Active Concept Training

Mobility, Motivation, and Mindful Conditioning

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sit down! ok, don't...please!

Posted by Chad on August 3, 2010 at 9:00 AM Comments comments (1)

What were your ancestors doing at this time of day 150 years ago?  Building a home, maintaining a home, hunting for food, washing clothes by hand, etc., that's what they were doing!  How long have you been sitting down today?




The question about what happens when one sits down has been answered.  Like a computer, things shut down, go into 'hibernate' mode.  AND THIS IS BAD!


Even going to the gym just doesn't cut it.  Sitting down for hours negates the effects of going to the gym!




Here is another link to the possibility of  malfunction due to lack of function-ing.




Now, in this day when we don't have to build our own home or fight off bears (well we still have to do that sometimes), getting outside for a little "play" SHOULD be easier, but we don't let it happen.  We sit for hours, then go home and sit some more.  Your kids, and grandkids, would love for you to play with them!  When in doubt, get out!




Training for trauma, and play

Posted by Chad on March 9, 2010 at 3:54 PM Comments comments (0)

"Every time we train we expose the body to some degree of trauma. This is where training for recovery comes in. If I base practice on my ability to maintain a high degree of efficiency, relative intensity and focused technique, laying the foundations for progress, rather than letting my ego get the better of me, I can monitor my progress, self correct and adapt. I become the driver rather than the driven."


The above quote is taken from Scotland's Rannoch Donald  He always has a great take on human movement and performance, it's effectiveness or lack thereof.  Anytime I tell someone that training is a trauma, and we must abide by our body's cues to either slow down, or speed up, there is a lost look in their eye.  "Should I split body parts, lift heavy, go home?"  are all things I hear.

The solution I have come up with is to train for many things during the week.  Now barring a certain event coming up, that is.  Lift heavy, do 100 burpees, lift light, but concentrate on form and complete ROM, do something F-U-N!!!  If I do my hard training during the week, and know that Fridays are playdays, it keeps me motivated.  (The weekends are extra in my world--spending it with family--hopefully doing something constructive, creative, or exposing our young son to the outdoors.)



I have to admit, this picture is not me, but I wish it was!!  I think stand-up paddling is my next try!!  Keep learning my friends, or grow old and stale.


Play time!

Posted by Chad on January 15, 2010 at 7:59 AM Comments comments (1)

Did you ever take a group of 5  year olds to the park and say "go play!"?  What did they do?  Run, jump, climb, get dirty...why can't you do that?

I said in my previous post that this one would be about working out.  Well, it is, sort of.  What we should do is MOVE--in many different ways, using all the energy pathways.  This is my mantra, my concept of training for fitness (ability to do a task) and health (internal organs working properly)--both mentally and phsyically.  There has been some discussion on differentiating between fitness and health.  I do believe in the difference, but I still feel they go hand in hand, and you can improve them through play!

Dan John says there are only 3 ways to lift weights--lift it over your head, lift it off the ground, and carry it for distance or time.  I agree.  Everything else is window dressing and only possibly complimentary.  Depending on what your goals are, you should do this 2-4 times per week.

What is lost sometimes is that you can work your "cardio" energy pathways by lifting weights instead of boring 'cardio' machines.  Actually, it is better for you in a metabolic sense.  These pathways are oxidative as well as glycolytic, phosphagen, and shuttle systems.  In other words, mix it up.  See how many push ups you can do in 5 about scorching the system!  Then see how many squats you can do in 5 minutes...again a scorcher.  Then go for burpees...well, you see how it is going.  Increase the difficulty of the exercise once in a while.  Depending on what your goals are, do this 1-2 times per week.

Now, about that boring cardio machine.  It does have it's merits (though it's better done outside).  Unfortunately for most of us, NOT for weight loss.  This is the big one..."'lizabeth, I'm coming to joing ya honey..."  Most of our bodies do not require the aid of, nor can actually lose weight by doing "cardio" described as a steady state of activity for a prolonged amount of time.  See steady state...that means getting on a bike and pedalling while reading, or elliptical-ling , while reading.  Doesn't cut it for MOST of us.  Few of us are lucky enough to see inches coming off by doing this only.  IF you are going to lose weight by a machine, you better do some intervals.  If you can read or have a conversation throughout, it's not metabolically changing your body.  HOWEVER, it IS changing your mind!

Steady state activity CAN help boost your brain power.  Dr. John Ratey, among others, have figured this out, and we are MISSING THE BOAT on this one folks.  Hop aboard this one, as it has merit.  Neurotransmitters, BDNF, and other hormones, are promoted by steady state activity, so the body helps the mind.  Depending on your goals, do this 1-3 times per week.

Now, training (playing) all the ways above helps the brain in several ways, of which I've spoken before.   But what if you can't MOVE?  Well, this is where mobility comes into "play."  Scott Sonnon's Intuflow is a great one to use here.  Have you ever taken a PVC pipe and performed an overhead squat, or power clean...these among others take the joints through a greater range of motion creating flexibility.  Tai chi, yoga and other activities can help as well.  Depending on your goals, do this 1-3 days per week.

And, for one day, PLAY!  By all means DO SOMETHING YOU THINK IS FUN!!  Swim, bike, run, hike, bowl, walk around the mall for an hour...whatever it is, do it.  Just ACT.

This is the secret.  Now go play!

Depression--time to ACT!

Posted by Chad on October 13, 2009 at 9:38 AM Comments comments (0)

Depression, of which I've spoken of before, is of massive interest to me.

Below is an interview of Frank Forencich of Exuberant Animal. The interview was done by Chris at Conditioning Research.

Modern society seems to be sad! I keep hearing of friends or family members who are depressed or suffering anxiety attacks. How much of this stress and dissatisfaction do you think comes from our “modern” lifestyles?

"Depression is epidemic. The World Health Organization forecasts that, by 2020, depression will be second only to heart disease in terms of disability or disease burden.”

To me, this is even more shocking than our epidemics of heart disease, obesity and diabetes. This is a disease state that’s psychospiritual as well as physical. There are many explanations, but I like the work of Kelly Lambert. She’s a neuroscientist who’s traced reward centers in the brain. She’s discovered a strong association between areas that coordinate movement and those that deliver a sense of satisfaction. I call this “the ancestral reward system.”

We move vigorously in search of a goal, usually food, and then we feel a sense of satisfaction for having done so. In contrast, modern society offers us only abstract striving (with computers) and even many of our rewards are non-physical and intangible. Consequently, we experience a sort of neurological blackhole of non-reward. A huge percentage of our circuitry goes unused and dormant. I believe that an enormous amount of depression stems from inactivity. The human body thrives on action."

What can we do about it?

"This puts our physical training in a new light.  As trainers and educators, we are doing a lot more than building muscle,cardio or skill. We’re actually pumping up the reward circuitry in our brains and delivering a sense of satisfaction and resilience.

Movement is thus highly protective against depression. Sooner or later, people are going to figure this out. The way to counter the epidemic of depression is to get people moving again. Any movement is good, but locomotion is probably the best place to begin. Long walks, or running if people can manage it, are ideal.

Mimic the experience of travelling the grassland and you’ll get a good outcome."


This is Exuberant Animal.  Check out Frank Forencich and his animalistic ways of moving about.