Recap of the 2019 Perform Better Functional Training Summit

Hello, and welcome to my annual review of the 2019 Perform Better Functional Training Summit!

Or as I like to call the event, Fitness Christmas!

The Functional Training Summit is one of the best educational events that health and fitness professionals can possibly attend, and in my review I do my best to capture the important information and action steps that were discussed by the presenters.

In this review I’ve embedded a number of Tweets and Instagram posts to make it easier to share the information. If you find this review useful, I would love it if you left a comment or like, send me a message, or share this piece on social so that other people who care about their health and fitness can learn with us.

In the coming weeks I’ll be breaking down as much of this content as I can in blog posts and videos, so please make sure to visit HaroldGibbons.com and @Harold_Gibbons on Instagram and Twitter to continue learning with me.

This year was my 9th time attending the Summit, and if you’re interested you can also read my annual reviews from 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, and 2018. Happy learning!

Now, let’s dive in:


Intro

On Thursday afternoon I picked up Mark Fisher and we drove from New York City to Providence. Mark and I met at perform better 6 years ago, so this was an anniversary road trip for us.

When we arrived in Providence, we went straight to Union Station Brewery, which is essentially where I think I’ve eaten the majority of my meals in Rhode Island.

It was a pleasure to see my friends from MBSC and CFSC, as well as to connect names and faces for people that I’ve heard about.

A few of us committed to getting in a workout on Friday morning, then it was off to bed for Fitness Christmas Eve.

Friday morning began at 7 a.m. with a workout in the hotel gym. It seems like everybody that I know was training differently than what they’re used to, and some of us bonded about the fact that even as fitness professionals, sometimes it’s hard to show up and train in a hotel gym.

Everyone stuck with the basics and after 30-40 minutes of single-leg deadlifts, one arm rows, and overhead presses it was time to shower and begin the festivities.

Now let’s get into the presentations:


Friday

Brian Nguyen: Slowing Down to Get Ahead

The first talked that I attended was Brian Nguyen’s Hands On session, and it was fantastic. When I first saw Brian president in 2016, it was the single best talk I’ve ever seen it perform better both in terms of presentation ability and also inspirational content.

In his hands on Brian talked about the concept of slowing down to speed up, and it actually set the tone for me for the entire weekend.

While the group warmed up, Brian had us do things that might seem silly, but are well supported by the social science literature for helping people get in sync with each other and build camaraderie. People were smacking their butts, chanting together, and walking around to high five or hug strangers. (Side note: If this was your first ever workshop at #PBFTS, I bet it had to be surreal!)

We did deadbugs, bear crawls, and anti-rotation presses and rather than focusing on load, sets, and reps, the goal was to focus on maintaining the highest quality of breath possible. Brian’s workshop was a combination workout and life coaching session, and what he spoke about sounds exactly what I hear our top coaches at MFF talk about.

Once we were better prepared in body and mind, Brian started talking about the serious stuff. Once the tone was set to focus on using the breath for both physical and emotional stability, Brian took us into a few core training drills that really helped put this science/spirituality concept together.

The biggest emphasis was on core stability in the frontal plane, or essentially practicing resisting side-bending in the torso. For example, this statement from Brian really hit home with me because it can be as scientific or as spiritual as you want it to be, and it works either way:

As Brian brought us together at the end, he reminded us that that the major goal for us as coaches is to be the facilitator or a safe space. If we can do that, we’re going to set up everyone that we train for continued success.

Alwyn Cosgrove: Unlocking Fat Loss: Training Strategies for the Body Composition Client

After Brian’s talk, I went to see the Godfather of modern fat loss training, Alwyn Cosgrove. Alwyn may have had a bigger impact on how we do things at MFF than anyway else, and I’m always excited to learn from him.

For coaches, I’d suggest starting with this article that Alwyn wrote in 2007 and still represents the best possible prioritization of time for fat loss training:

I’ve written my own version of Alwyn’s Hierarchy that you can read HERE. Summarized in a few bullet points, this is the Hierarchy of Fat Loss:

  1. Correct nutrition
  2. Activities that burn calories, promote muscle mass, and elevate metabolism
  3. Activities that burn calories and elevate metabolism
  4. Activities that burn calories but don’t necessarily maintain muscle or elevate metabolism

One of the major points that Alwyn made that I’m not sure I’ve heard in the past is that “Fitness doesn’t equal fat loss:

So, while some people do change their body fat percentage by including aerobic exercise, that doesn’t necessarily mean it’s where they should start. Once correct nutrition is in place, the first place to start is with strength training. Some of the sets should be lighter and faster, and some of the sets should be heavier and slower.

