Taking your Training Seriously
Your health is the #1 reason why you joined Next Level Performance. You found a system that works for you and that most of you enjoy doing. There is no wasted exercises at a gym, no confusion in your exercise program, and a sense of belonging to a group of people you have become close to you. That’s what we are all about.
It seems though that many of you, and you know who you are, are participating in the classes but do not take the training seriously enough to maintain intergrity in what is being instructed and taking pride in becoming fluent in the movement patterns that you have been taught. What am I talking about? I am talking about performing the exercises in a manner that is ineffective, sloppy and detrimental to your joints and muscles. There’s an old saying that goes like this,”You get out of something what you put into it”.
If the body learns to move inefficiently during instruction, then we are literally set up for injury. In fact, we can actually create structural abnormalities through improper movement. Additionally, if we move the joints together inefficiently and repeatedly, then the body will experience more friction than necessary and will wear out unevenly and probably more quickly. If we then add external weight to the bad pattern, this process of injury and degeneration can be even further accelerated.
When it comes to movement patterns, including – but certainly not limited to – squatting, lunging, running, jumping, lifting etc, form is paramount. Break down in form is what breaks the body. Poor form is one of, if not the primary cause of, chronic pain and injury. This goes whether you are one of our athletes, or just attend our classes on the weekend. The way you move has a direct and definite impact on how you feel. It has everything to do with your form, good or bad. Form is the applied combination of technique and skill. Form is a learned behavior. It is built through repetition (aka practice), and is embedded in the nervous system. When you learn a new movement pattern, your nervous system creates a specific neural pathway for this new skill (the connection of one part of your nervous system with another).
At first this pathway is weak; the connection is poor. But the more often you repeat the movement pattern, the stronger the neural pathway becomes. Sustained consistency goes farther than sheer force of effort. It’s kind of like building a road. I’ll use this as my analogy. Over time, as more and more traffic uses the road, it is expanded. Think of the road at Victory and Clove, over time, the road is slowly transformed into a bigger more efficient thoroughfare. Proper form takes the right movements and deeply hard wires them into a specialized skill through perfect repetition of movement patterns. Poor form takes the wrong movements and deeply hard wires them into bad habits through the repetition of less than proper movement patterns. That is why even though you do not practice everyday, during instructions before or during a class, it’s important to listen and learn. Even while waiting for a class to begin. Instead of waiting for the others to arrive, take some time and go over you squats, KB swings or any other patterns your not comfortable with or better yet ask the instructor to go over a pattern you may want to master.
Again poor form Is inefficient, leaks energy, and makes tasks harder and more exhausting to perform. Wears down the soft tissue of joints, leading to inflammation and damage. Creates dysfunctional pain patterns throughout the body. in short, it can be dangerous!
Where proper form increases efficiency – You move smoother and faster, jump higher, squat more weight, etc., all with less effort and strain. Minimizes wear and tear on joints, ligaments, tendons, cartilage. Allows you to do more with your body and your life. Speeds recovery time. Is preventative medicine. Reduces short and long term health care costs. Prevents living a life of pain and injury. Increases productivity. Proper form, in short, improves the qualityof your life!
This is important. Proper form and poor form are both developed through repetition. The difference lies in the quality of the movement being repeated.
To improve form, you need practice… perfect practice. You need to practice your form perfectly in order for it to stick. When you train for form you are allowing your neurological system to develop new bio-mechanical habits or in laymans terms muscle memory. Because it is so important to have flawless form, you must repeat the movement pattern flawlessly with every repetition. At the beginning of form training, perfect form breaks down at the first sign of fatigue. Once fatigued, you will no longer be able to maintain perfect form. So stop think about what your doing and take the few seconds to recover, and then continue.
Training with imperfect form reinforces the poor movement patterns that will ultimately lead to injury. So take your training seriously. Juan, Chris, Donald and the other trainers are happy and competent in answering your fitness questions or questions about proper form. As we always say at Next Level, ” Practice doesn’t make perfect, it’s perfect practice that makes you perfect.