Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Three Principles You Can Apply To Any Movement

Gray Cook and Dan John Essentials of Coaching

So you're already a coach/clinician/trainer that has decided to set a baseline. You check your programs against it and adjust accordingly. What's next?
Define your SYSTEM.

If you have not yet adopted a systems approach to teaching, training, and coaching it's time and Gray Cook and Greg Rose have just introduced the "10,000 foot view" in which they lay out what it is, how it works and why you should implement into your clients and athletes routines. Lee Burton reminds of what that system looks like from the ground in an earlier video learning series. A comprehensive, systematic approach, your clients deserve better and your capable of delivering it

Gray Cook & Greg Rose: Three Principles You Can Apply to Any Movement

Gray Cook & Greg Rose: Three Principles of Movement 

FOR EVERYONE ELSE: those that have not embraced the need for a systematic approach I recommend that you become a little more comfortable with individuals questioning your approach and techniques. Let's take a closer look at our recent past as a movement culture.

Over the last 50-60 years we have seen a continual slide towards decreased general health, physical capability and capacity of the North American population. We as a culture are headed the wrong way. To illustrate my point let's review US military training policy and procedures history to help capture a picture of what is happening in our culture. I personally think that we have lost our baseline. As a culture we forgot what our movement baseline used to be. Follow me on this:

The minimum physical standards for our US military have been changed numerous times over the last 200 years. Unfortunately over the past 50 - 60 years these changes have mirrored the decline in our physical capability & capacity. 

We lowered the bar again and again because our population was no longer physically capable of meeting the standards. We chose the easy way out. Instead of addressing the problem of low pass rates on physical performance standards for the military we chose to lower minimums. We lowered those minimums more than once in the past 50-60 years. The general population of the early 1900's in North America were physically capable of far more than we are now. This trend was noted as early as 1943 in the work titled Youth Goes to War. Lieutenant General Brehon B. Somervell, Commanding General, Army Services Forces stated"....Far too many young people are unable to serve their country because they are not in tip-top physical shape." Our daily routines in North American culture, our lifestyle, has continued to take us further and further away from our natural movement baseline for the past 50-60 years. 

The Victory Corps was a program designed in part to address the physical deficits in the high school aged individual. 1943 also brought us the implementation of the Women's Army Corps (WAC) Field Manual-Physical Training (FM 35-20). I have talked about the evolution of our North American definition of fitness here & here  previously and think that it is worth revisiting if you are willing to take a critical look at our current culture of fitness and how we got to our current view of what many think fitness is. By 1950 as the USA entered into the Korean War declines and deficits were noted and  summary conclusions were made towards the end of that war in FM 21-20 (1957) that we as a military force were under prepared for the rigors of combat, stating :... an alarming number of causalities were attributed to the inability of the US soldiers to withstand the rigors of combat." Our pride seemed to get in the way of true progress. We dodged the reality of the decreased capability by changing the tests by which soldiers were measured thus avoiding the truth. This in turn allowed us to blame the metrics without addressing the true deficits in the training and conditioning which contributed to poor readiness. It allowed us to enlist #'s. It allowed us to fill the quota. It cost us. 

In 1954 the Kraus-Weber Test of Minimum Muscular Fitness used 6 basic test to assess fitness levels in children in the USA and in Europe. We F-A-I-L-E-D.

Sadly in 1954 due to budget cuts the Physical Training School at Fort Bragg was closed. Just as we are starting to see objective data showing our physical decline and as a culture we seem ready to address it we are dismantling the military training infrastructure.  In a presentation to President Eisenhower in 1955 Kraus & Prudden attributed this result to " - In short, Americans plush standard of living." Every decade since this study our standard of living in the USA has continued to surpass anything that could have ever been imagined as "plush" in 1954. In 1956 Eisenhower establishes the President Council on Youth Fitness.

By the late 50's into early 1960 we begin to see the testing scores of new recruits decrease on intake measures like the Physical Combat Proficiency Test as compared to the expectation of performance from previous generations. In 1963 the Army implemented formal weight control policies for troops because obesity was just beginning to be recognized as a detriment to military readiness and performance. Well over 60 years now we have been debating the cause and what to "do about it".

We need to re-establish an acceptable level of minimum movement competency for the human animal. We need to start here before. First Move Well, Then Move OftenImage result for First move well logo

Part of this discussion has to be centered around whether you have a system or not, And if you do have a system, do you use it? First thing first: Pick a system and then use it.

If you have followed my previous posts over the years it is quite obvious that I believe in and use the Functional Movement System approach to clinical care and personal training.  If you do not have a systematic approach to identifying limitations and asymmetries in the individuals you are working with and measuring your programs and interventions against a baseline I very seriously doubt that you can honestly tell me if you helped or harmed them.

So let's bring it back to the "10,000 foot view":

Gray Cook & Greg Rose: Three Principles You Can Apply to Any Movement

"Measure it and you own it" Gray Cook PT, we need to be comfortable with both the credit and the blame. Buy measuring it you allow yourself the opportunity to make the necessary adjustments and corrections in an appropriate time frame.

Gray Cook of Functional Movement Systems has spent the last 20 years growing, defining and refining his approach to health and fitness.He has spent many of those years teaching  others how he believes that we as Health and Fitness professionals should be contributing to our clients lives and to the profession.

You may be familiar with earlier attempts to define this approach in Gray's 10 Principles. In his latest installment in the series of discussions (previous editions in the series have been made available from On Target Publications) Gray highlights the 3 Principles that stand over the approach.

Nature versus Nurture

Gray Asks: "How many of us can develop someone better than nature can?"....

1) First move well,,,Then, move often (The Nature Principle)

     - Movement Literacy is the ability to reproduce basic movement patterns.
        The FMS sets a minimum level of movement literacy. A minimum score of          2 on every pattern in the screen.
     - Neurodevelopmental progression as example

2) Protect, correct and develop. (The Ethical Principle)

     - Safety is optimized when protection always precedes correction
     - Correction precedes development

     - External cues for movement and Internal cues for healthcare

3) Create systems that enforce your philosophy (The Practical Principle)

      -Standard Operating Procedure- 
       SOP- A systematic approach, a tight feedback loop for professionals interested in advancing long term movement development. A way to access movement competency against set minimum levels before engaging in higher level activities. Develop competency before attempting to increase capacity, develop capacity before solely focusing on skill acquisition. 

If we believe in Principle 1, 
you honor it with Principle 2.

To take action on Principle 2,
implement Principle 3.

Create systems that enforce your philosophy.

To many times, as both a clinician and a coach, have I had conversations with clients and even colleagues in which they were unable to tell me what they were doing in their exercise or treatment approach and if they could many could not tell me why they were doing it. By having a system, a standard operating procedure, you can begin to better answer these two questions.