Don’t worry, you aren’t alone. I can’t count the number of times I’ve had this thought. When I was sick of it, I would just dive in and start doing something. After 3 or 4 workouts I would injure myself and vow that once I was better, I’d get back
up and start again. Do you think I kept my promise? Nah. Normally it would take awhile before I would start up again and the time between getting hurt and starting over would increase as I was older. But then, I discovered that I could workout without getting hurt. Let me explain….
About a year and a half ago I took a certification course in Functional Range Conditioning (FRC). FRC is a training method developed by Dr. Andreo Spina that incorporates progressive joint movements and emphasizes joint mobility before more complex movements and weightlifting are incorporated. You see, each joint was designed to move within a physiological range that is established during fetal development. If you want to see how each of us should be able to move our joints, find the nearest infant and carefully observe how the joints move. One thing you’ll notice right away is that most adults don’t move like that. Why is that? Well, bones, ligaments, muscles, fascia, and connective tissue respond to one set of instructions – force. Science has confirmed that if you apply force to a tissue in a direction for more than 2 minutes, and repeat that force over and over again, when your body manufactures new cells to take the place of the old ones, the new cells will align in the direction of force and be able to respond to the new range of motion you require. As you can imagine it takes time for this to take place. In my case it did.
I spent about a year working on progressive joint movements before I was comfortable enough to start adding weight. But guess what? As long as I do a proper warm up I don’t get hurt AND I can safely perform movements with increasing amounts of weight without fear of injury.
I always chuckle to myself when I see people chuggin’ down the street, half dead and out of breath. Folks, this ain’t healthy!! If you’re over 35 and you’ve decided you need to get in shape after having gained a slow 20 lbs, why on earth would you start by running several miles? Stop now please before your heart does.
The same thing goes for you goofballs who think you can go to the gym (yes, I’m calling out “_______ fit” people here) and throw weights around like you’re in high school gym class. Please quit. I was a powerlifter in high school and college and I was kind of a beast. Now that I’m rapidly approaching the end of my 40’s, I wouldn’t dream of stepping into heavy weightlifting like I did back then. If you’re in your 40’s you’re not going to gain anything but a trip to the the ER.
So what should you do? I like to approach fitness with a 10 year plan in mind. What the heck is that? Well, I’d like to be in better shape in 10 years than I am now. When I hit that new decade, I restart my new resolution. This approach gives me some room to fall and get back up again – many times – so I don’t say “screw it!!” So here are a few ideals to shoot for, whether they be fitness goals or things I want to accomplish.
- I want to establish full range of motion in my joints. Believe me, if you haven’t worked at gaining this you’re not as good as you think.
- I want to be able to walk or run a few miles without pain.
- I want to be able to stride or sprint 200 meters and not look like those people on the side of the road.
- I want to be able to make it through 8 weeks of working out 2-3 times a week with weights without getting injured.
- I want to be able to feel good on a long mountain bike or motorcycle ride.
- I want to be able to climb a ladder, jump from rock to rock in a creek and climb rocks without fear of injury.
So how do I get there?
- Start with CARS! I have created an eCourse on Micro University! You can access the course I created here! http://micro.university/p/controlled-articular-rotations-cars-basics
- As your range of motion improves move to PAILS/RAILS contractions and passive range liftoffs, eccentric contractions, KINSTRETCH, single leg and balancing exercises, bodyweight exercises, and when you master that, add weight.
- As you increase weight, make sure to maintain range of motion and don’t push yourself beyond the abilities of your joint strength and end range control.
- If you get hurt – go back to CARS and do these continuously until you work your way back through the progression without pain.
- Don’t use excuses, like: “I’m guess I’m gettin too old” or, “I can’t”. If you can pick up a pack of cigs or pop the top on a can of soda you can start moving your joints.
You can access the course I created here! http://micro.university/p/controlled-articular-rotations-cars-basics