Monday, February 15, 2010

What is right for YOU?

The world we live in is filled with hype. This diet is best, this religion is the final answer, this healing modality can cure everything, this training program will get you in the best shape of your life…blah, blah, blah.

When I first studied psychology I soon realized that therapy is less about the theories proposed by Freud, Jung, Rogers or the local milkman…it is about the person you are interacting with as a therapist as well as your own personal preferences as a therapist. Look at the facts at hand and adjust your approach to them.

The same thing applies to training. When I first discovered kung fu in 1986 it really worked for me. At that point in time my body and mind was “kung fu ready.” After a long hiatus I tried kung fu again in 2003 but my body simply didn’t like it. As a result I tried the Russian Martial Art (Systema) and my body found something that works for it.

A similar thing happened when it comes to my general conditioning and strength training. I started weight training in 2005 with some very basic lifts (bench press, squat, military press, dips, pull-ups, and deadlifts). That was all. Not only did I make major gains in strength and body composition, I also started moving with a lot less efforts.

My enquiring mind eventually led me to explore kettlebells; specifically the Hard Style of Pavel. It worked like a charm. Due to a lot of hype on the web I gradually shifted away from weight training and the HS kettlebell methods towards the GS methods.

Since this shift took place I have been pretty much in constant pain and have picked up some major injuries and muscle imbalances. NOW, don’t get me wrong. This is not in any way due to an inherent problem with Girevoy Sport. It simply boils down to the basic fact that I am not a sportsman. I’m a big guy and therefore doing ballet has never been an option for me. What does seem to be an option for me is either learning a fighting system that allows me to use my best attributes effectively or to learn how to lift up heavy stuff in the simplest possible manner.

Systema is all about efficient movement and a reliance on what is both natural (for you) and efficient from a bio-kinesthetic perspective. Similarly, a training program using either weights or just body weight should be natural for you.

For the last 4 days I have been experimenting with a system known as Gym Movement. The jury is not yet in on this one and it is also creating quite a bit of…attention, or friction on forums like DD. What I can say at present is that I have picked up extra muscle and shed some excess bulk in 4 days (yes, 4 days). I am also stronger based on objective pressing tests with the 24kg kettlebell.

I do not believe in an ultimate answer for anything, but I do tend to believe that it is best when we are able to tune in to what is best for our bodies at any given point in time. For now I am pretty impressed with the results delivered by GM. Hopefully I will have more positive results to share in the next few weeks.

Happy training!