- Weaponize Your Exercise Form
Don Miguel Ruiz, in The Four Agreements, begins with “Be impeccable with your word.” Well, in your body’s language FORM is your word. Be impeccable with your form.
To CrossFit Founder Greg Glassman, proper form represents Virtuosity and the root of Virtue is “Vir” which is Latin for Man. So in a very real sense Virtue is Manliness and if you are cheating on your sets to boost your ego then it is time for you to MAN UP.
Your muscles, tendons, and ligaments are all subject to mechanical force absolutes and adapt in response to these.
Increase the mechanical stress progressively, and an adaptive response is produced.
Yet increase it too much too fast, and you cause injury.
Having worked with tactical athletes preparing for the ultimate contest, I can tell you exactly where most injuries come from:
Placing LOAD on top of poor movement patterns. And poor movement patterns are exacerbated by not performing movements with Virtue through a full range of motion.
Stated differently, it does you no good to perform exercises unnaturally, not having the strength gains transfer over to everyday living situations.
So exercise form is critical and is dependent upon the function.
All you active and formal military guys and girls have seen the lack of Virtue every time a Physical Readiness Test (PRT) is run. People cheating on pushups to get a score. They’re just robbing theirselves. I’ve done over 100 chest to ground pushup to full extension in less than two minutes and i will never settle for less – you shouldn’t either.
By natural, we mean free weights and functional movements (no machines).
That’s why after all the bootcamp movies you’ve ever seen, they’re doing bodyweight exercises to build strength. They’re not using machines. Bodyweight training IS resistance training.
By safe, we mean ensuring that your movement pattern is flawless (which usually means using much less weight than your ego would like).
This also keeps your mobility high and decreases your need to do tons of stretching and soft-tissue work, as you take an exercise through a full range of motion.
This keeps you safe under 50lb+ pack heavy training loads. (By the way if you’ve ever felt the weight of a medical guy’s pack, vs an operator’s, you’ll know that all of my recommendation are most sorely needed by medics, corpsmen, and combat physicians.