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The Art of Movement Edition 62: Want To Be ‘Good All-Round’? Quit Your Training Bias!

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Edition 62: Want To Be ‘Good All-Round’? Quit Your Training Bias!

This one shouldn’t take long.

The aim of this week’s newsletter is to help you recognise your training biases, understand where, how and why they may be limiting your progress, then take steps to eliminate or minimise them from your current activities while a cascade of new training styles, adaptations and physical possibilities open up before your eyes.

Back in my early 20’s I thought I was strong, and I thought I knew right from wrong in the world of sports science and athletic training. Right now, I’m stronger than I was then, but I don’t think I’m strong anymore, that’s for damn sure. I’m also certain I know more now than I knew then, yet somehow I sit in constant stark awareness of my highly limited knowledge. Why? Because over the years, time after time, I have been repeatedly humbled, most fortunately by some highly intelligent legends in the field of strength and conditioning. People who spring to mind include: Jon Goodwin, Dan Cleather, Dan John, Dan Baker, Steve Magness (they all have books out that are well worth reading!), and a few years on from finishing my studies, I am still pinching myself that I was able to sit through their seminars and workshops and learn as much as possible from them.

So what about bias?

Perhaps the most important thing the lecturers and guest lecturers from St. Mary’s University collectively taught me, was about myself and my own biases, and those of others. They taught me (along with the rest of my cohort) to acknowledge that we have them. Lots of them. And we need to root them out, identify them and call them exactly what they are, for this extremely important dynamic is at play any time we seek to understand something, whether that is a social behaviour, a research study, or a movement.

All of us have movement biases - we push through a certain side where we are stronger, or shift away from that knee we injured last year. We take the path of least resistance. Science is biassed all the time - a new research study comes out which conveniently finds that a new piece of wearable technology is in fact 99% right all of the time with very few to zero limitations. Meanwhile, the devices inventors are secure in the knowledge that none of us will read the small print section in the appendices, which is required to state who the study was funded by, as well as any potential conflicts of interest between the authors of the paper and the beneficiaries of the study. And socially - when you analyse the factors that determine whether a western news reporter refers to a violent incident as ‘terrorism’ or ‘a lone attacker’ with ‘mental health problems’, I think we all know deep down there is an extremely dangerous bias at play in society.

So now, are you going to sit there and tell me we don’t have bias in the way we exercise? That the way you are doing things in the gym right now is the best, most appropriate, efficient and practical way for you to achieve your training objectives, and not just a reflection of your past experiences and preferences? I hope (unless you skipped through the first few paragraphs) you wouldn’t be so naive.

We all train the way we do because at the end of the day - we want to. We have chosen our preferred methods for one reason or another, and decided that this means of getting to our goal is the one that appeals to us the most. What that means is that how our day-to-day and week-to-week exercise activities begin to manifest themselves begins to reflect our biases more and more, especially if we start to become consistent.

So what better way to change your fortunes, alter your body’s capabilities, develop new capacities and overcome injury, than by removing yourself from your historical training habits and doing things completely differently for once? If all you ever did was jog before, try sprinting. If all you did was run before, try lifting. Conversely, if all you do is lift heavy and work in short bursts, try reducing intensity and going for longer. Try pushing your lungs instead of your muscles for once. If you’re stiff as a board and can’t even bend to put your socks on or tie your shoes, get on the ground and start moving about. Get into difficult positions. In the words of Steve Magness’ book - ‘Do Hard Things’.

Switch things up and see what breaking your biases can do for your body!

“The definition of madness is doing the same thing over and over, and expecting a different result.”

Movement of the Week: Get out there and RUNNNN

That’s all for this week! Check out my Patreon channel for video episodes, on-demand workouts, training programmes, training guidance/advice and more!

Thank you,


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