Alwyn presented data about all speeds and intensities being beneficial, and it’s easy to think of this data as contradictory. They’re not. Ideally, a well rounded program is going to include all speed/velocity combinations, allowing for you to develop all of the benefits of strength training:

Once strength training is in place, then you’d move on to interval training. Most general population group exercise workouts happen with fixed work and rest periods, say 30 seconds on and 30 seconds off. While these numbers are often used, and ones that we use at MFF, it’s possible to personalize your programming more by using heart rate monitors and focusing on specific heart rate zones.

With the classes that we’ve run at MFF using the MyZone heart rate system, I’ve found that most Ninjas are surprised when they have to slow down, and actually end up resting more at the beginning. That’s because the goal isn’t to simply do hard cardio, but to create a specific training effect where your heart rate oscillates between highs and lows.

Once interval training is included, after correct nutrition and strength training, of course, and if you have time, then you may add more traditional cardio. Alwyn made this great point that I truly believe more of us should take to heart:

Now, this isn’t to say that running or other steady state cardio is necessarily going to be bad for you. This is saying that if and when the goal is fat loss, it’s more efficient to focus on moving well and getting strong, and then including pairs of high intensity exercise and rest, before you go out for a casual swim, bike ride, or jogging.

And YES, even as someone who loves riding their bike for hours at a time – it’s not a good fat loss strategy, it’s just my personal “have fun while moving” strategy!

After Alwyn’s talk, it was lunch time, and I got my first Poke bowl!

Brandon Marcello: Recovery & Regeneration: Promoting Recovery for Enhanced Performance

Brandon Marcello won my heart several years ago when he opened his first Perform Better lecture with the words, “I have a Ph.D in overtraining, and I don’t believe in it.”

In this lecture about how to promote recovery after training, Brandon continued with this:

Brandon made a case for the significance of quality sleep and nutrition by labeling them activities that are PREcovery, rather than REcovery. If adaquate sleep and nutrition are not in place, then every other methodology possible is going to fail and improving your performance. At MFF we often say “You can’t outtrain your diet” to honor Cosgrove’s Hierarchy of Fat Loss, and now I’m going to start saying, “You can’t out recover poor sleep and nutrition.” as an ode to Brandon’s information.

As for nutrition, anyone who’s ever felt not like themselves after eating a little bit too much junk food can definitely attest to this:

For me personally, this is yet another case for focusing on nutrition for both mental health and mood regulation as a major factor in enhancing our performance, both in the gym, but also at our jobs, in our relationships, and with our hobbies.

As Brandon begin to discuss the benefits of having specific data about activities, he cautioned against the use of wearable devices to record heart rate, sleep scores, or heart rate variability.

I’m interested in both the accuracy of the personal data we have in the world of the #QuantifiedSelf, and I’m also interested in how that most of these personal metrics don’t seem to be currently supported by the scientific literature.

What I do know is this: If you’re wearing a device and letting it inform your actions, I hypothesize that it’s going to improve your health behaviors even if the data isn’t as accurate as it would need to be for an elite level athlete or soldier.

That being said, if you’re going to use heart rate data to change the intensity of your workouts, use a chest strap rather than a wearable. The information is so much more meaningful.

After Brandon’s lecture came to a close, I headed downstairs to his hands-on workshop to see some of his recovery practices in action. His hands-on started with a review of some of the modalities that can be really important for enhancing recovery:

Participants in the hands-on did a circuit of breathing drills, walking on a rock mat, foam rolling, and laying down and putting their legs on the wall. Several years ago I asked Brandon about this particular action, and he let me know the goal was to make it easier to get blood back to the heart.

If you reduce the load on the heart to pump blood, then recovery improves. This is one of the reasons why swimming and water-based recovery (whirlpool, water aerobics, etc.) can be so beneficial for helping recovery. It has benefits for both the cardiovascular system and the autonomic nervous system.

We’ll talk about fascia more with Josh Henkin and Todd Wright, but here’s a simple case for intentional breathing drills from Brandon:

When it comes to foam rolling and self-massage practices, Brandon made the point that each of us has a different pain tolerance, and that different tissues in our body may respond to pressure in different ways.

I’m very intrigued by the work that Brandon is doing, and think it’s important to note that each of these recovery methodologies can really help you improve your performance – if you’ve already addressed quality of sleep and nutrition. I know a lot of people who go for massages or try to have an easy yoga class to help with recovery, but their time may be better spent taking a nap or getting a few more hours of sleep each night.

