Deadlift Day and Moments of Greatness

Friday was barbell deadlift day.

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It reminded me how many Moments of Greatness occur at our gym every day, in every class, as nearly everyone gets better in some way each time they walk in the door. 

Moments of Greatness are specific to each person. No two moments are alike. My definition of a Moment of Greatness might be different than yours. 

We had a lot of deadlift personal bests today. Those are Moments of Greatness, but also key to providing us important feedback about our overall fitness journey.

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First, it shows us that our strength and conditioning program is working. We don't deadlift that often -- probably two or four times a month. We don't have to do it several times a week to see improvements -- our functional training approach works the entire body, so we are in essence, 'deadlift ready' at all times.

We are staying injury-free and getting stronger ... without killing ourselves with hours and hours in the gym. The average gym member makes great strides with three 45-minute classes a week.

But more exciting to me is that the deadlift technique was beautifully executed. Get the movement right, and you can keep improving ... literally forever if you pair smart training with proper recovery and nutrition.

And even more exciting to me is that our members are learning to listen to their bodies and challenge themselves appropriately when the time is right. When they are not feeling it, they train where they are comfortable that day.

Another Moment of Greatness is when I hear members cheering on other members to personal bests. Getting excited about the achievements of others is inspiring.

My hubby joined in 6:30 a.m. class today (we usually train together between classes at 7:30 a.m.) and he was having so much fun watching Theda and Scott reach new PRs with their deadlifts, that he didn't even add up what was on his barbell.  Al is competitive and I have never seen him NOT add up his weight. So that was a special Moment of Greatness.

Our 10,000 swing challenge is building resilience, power and strength that applies to everything else we do, including deadlfits.

Another Moment of Greatness is watching people stop to foam roll, or stretch or adjust if something feels funny at that very moment ... to prevent injury and missed time in the gym. 

Happily, I don't remember the last time I referred someone to the chiropractor.

It is paramount to appreciate the Moments of Greatness that occur in the gym every day because we are training to be awesome in our everyday lives.

And if we are strong, healthy, happy and energetic, we can do a lot of good for others. That makes me the happiest of all because that puts us on our way to a Lifetime of Greatness..

Our gym members already excel in life and this helps them to reach new heights as confident, clear-thinking, active, vibrant people who are not afraid to tackle new challenges, both physical and mental.

If you aren't training with us, we'd love to have you!

And if you can't, train with us, find a gym with a positive environment where you can learn to move well first, get strong, and then celebrate Moments of Greatness with each other daily. It feels good.

Body Care to Prevent Injury

Myofascial release is a manipulative treatment that attempts to release tension in the fascia due to trauma, posture, or inflammation. Connective tissues called fascia surround the muscles, bones, nerves, and organs of the body.
— Spine-health.com

One of our practices is to use a foam roller and/or lacrosse ball for myofascial release before every class and afterward as well.

Mobilize in Every Class

Foam rolling / lacrosse ball use mobilizes muscles and fascia and the body sends blood and nutrients to those areas. This primes the body for vigorous physical activity. This practice can help break up adhesions in the fascia that help to loosen up muscles and may help prevent injury.

We also mobilize before class with standing or ground-based dynamic body movements such as half windmills and hip-flexor stretches, light kettlebell movements and lifts (such as halos, bottoms up, good mornings, hip openers, t-spine and lat warmers) and we use the TRX and Clubbells in different ways to get the body mobilized we start the kettlebell circuit, chain or complex. We do some static stretching at the end of our training sessions. We especially like the Brettzel, Bretzel 2.0, frog, up and down dog, tailbone to heels after training.

No matter how much we mobilize before and after class, focus on perfect technique, and dial in the right volume of lifting and moving during class, muscle twinges can occasionally occur.

Be Aware that Former Injuries Pose Risks

Many of us have a lifetime of health issues, former sports injuries and mild weaknesses and asymmetries that we are working to improve, so we are diligent about stretching, moving often, resting, hydrating, eating nutrient-dense whole and natural foods and managing stress the best we can.

At MoveStrong Kettlebells, we ask members to inform the coaches if an ache or pain pops up at any time. And they are very good about doing so.

