Welcome to ‘The Art of Movement’ - my weekly newsletter!
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This newsletter is not just an opportunity for me to touch base with my dear patrons and show my gratitude for your monthly support, but also to offer you a 5 minute, easily-digestible read around the world of health, fitness and exercise. Here I will troubleshoot many common difficulties my clients experience, offer practical, actionable solutions for you to put to work in your life immediately, and of course provide my weekly motivation in the form of a favourite quote, and a takeaway lesson from it.
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CIRCUITS: Tuesday 16th August @ 6:30pm on Turnham Green, Chiswick
Edition 29: You Are What You Do
Ask Lionel Messi or Cristiano Ronaldo how they are so ‘gifted’. How they are so fortunate to be blessed with the skills they have which set them apart into a different footballing galaxy from the rest of the world… chances are they will probably be quite annoyed. The idea that these freaks of footballing nature got to the levels they did by accident, by some ‘blessing’ or footballing gift, is naive at best. I’m sure they would be quick to explain the tens of thousands of hours of purposeful practice they have now accumulated over the years to master their craft. The endless struggle to be better, be flawless, the hours staying back at the end of training to practice free kicks, dribbling and finishing - the faintest suggestion of them achieving their dreams by luck seems outrageous to most of us.
Similarly, we can look at a legendary bodybuilder like Arnold Schwarzenegger - somebody who has applied countless hours, double and triple training days for years upon end to master his craft and become a different type of freak of nature.
Imagine then, my incredulity and surprise (I know I should stop being surprised), when a person with no previous gym training experience tells me they don’t want to do weights because they ‘don’t want to get too bulky’! I’m even laughing as I type it. And yet sometimes, I feel like they don’t even believe me when I explain to them just how many hours, days, weeks and years of consistent, stressful, and intensely specific and carefully planned weight training and strict dieting it would take in order to get ‘bulky’, ‘ripped’ or even vaguely resemble the appearance of a bodybuilder?!
Trust me, unless you are training 6+ times per week you don’t have to worry about anything like that. As somebody who has been in the gym consistently for 18 years - achieving any kind of extreme athletic physique is only possible through extreme dedication and training. Arnie looked the way he did by training 10 times per week. Leo Messi can do the things he can do with a football for the same reason. It is not an accident. We are what we do, and it is important to remember that when pursuing our goals, whatever they might be.
If your goal is to be better at running, you need to get out there and run. You may then argue that your body isn’t ready for that yet - well guess what, you have to start somewhere. So maybe that looks like 3 x 200m slow jogs, separated by 2 x 200m walks (total - 1km), which becomes a straight 1km run the month after, which becomes 3 x 500m runs, separated by 2 x 250m walks (total - 2km), which becomes a straight 2km run the month after, and onwards, and upwards, regularly, consistently and hey - all of a sudden you’re a runner. You’re that person other people look at and say ‘I wish I could be a runner like them’.
If you want to be stronger, the same thing applies - you need to be prepared to lift relatively heavy weights on a regular basis. It is important that you find it difficult. If you can lift it 15 times it isn’t heavy. Doing this sensibly and progressively with a focus on technique and consistency provides you with the platform, and before you know it you are literally stronger!
Remember, you are what you do, so think about what you want to be, and begin heading in that direction :) good luck!
“There are no coincidences” ― ME
Movement of the Week: Bear Hold
3 x 30 secs
The bear hold is a great way to train core stability and makes a nice change from doing planks all the time. It’s a real burner for the legs and shoulders and trains you to maintain the ‘athletic position’, which is flat lower back, shoulders retracted and lats engaged, hips and knees flexed, pressure through the feet into the ground. Give it a try!
That’s all for this week! Please spread the word about my Patreon channel so more people can enjoy the videos and newsletters!