crew peel the weight off your chest or off the box.  No concentric at all.  5-7s decent.  Retest competitive lift after 3-4 weeks.
Try assisted pull-ups and eccentric on your own using Pavel’s Fighter program.
There are so many neurological and physiological reasons why this type of training allows for bigger displays.

So sometimes it’s easy to thumb our noses at the “functional trainer.”  Bands and unstable surfaces are everywhere.
But I’ve seen a lot of people lose weight and really change how they feel.  Yes, these are usually under-trained individuals coming off injuries, so maybe what amounts to a big giant warmup is what the person needs.
This stuff has to do something even if it is just changing the preferred energy generation.

In my opinion, nearly all back problems, except for intended flexion and rotation, are training-related.
Movements are coached wrong, the load is too heavy or too light, anthropometry is not respected, fatigue is not recognized.

I think I am behind the curve in using lifts for time.

We know that the mouth gets dry as a result of the stress response.
Perhaps we can force the mouth to dry like sucking on cotton to feed that response forward before competitions or intended training sessions.

Exhaustion is not the only source of failure during ill-advised training.
If resources are shifted to other body systems, and you don’t know this is happening, perhaps failure is resulting from this partition from this non-training-related stressor.
Perhaps this is what Val is trying to explain in terms of why the Functional State is important in terms of Readiness.

Even the soundest of training has some effects detracting from end-state performance.
Everything has a cost.

So the best learning experience for me in terms of pain science was in the Marine Corps.
These men and women simply do not report pain because they do not feel pain.  Some of this is inherent, but much of it is environmentally learned.  You can learn to not feel pain.
These learning experiences to contextualize what is pain or not pain can use Beta Endorphins in an exploitative manner.  These experiences ideally are daily and very isolated from other parameters.
…..makes you look at physiologically stupid long distance slow running a little differently………..

We will be using Beddit this summer with Canada Basketball.
I am most interesting in seeing what our data looks like 60 minutes prior to waking.  This is where stress hormones begin to circulate, and can impact the quality of wakefulness from the get go.

Salivary hormone as a stress monitor gets all into Systems Biology.
I guess it just depends what you believe.

Monitoring Readiness is not the same as Sport Science.
Daily monitoring can help you make a better decision on a daily or short-term basis.
Sport Science is often most successful in retrospectively looking at the realities of as many environmental factors as possible.  You will see what you can control, and what you can’t.
Next time around, you’ll have a completely different set of variables impacting winning, performance, and health.
You can use amazing technologies and actually use that data, but I think that’s coaching at a modern-day level.  Your monitoring data + your coaching strategies are just some components to what gets audited by your sports science program.
Big difference.

The best examples of success with DNS is when the individual already has exceedingly high levels of biological power.
When/if how they developed this power led to injury, they then found DNS, which in my opinion is the most powerful rehabilitation method in the world.  DNS was a part of getting normalized and losing power, which worked for them.
Getting less powerful or weaker in exchange for more resilient is just the right thing for some, NOT ALL.  Sometimes the other way around is more appropriate.

A good idea may have some negative effects.  Everything has negative effects.
Maybe having someone who has a different skill set can see things in your approach that you can’t see.  It is hard to ask the right questions when you don’t know or see what someone else knows or sees.
This is in business or what we do clinically.
A High Performance Program has eyes to generate the questions you didn’t know you had and the solutions you didn’t know you needed.

In a more sophisticated view of the FMS, a 3 in the Rotary Stability screen may be very useful to at least understand if not downright performed.
Expect a 3 in RS to potentiate a swim move in American football, posting up, a drop step, spin move baseline, skyhook, swing pass in basketball, some of your tennis strokes, explosive throwing in baseball, American football, and weights in track, and kicking from a setup position in football.
These are all ipsilateral patterns where one side of the body’s arm and leg are positioned to move, and the other half are setting up to create support against the crowd, your opponent, or against your own body’s proximal joint systems when the chain is open up top.
This article from a few years ago is still fairly consistent with what irks me is so rarely discussed in terms of the realities of the FMS and what makes it such a powerful tool when used properly.

Culture is a model for what is possible when everything clicks.
It is not what makes any one individual for comfortable, whole, or safe.
This is why few teams in North American sport have what leaders outside of our countries see as so confusing and identify as culture.

Google wants their employees to think like a Founder of the company.  Except they don’t get to take the floor without the basic requisites.  The mantra of putting someone in a position to be him or herself and succeed seems to forget that the person has to be the right person in the first place.
This is why sometimes you can not bring in a High Performance Program with the incumbent set of staff on a team.
Teams say they want to do something……………but they don’t.  They just want to be comfortable and not lose their job.

A great High Performance Program has
1) Workers,
2) Employees, and
3) Leaders.

Over-communicating in more than just words is the most critical aspect in speed of change.
Commitment comes before that.

Unless you get hit by a truck, fitness to tasks is the limiting factor to injuries.
It’s not a Strength & Conditioning model in terms of rehabilitation.  It’s just science and the way it is.
T=R just means I wish rehab people wouldn’t be scared of legitimate training and fitness.  Development of energy OR force in more commensurate ways would lead to less soft tissue friction and thusly orthopedic overload.  That’s not opinion.