Once PREcovery is addressed, REcovery can follow!

Sue Falsone: The Nervous System: What Do You Really Need To Know?

Sue’s lecture about the nervous system was incredible, and I’d be lying if I said I understood all of it. What I do know is this – When Sue talks, I listen. I always try to visit her talks, and this year I was excited to hear her talk about how inputs have a major impact on the nervous system:

Just like Brian and Brandon and earlier in the day, Sue talked about the importance of respecting the duality of both life, and also the nervous system.

It seems that in our go-hard-or-go-home American fitness culture, we prioritize the perception of performance over everything else. That’s not good. The overemphasis on output means that we often neglect the significance of inputs. For example, sometimes walking on rock mats helps improve people’s experience of pain in their lower bodies because the input to their nervous system is different:

Sue also talked about the importance of meditation, yoga, massage, and breathing to help the body shift from a sympathetic state into a parasympathetic state. Again, there isn’t anything wrong with being in a sympathetic state for performance, but problems begin to arise when we get stuck there after the bout of activity is over. Being able to shift back, or wobble between the two, is where the magic is.

One of the wisdom-ful quotes that she used, that echoed a sentiment that Brian shared that morning, was that breath control helps everything:

Sue wrapped up by talking about Dynamic Systems Theory in application to motor learning, and shared that ultimately the goal is to have as many options as possible. Rigidity is the opposite of adaptability, and when our bodies are more receptive to inputs to our systems, we’re better able to respond with desirable outputs:

Alwyn Cosgrove Keynote

I’ve seen Alwyn present for 9 years now, and am so glad that I was able to hear him share a number of personal stories about his growth as a person and as a professional.

Alwyn spoke about the ripple effect of his life experiences from growing up living in a church in a small town in Scotland, having an incredible mentor in his martial arts coach, his mom passing away from a heart attack, and his dad encouraging him to take advantage of the opportunities in America.

At one point in time, Alwyn worked as both a lifeguard and caterer in a summer camp in New York, and then approached a boxer to be his strength coach. He then applied to work at every gym he could find in NYC, and worked incredibly long hours honing his craft. This phrase, which he repeated many times, is the single most important quote I heard all weekend:

In NYC Alwyn met his now-wife Rachel, and they moved to California and started Results Fitness, which has been one of the most influential gyms in the world since 2000. He now travels the world teaching coaches how to be better as fitness professionals and as business owners.

Considering that career trajectory, it’s easy to get overwhelmed, so he reminded us of this:

Social and Dinner

After Alwyn’s keynote it was time for the Perform Better Social, which at this point feels like the most incredible reunion to me.

There are people who I’ve known for almost a decade now, and being able to hangout with them, drink some beers, and catch up is always incredible. It’s also incredible to meet some people I’ve known from the internet for a while and see them in real life.

Let me share this gem with you: For the first 4 years I went to the Summit, I didn’t go to the social. I didn’t drink at the time, and felt awkward meeting people there. Now that I know a few people, and am less anxious about meeting new people, it’s so much easier to go and chat and hangout. A few of us went out to dinner afterwards, and it was amazing to hangout and bond, talking about both fitness and life in general.

Two non-fitness things that I learned: Michael Mullin is inspiring to me both as an educator but also as a father, and Sue Falsone has incredible taste in wine.

After dinner, we all departed for bed to make sure we can rise early and learn some more!


Saturday

Nick Winkelman: The Language of Coaching: A Story About Learning

Ever since I first saw Nick Winkelman speak, I knew I wouldn’t miss him. His expertise in the linguistics of coaching is second to none, and if his lectures always make me reflect back on my own coaching practice so I can get better.

In an ode to our profound ability to communicate as humans, Nick opened with this:

Nick proceeded to break down his specific format for instructing movement. The system is simple. First you describe the activity in detail, then you physically demonstrate it. Finally, you send the athlete off with a brief phrase used to bring focus to the activity. After the activity is completed, there’s a debrief period in which feedback is considered.

At MFF we start each class with a Show/Tell/Do section during which we review new exercises, and I’m really excited to bring specific concepts from Nick into my coaching in the coming weeks. Specifically, I want to get better at ending periods of instruction with more emotionally evocative cues so that they “stick” in the mind more:

My coaching has always been driven by the goal of Ninja-autonomy, and Nick spoke to the idea that a client should not need to be receiving cues all the time. Good coaching isn’t about talking the entire time, but about giving space for people to process what’s going on.

