Two simple movements in a flow you must try. Looks easy? It will be hard. Looks simple? It's as complex as you make it!
Little things can make a massive difference. Something that looks initially easy can be made excruciatingly difficult with just small tweaks and changes to the execution.
We've learned this over the years but it became even more evident when we immersed ourselves in different ways of movement such as ballet, dance, yoga, pilates, qigong, tai chi and athletic training.
In the past when we initially started to train we used to only focus on the exterior side of training. Difficulty and effectiveness of an exercise was mostly created by increasing resistance by external means.
Little did we know that only a small tweak in your form or posture can change the entire exercise. Or how tempo can effectively be utilized for maximal results.
Tempo is one of the biggest secrets to ultimate results. All arts and crafts have their own unique tempo which changes the stimulus of different exercises or movements a lot.
Tempo will also ensure your muscles are under adequate tension. Without time under tension you will not train the body thoroughly since muscles require time under tension to develop.
Charles R Poliquin (just passed away at 57) was one of the biggest advocates of utilizing slow tempo and other tempo tactics in training.
He was recognized as one of the best strength coaches in the world having trained hundreds of Olympic athletes in 22 different sports.
The reason why he succeeded was that his methodology was based on practicality and real life experience. You see, training and producing results is not really an academic subject.
If he had waited for scientific studies to support his methods, he would have never done anything and he would still be waiting for scientists' confirmation.
We learned a lot from him. Rest in peace.
Your Training is as Complex as your Mind
The traditional methods of training produce results. Just add more of everything. Do more. Do it harder and more often.
Discipline and hard work are necessities to great results but there is a lot more to training than that. These alone won't be enough in the long term.
Movement complexity = complexity of your mind.
How much sophistication you can apply to your training, the more detailed the end product (your physique and movement ability) will be.
If your training methods are overly simplified, it's like carving a statue with a big hammer. It works but if you want more detail and more sophistication, you need more refined and developed tools.
Your tools will determine the detail not just in your physique but also in how you perform and use your body.
A brute can only see 2 or 3 points in the range of motion of an exercise: let's say the bicep curl. The bottom (A), the top (B) and the middle part of the repetition. Some people can even see partial ranges.
What if we told you that we see over 100 points between (A) and (B) when someone else may see only a few?
This understanding has nothing to do with your genetics, drugs or hard work. It's all about the mind and the principles and methods that you utilize in your training.
In fact, in many softer arts like ballet or tai chi the attention to detail can be almost inconceivable. The smallest change in the angle changes everything. The angle of the tip of your finger makes a difference.
You don't need to approach training with this level of complexity and detail (although you can) but you should utilize more tools than the mainstream fitness recommends to fully develop the body.
If you only look at the science or the mainstream methods for guidance, you will be utilizing the most surface level principles and methods.
The result is often a bloated physique with a poor posture and very limited movement ability and performance.
You see, your physique and your movement capability will be the exact reflection of the principles and methods you will apply to training.
We have demonstrated some principles such as the precision principle in this blog post. The best thing is that our training systems are designed these principles in mind.
We also provide supportive content in regards to the principles and execution. For example, one tutorial video out of nearly 100 can be over 5 minutes long in Athlete 20XX.
Just like your body can be developed from nothing to greatness, your mind can also be developed to see more, feel more and understand things at a deeper and more detailed level.
Make Complex Simple.
If you have been following us for a while, you have probably noticed that the execution of our exercises can be very sophisticated and... just different.
Yet, our instructions and tips are often relatively simple although you may need to understand some basic physiology (like the names of the muscles) to fully understand the message.
This is because we try to make everything as simple as possible. We purposely avoid using scientific words to make things simpler.
The reason is that complexity of instructions is the enemy of execution. It will help no one if the principles cannot be utilized.
If you look at the landscape of fitness, it can be the exact opposite. The instructions are complex. The "theory" is almost impossible to understand, yet the execution is rarely anything special.
If you want to know the truth, this is just lack of depth and understanding in disguise. When you don't understand something, you need to use 1000 fancy words to describe a simple thing.
If you had asked Einstein this, he would have agreed.
Make Simple Complex.
Out of simplicity in understanding arises complexity in the end product.
The simple and basic exercises can easily be made effective and hard by adding a simple layer of complexity to the execution.
In the video, we utilized two simple movements called the bear walk and crab walk.
The very basic versions of these exercises will develop the body very well but eventually you can add more freedom and exploration to the execution.
Exploration alone will create complexity. All you have to do is try different ways to move your body. This is what mental freedom is all about - you are out of the box and free to move as you please.
The secret behind this flow routine is strength endurance. The longer you can stay in these two positions without a break, the better it will be.
It's fine for it to get intense and feel uncomfortable (as long as it's not painful for any joint). Just being in these two positions will transform your mind and body.
The question is, how long can you last?
Bear walk is a phenomenal movement to develop supportive strength in the anterior side of your body.
Your shoulders and arms will get strengthened to a great degree but you will also be stretching the posterior chain (lower back, glutes and hamstrings) while developing the quadriceps and hip flexors.
Like with almost any movement out there, your core should also start burning especially when you combine the movement with the crab walk.
Crab walk is nearly the exact opposite of the bear walk and that's why they are great to combine together.
The crab walk targets the posterior side of your body and will develop your shoulders, triceps, glutes and hamstrings. Your anterior shoulders and chest will also be stretched.
If you have never tried this movement before, you will probably notice the biggest effect on your triceps (they will burn A LOT) and core musculature (get ready for an intense abdominal burn).
To recap: switch between these two movements in a flow for as long a you can last. Feel free to explore different variations and ways of moving.
Two movements alone can create an incredible workout. For more, check out Movement 20XX which has over 50 different flow movements with tutorial videos, workouts and routines.
It's really the best and the easiest way to learn movement and will introduce you to many different ways of moving and developing the human body.