Blinking is scary to a lot of people.
Elite pattern recognition doesn’t always have an easy explanation.  It can be very frustrating to follow someone who basically can’t give a reason for a brilliant terminal solution.  These geniuses just see things that others don’t see.
What these geniuses can show you is a systematic thought process, with experience and decades of repetition and failure behind it, that got them time and time again to recognize patterns and make that quick call.
It’s not a magic.  It’s actually a hand reaching out to help you.

There is a problem with too much mental toughness.
Great men die in training.

Cote’s descriptions of Deliberate Playing leads us to Early Engagement vs. Early Specialization.
This is the verbage we need to link what we know and see in LTAD.

The never do medium intensity stuff really is based on it’s too stressful to not have to recover but not stressful enough to make meaningful changes over time.
The confusion is how any one individual perceives 85% Bulgarian lifts, Charlie Francis tempo runs, Easy Strength, GTG, or what Bondarchuk or Selyuanov.  They probably really are on the bottom edge of high intensity or more likely top end of low intensity.

To answer the question of screening for circulatory inefficiencies, I think we can look towards the densifications we see in the Fascial Manipulation maps.
Vessels travel through soft tissues, and if soft tissues are tensioned, we have an osteopathic approach to mediating this risk.

Fatigue can not be a major component of speed or skill training.  And that is if you even view them as different.
Buffering lactic effects is an easy way out of this discussion, but more globally, fatigue is a stressor to be resilient to.
Just cut the set at technical failure, and if that happens too soon, or the recovery is too long, you know where your training resources are better spent.

When we talk about intra- and extra-muscular coordination for muscle health, we should probably also talk about mitochondria in the sarcoplasm to allow for efficient contraction and relaxation.

Using a physical therapy impairment or biomechanical basis for general performance testing in non-painful individuals is such a shame.
If you look for something, you’ll find it.  Things don’t have to be perfect.
For specific skills, certainly biomechanics become important.  The range for excellent is small.
For fundamental skills, the range is much larger.

If you ever have 8-12 weeks to train an intermediate to advanced athlete who doesn’t have to practice his or her sport, I can’t think of a better training approach than Westside.
Novice to intermediate, the answer is Bill Starr 5×5.
Each will have an extensive warmup and cooldown doing everything else.

Understanding more about physiology leads to the answers to why we don’t always have to work so hard to express what we have.
But this is predicated that you already have what you need.  Training to be Ready is different from training to be Prepared.  Readiness/Preparedness is who you are that day.

In terms of using monitoring or sports science data, not everything can be affected on a daily basis.
You can create actions on a daily basis with Omegawave.

Even if eyes are corrected with eyewear, there is still some stress and compensation behind the eyes.  In other words, whatever is happening behind your contacts or glasses is still 20/40 even though you read out 20/10 on your eye exam.
What happens behind the eyes may very well shift resources for the Functional State.

Intentions of rehab and training are probably less important what is accomplished.  Did we….
1) create adjustments or adaptations,
2) respect causation across intended systems of the body,
3) get joints into ideal positions both neurologically and biomechanically, and/or
4) set up the training to fail or progress?
Via these terms, what we like doing or choose to use is so irrelevant.  What matters if objectively one of the above actually occurred.

DNS exercise choices are just not made from how we are conditioned to evaluate in a Western approach.
There are key links such as the principles of Joint by Joint, Ground Reaction, the Inner Unit, the list goes on.  But the direct lines to a see this –> now do approach are just minimal.

“Move well enough to be healthy.
Move often enough to adapt.”
–Gray Cook

I wonder sometimes outside of elite strength sports athletes, should it really be that hard to get someone appreciably stronger.

T=R Principle: If you are a good enough coach to train around an injury, then the most important part of human performance is fitness.  Because it’s resiliency to stress (aka fitness) that led to your injury in the first place.
The only reason we need rehab is because we didn’t have training.

I don’t use the term corrective exercise anymore.  And I am working very hard to not use dysfunctional in the way most people use it.
The only way something can be dysfunctional is if it is related to an affect on something else.
The terminology raises the ire of genuine dissenters when we say something is dysfunctional when in reality, it doesn’t even matter because that pattern does not affect training or terminal skills.  Only when we see it negatively impact what we want to accomplish after screening fundamental movement can we say something is dysfunctional or purposeful.
I like the word purposeful when we can funnel fundamental movement screening into the question: Is this joint competency purposeful for what I want to accomplish via this exercise or this technical skill.
Let your FMS speak to your needs.  Let it tell you what you can expect in terms of getting into the right position to learn a skill or condition that skill.  Don’t let the FMS lead you to any other program that what you already decided.  This is Start At The Finish.

………………….nice way to finish…………………………

  • June 14, 2015

Leave a Reply 2 comments

Steve Falk Reply


Can you elaborate on why you feel Westside would be the way to go with a more experienced athlete given enough time? Generally speaking, how do you modify it for non-geared powerlifters and team sport athletes? I.e. – do you still rotate ME exercises weekly? Would you still work up to singles? Use bands and chains? Feel free to write an elaborate post on it, ha. Thanks for your input!


Charlie Reply

Focusing more on volume and strength for an undertrained individual seems to have more gravity in my mind. Certainly if the lifts are competent, there is nothing wrong with Westside for anyone.
I do not modify it if a lifter wears gear or not. I have suggested switching every 2 weeks at times. Definitely work up to singles and use relative compensatory acceleration strategies.

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