As a “check for understanding” it’s also important to sometimes move without having instruction before or cueing during a set. Sometimes you can measure learning by simply watching movement happen, and debriefing after the activity is completed:

After Nick’s talk, I visited the next lecture hall so that I could see Greg Rose’s biomechanics deep dive:

Greg Rose: The Body-Sport Connection

Greg Rose is a chiropractor who teaches for the Titleist Performance Institute, Functional Movement, created the SFMA, and works with many other organizations. I’d venture to say that he’s the premiere rotary sports biomechanics expert in the world. If the game is golf, baseball, or tennis, Greg’s the guy you want to listen to.

Greg’s lecture included a ton of biomechanics video review, and he was able to present swing faults for golf, tennis, and baseball that really opened my eyes to the importance of movement assessment between the Functional Movement Screen and sports performance.

When it comes to rotary activities, Greg noted that it’s important to be able to maintain posture mostly be looking at how the pelvis participates in the swing. If you lose pelvis position while initiating the swing, you’re also losing power. Greg must have showed us upwards of 50 years of different athletes moving, both well and with compensation, and it was really cool to see that some professional athletes can demonstrate beautiful postural control, while others can’t.

Next up Greg showed us that the ability to posteriorly tilt the pelvis is essential for generating rotary force, and that assessing pelvis control can be informative for all rotary athletes. For a deep dive into this talk, check out this video:

The biomechanics of rotary sports fascinates me but I have to admit, I’m not training anyone who has me analyzing their swings. On a personal level though, this does have me excited to get to dust off my golf clubs and lacrosse stick and get some more rotation in my life!

Josh Henkin: The Odd Couple: The Relationship Between Strength And Mobility

In past years, I’ve discounted Josh’s lectures thinking he was the “Sandbag Guy” and I can publicly admit that I was wrong. Sorry, Josh! After listening to him on the Strength Coach Podcast, I knew that I had some more to learn.

After an introduction that took into account the chronic pain cycle and inactivity in America, Josh made the case for fundamentally rethinking how we look at movement:

This particular phrase echoes what I’ve been fascinated hearing from Todd Wright for several years, and Josh continued to elaborate on importance of training the body as a single unit rather than focusing on individual muscles.

As he spoke, I couldn’t help but think both that at MFF we’re doing the vast majority of the things that he’s talking about, and that most of the fitness industry continues to struggle to adapt to this way of thinking. Josh said that the number one piece of feedback that he gets when he asks people why they don’t do a specific exercise is that it “looks silly” and I should admit, I frequently have the response to most “functional training” videos that I see.

And, my mind is changing. If you consider the bang-for-your-buck benefits of many of these exercises that focus on integrating many of the Fascial Slings of the body into complex movement patterns, they’ll go a lot further for enhancing our ability to move than the strength training standard of picking things up and putting them down.

I haven’t yet figured out how to integrate some of these more complex moves into our programming at MFF, but I know that at Results Fitness, which is Alwyn and Rachel Cosgrove’s gym, they’ll follow their power and strength training by using the devices that are inherently unstable and “alive” like the TRX and Sandbags.

I’m definitely excited to dig more into this, as I’m starting to believe that this is where the fitness industry needs to go to make strength training more accessible to a bigger portion of our population.

Charlie Weingroff: Mobility and Stability Revisited

Charlie’s lecture was a throwback to what he first talked about almost 10 years ago, and it was a great reminder of the basics of biomechanics:

Charlie referenced the Joint by Joint Approach, which was first written by Gray Cook and Mike Boyle, and that while each joint in our body needs both mobility and stability, they need one more than the other, and that this need alternates as you move up or down the kinetic chain.

When a mobile joint becomes too stable, our body compensates by developing potentially inappropriate levels of mobility at the adjacent joints in the kinetic chain. Charlie noted that “when stable joints lose stability, there are joint positional faults, soft tissue injuries, and inefficient motor strategies.”

When a joint has appropriate levels of mobility, and can move freely through an appropriate range of motion, then the Core Pendulum Theory comes into play:

As Charlie elaborated on joint wear, he reminded us that the goal is force production, which I believe is a reference to his Concept of Lowest System Load. The goal here is simple: Can you maxmize force production and do it with a load that will be the least detrimental to the skeletal system.

This sounds a lot like what Josh Henkin was talking about earlier in the weekend, and I appreciate that they used different starting points to get to the same point!