Address Twinges Immediately

A muscle twinge can be a tightening, spasm or a slight pain. Whatever it is, we assess what might have caused it. Is it a previously injured area? That is important to know because the most likely place to be injured is the location of a former injury. What movement caused an issue? We may want to leave it alone. We may need to stretch and/or foam-roll it. It depends. It may be something that needs attention from a medical professional depending on the severity and if it keeps popping up.

Whatever it is, we take it very seriously.

Technique, Technique, Technique

We will always review technique to make sure you are moving with good alignment and with the best technique you can produce for your body.

My father-in-law, God rest his soul, did wood-working after he retired. He used to say measure twice cut once because it saves time and energy in the long-run. We do that as well.

We address the twinge with great care and attention immediately to prevent it from becoming an injury. Sometimes a couple days of rest now can prevent a couple months off from training to nurse an injury later.

If you are training at our gym, and training at home, or at other gyms as well, it makes us less effective as coaches because we are not able to fully manage your programming, training volume and recovery. If this is the case, you will be managing more of that on your own, and you will need to be very careful not to overtrain; overtraining puts you at risk for injury.

We'll Keep You Safe and Safely Progressing

If something repeatedly causes an issue, we'll adjust or remove it. If lunging hurts your knees due to prior knee issues, but squatting doesn't, squatting is an excellent substitution. However, we will continue to work to get your lunge form corrected with regressions to keep you progressing safely and without pain.

If your shoulder is healthy, but you have had prior shoulder issues, and you tell us that you want to skip a certain lift or movement, that is no problem. We can always adapt another movement that will keep you progressing toward your goals.

Kettlebells can be a great tool for restoring mobility, stability and strength with the right individualized programming and eagle-eye coaching. Kettlebells are not a cure-all. Picking up heavy stuff is serious business and there is no one-size fits program. Work with an RKC kettlebell-certified coach who has a DO NO HARM philosophy.

You May Need to see a Medical Professional

If there is pain, we refer our members to trusted medical professionals such as Columbus Chiropractic and Rehabilitation to address the issue before it becomes a full-blown injury. We are strength and movement coaches, not medical professionals, so we do not diagnose the issue.

Our members are very good about sharing feedback from the day or two before. We ask before every class, every day, how are you feeling? Is anything hurting or feeling abnormal? We ask them not to attend class if they didn't get good quality sleep because it can put them at risk for injury. Mindfulness is required when using kettlebells.

Kettlebells are Safe When Taught with the RKC Methodology

Honestly, because hardstyle kettlebells are very safe to use with the RKC methodology/technique, hands-on RKC/HKC coaching, and with appropriately weighted bells, people rarely have injury issues. If something fires up, it is usually a prior injury area that is at risk when technique isn't spot on.

It is our job, as coaches, to check and recheck technique and intervene when someone isn't handling a kettlebell correctly. We ask people to put a kettlebell down if the weight is too heavy or the technique is off. That is an act of injury-prevention. This is why you hire a coach ... to keep you safe and safely progressing. We don't care if your heart-rate didn't get up that session because we worked on technique instead of doing a high-intensity circuit. We are teaching you to fish, not giving you fish so technique trumps intensity every time.

This is a long-term, life-changing view of exercise as a tool for improving overall health

You earn the right to lift heavy by demonstrating perfect technique for your physique. This is what allows us coaches to sleep at night ... knowing that we did the best we could to keep our gym members safe and safely progressing.

Summary

To summarize, here are the ways we can address a muscle twinge:

  • Stop and assess where it is firing up
  • Check and correct technique / run the FMS if needed
  • Foam roll or mobilize (stretch) the area in question / use biofreeze to temporarily calm the area / or completely leave it alone!
  • Use a lighter kettlebell, no kettlebell or change the tool altogether
  • Regress the movement or lift
  • Momentarily rest or stop for the day ... or for several days ... or longer
  • Mobilize at home using FMS correctives to support what we are doing in the gym
  • Eat healthy foods and rest to reduce systemic inflammation (an injury risk factor)
  • Avoid using anti-inflammatory drugs (such as ibruprophen) as they can wreak havoc in your gut and slow down soft tissue repair and not give you the pain feedback you need to know how to care for it
  • See a medical professional for pain, lingering issues or immobility

Contact Us to Learn More

Do you have questions or concerns about getting started with us? Contact Lori. We welcome new students post-rehab if you are cleared by a medical professional to train.

PCC Calisthenics and a New View of Strength

I had an awesome Progressive Calisthenics Certification (PCC) experience.