Todd Wright: Fascia In Training – What It Is and Why It Matters

The first time I ever saw Todd Wright lecture, I saw a style of training that I was completely unaccustomed to. It was dynamic and reactive, and compared to the slow and controlled training that I was used to, it seemed a bit off.

Now I make sure I see Todd lecture every chance I get, because I know that he’s talking about movement in the human body from the perspective of the Fascial System.

Todd’s approach to movement considers how much variation for the fascial systems we can include in all 3 planes of movement, and in some ways looks a bit like the training that Josh Henkin discussed earlier in the weekend.

This is a version of training the body that isn’t about contractile properties of certain muscles, but more about building a system that is capable of resisting and creating movement in all three planes of motion. Here’s an example:

Some of this programming may look overly “functional” to you, and to be fair, that’s how it looked to me at first. Our program design at MFF hasn’t gone this far into training fascial slings, but I do believe our continued evolution will take us closer and closer.

Rachel Cosgrove: Earn More, Worry Less

In past years I’ve chosen the fitness talks over the business talks, and I was excited to finally see Rachel Cosgrove speak after a few years of not seeing her.

I’m not kidding you when I say this, each slide in Rachel’s lecture could have been an hour-long talk on it’s own. It’s not that they were dense slides, it’s that she has so much expertise and experience that she makes some incredibly complicated topics seem so simple and easy.

I’ve spent all of my time in the fitness industry on the fence about whether I’ll ever want to open a gym of my own, and if I do, I’ll be getting as much mentorship as possible from the Cosgroves and Results Fitness University.

Rachel detailed many of the sales strategies that they use at Results Fitness, from membership drives, to add-on products, to VIP Cards that they give prospective clients that they meet around town. MFF has run a number of programs over the years, as have most gyms, and Rachel summarized that they all belong in three buckets:

That’s it. If you’re ever trying to make more money at your gym, it’s simply about getting more clients, getting clients to spend more per transaction, or getting clients to spend more often.

This might mean having add-on sessions for them, offering nutrition as an add-on, upselling them on a more appropriate membership, or having them come in more frequently.

It’s a short list, and I deeply appreciate how much she simplifies information that is admittedly not my wheelhouse.

After Rachel’s lecture, I cleaned up and drove with Mark and Michael Mullin to Chris Poirier’s house for a celebration dinner. I feel truly lucky to have attended and spend time with so many of my mentors, including telling Nick Winkelman about the search history on the the MFF computer.


Sunday Morning

Sunday morning is my favorite day at Perform Better. It’s usually the day that newer speakers present, which means it’s also the day when I hear new ideas and fresh perspectives. My mom taught me to always stay through the credits, and I feel like I’ve learned so much over the years by staying until the very end.

Sunday morning began with a lecture and hands-on from Mark Fisher, who you may have heard of:

Mark Fisher: You Can’t Have a Culture without a Cult

Mark’s lecture was an ode to the fantastical community that we have at MFF, and even though I’ve been a part of that community for the last 6 years, it’s always a good refresher to hear about what we’re doing outside of the walls of the Clubhouse. Mark led off by reminding everyone that:

There were very specific examples of the incredible people of our community, almost all of which focused on activities that were NOT fitness. He shared tales of Lisa’s Cooking Club, book clubs, jockstrap workout classes, a Ninja-run LGBT group, clothing swaps, and more. It truly is a remarkable community, and ultimately:

Mark cautioned against fitness professionals taking the things that have organically evolved at MFF and trying to force them into the facilities and communities that they’re a part of. I don’t think that bringing #RidiculousHumans together was ever a business strategy. The goal was always to build a community of like minded people, and that’s allowed our business to thrive:

After the lecture concluded, we went downstairs and Mark took attendees through a talkshop about how we begin Ninjas at MFF, in a stripped down version of our introductory class, Ninja Baptism.

One of the goals that Mark shared with me before the talk was to make sure that attendees were able to participate in the workshop the same way we focus on building participation in classes at MFF – that’s working together.

After Mark provided the description and demonstration of the specific exercise we do, and the attendees participated in it, he then asked them to get together and share their favorite cues or any different perspectives that they may have. The ability to communicate well about certain exercises is a skill that the MFF Training Team has been honing for years, and it was exciting to be a part of giving that energy back to the fitness industry.

If you ever come to an MFF Meeting, most of the time you’ll see intense discussions or arguments break out, and that’s part of the reason why our Team is so damn good.

I was able to share some of my favorite push-up and deadlift cues with the audience, and I’ll be sure to follow up with those in a future blog post and IGTV!

That’s me!

Michael Mullin: Circuiting The Rehab Training Model

This is the second time that I’ve seen Michael Mullin talk on Sunday, and he’s the reason to stay. His introduction echoed the comments made by Sue Falsone on Friday:

As a huge anatomy nerd, I was so excited to follow along with Michael as he discussed how important anatomy is. Our skeletal systems moves with each inhale and exhale, from the top of our head all the way down to our feet. Our organs move with each inhale and exhale as well, and so it’s important to think about more than muscles.

We have to think about how our body responds to changes in fluids and pressure so that we can maximize how the quality of the work that we’re doing. The following quote was shared that blew my mind. We’re basically all:

“Battery-powered, helical, water-filled, anti-gravity, morphing meat suits.”

Bill Hartman, PT

One of the big goals that was shared was the idea of teaching “Tension without Tension.” This might sound silly at first, but helps us bridge the gap between passive muscles at rest, and the maximal muscular contractions that some people try to create when they’re lifting weights. Michael did a fantastic job of living in the nuance in between, helping us focus on creating some muscular tension without going all out.

There was a nuanced understanding of the muscles of the core that I’m familiar with thanks to what I’ve learned from Michael over the years, that might also be overwhelmingly complex if the concepts of the Postural Restoration Institute are new to you.

What I’ve always appreciated most about Mike’s work is how good he is at communicating the goals. When it comes to movement, we basically want to have the best experience of our body possible, and that’s often enhanced by choosing exercises that help us “feel” the right muscles while getting into good positions. We’re often searching for sensations from our hamstrings, adductors, serratus, and obliques, and integrating the full exhale into each exercise as much as possible.

If we can make that happen during the workout, then good things happen. Mike cautioned about going too far with the attention to detail, and taking that focus outside of the gym:

I have some more work to do in helping to make these concepts more actionable, and I’m excited to share them with you in the future!


Conclusion and Action Steps

Mark and I got on the road almost as soon as Michael’s lecture was over. In the car we reviewed a lot of the new ideas that we heard over the weekend, and considered how we can implement specific ones at MFF. A particular passion of mine is taking these really elite level strength and conditioning ideas and making them digestible for the Ninjas, as well as for my community on social media.

I definitely still identify as a #SeriousFitness strength coach, but I always do my best to honor the adage I’ve heard from Mike Boyle, which is that “people don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care.”

My goal in the coming months is to figure out exactly which concepts from this weekend I think will be possible to use at MFF, and what is better suited for individuals in my online coaching and program design. As for right now here are my three major personal takeaways:

Action Steps

Your ability to recover from workouts is probably the most underrated aspect of fitness

More than half of the presenters referenced managing recovery in their lectures, with a wide variety of strategies to help. As the expert on this exact topic, I think Brandon Marcello says it best:

In the next year, I’m going to focus more on paying attention to recovery and regeneration both in my personal life, and also in the content that I create.

Not everything is about lifting heavy weights.

Traditional strength training has always been about performing simple exercises savagely well, and getting stronger by lifting heavier over time.

Years ago Mike Boyle raised the question, “How strong is too strong?” because eventually the body’s ability to adapt to this training stimulus of heavier weights is compromised. At this Summit more than any prior event, I heard coaches talking about using a variety of exercises in multiple planes with different implements that can continue to develop the capacity of our body to do work, but have less of a negative tradeoff for the health of our passive structures: Bones, ligaments, and tendons.

As the fitness industry recognizes the complexity of the human body, it seems as if our training is following.

More options are better than fewer options.

Sue Falsone talked about Dynamic Systems Theory, which for the sake of this conclusion I’ll summarize as, “More options are better than fewer options.” This means that if we have the ability to move in more diverse ways, to train more diverse ways, and to experience the world in more diverse ways, that we’ll fundamentally open ourselves up to have better experiences as movers and as coaches.

Nutrition Always Matters

Regardless of the goal, appropriate nutrition is always going to be a significant contributing factor the results that you achieve and your experience of the world. For fat loss, muscle gain, strength, endurance, and overall good health, you’ll never be able to out perform a poor diet. There are no magic pills, but there are vegetables!


That’s it – you’ve made it to the end. Thank you so much for committing the time to reading and learning along with me. If you’ve found this recap helpful, it would mean so much to me to have you share it so that others can learn along with us!

Additionally, any feedback you have for me would be deeply appreciated – please send me an email or message on social to start the conversation. We’ll talk soon!

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