It was amazing to learn from Al and Danny Kavadlo and now the all MoveStrong KB members get to share in the joy of more bodyweight training ... which is simple, fun and has amazing strength, stability and mobility benefits.

Read the full story on Dragon Door here!

A Taste of Fitness Freedom

Saturday was pretty cool so I have to write and tell you about it. First, we had a MovNat and Paleo Meetup where this week we taught and practiced Efficient Running, Crawling and Throwing (rocks) outdoors.

Second, my daughter Sarah and her boyfriend Slade came in for their first session with me indoors.

Third, one of our bridal clients and her fiance came in from out of state to train with us.

What the three have in common is this ...

They all experienced Fitness Freedom.

The Meetup folks learned to run efficiently and naturally, the MovNat way ... and this is totally counter-cultural to our heavily-padded tennis shoe world of running.

We practiced excellent form barefoot, or in socks, to get the feel of the forefoot landing with an emphasis on posture, leg pull and the landing. Based on their feedback, it was a positive change in running form -- one that was quite eye-opening; it gave them something new to take with them and explore further in their daily lives.

Sarah and Slade experienced an indoor movement session with a mix of MovNat (climbing, crawling), TRX and Kettlebells. It especially resonated with Slade -- as an engineer whose job includes plenty of time working at a computer. I believe the physical fitness will be a nice addition to his life as he seeks to increase strength and have fun doing it.

Finally, Anthony and Valessa enjoyed exploring the Waterfall park with me through the practice of MovNat. The weather was perfect and the fallen logs allowed us to practice the deadlift, clean-and-jerks, crawling, balancing and climbing and jumping.

Their minds were open to all of it, and to experience it together, both indoors and in nature, was really special.

Here Valessa's testimonial about how she enjoyed training in nature and learning MovNat with us over the last month or so.

I can’t describe how much fun it is to teach these incredible people to explore their environment through simple, safe, efficient movement and to watch them learn, grow and unfold in new ways as their view of fitness changes.

On days like this, fitness coaching feels like the best job in the world because I get to help people have fun, appreciate their bodies, learn to move well in new ways, reconnect with nature -- and with each other.

Want to experience Fitness Freedom too? Contact us to get started.

Back to My Roots

When my aunt and uncle visited recently from Hawaii, they stopped by MovNat Ohio to see the place and find out more about what I was doing. My parents were there too ,and of course I made the entire group of 70+ year-olds walk down to the River Park with me to better understand MovNat and how we practice it. My dad immediately challenged me lift a 400 lb. log, yeah right, but at least he appeared to understand what I was talking about. My aunt is very perceptive. On the walk to the park she commented “you must be so happy to return to your jock roots.”

What jock roots?

I haven’t thought much about how from age 10-19, I was Swimmer. That was it -- my whole high school identity, all that I cared about, my entire social life, everything was about swimming.

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Lori the HIgh School Swimmer

It had also been my family’s main social life as my younger sister swam too, and we had lots of with out-of-town swim meets where we ended up becoming very close to other swimmer families.

I swam 3-4 hours a day, before and after school, trained on Nautilus machines (LOL) and had ‘visualization’ training with some psych major from The Ohio State Universtity.

My high school swim team, which I captained for two years, won State repeatedly and our relay made it to Junior Olympics. It was a great experience and I have lots of happy memories.

I then decided I wanted a ‘normal life’ and quit swimming when I hit college -- much to my dad’s dismay as he was planning on a swimming scholarship to pay for it.

At Miami University of Ohio, I immediately gained the freshman 15 and began running with my college roommates to get back on track.

I have been running on and off, along with trying other various fitness programs, ever since.

About a year ago I discovered MovNat and now I run using MovNat running techniques either bare foot or in minimal shoes. Running gets me to cool parks and playgrounds to practice MovNat.

So with my aunt’s insight, I now feel more like my transition from marketing pro to MovNat trainer is pretty natural. There have been a couple points in this transition where I feel a bit crazy -- scaling back a marketing business and ramping up a fitness business at age 50?

Sure, why not -- I can live in both worlds. A lot of people do.

Hopefully other former athletes will find their way to MovNat, get back to their jock roots, so to speak, and embrace something new, exciting and different in MovNat.

I think they, like me, will be pleasantly surprised at how naturally MovNat can fit into their lives.