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Full Circle Trianing, Part 2 “Concepts vs. Fundamentals”

Posted Jun 29 2009 4:36pm

In the last installment, we talked about fundamentals in exercise and why we begin training. In this, the second part of the series, we are going to discuss concepts.

Concepts are just ideas. We have ideas about almost everything in life, and our belief in these ideas seem to steer us in various directions. This is true of religion, martial arts, fitness, and even the way we drive our car! Our belief in concepts, or at least our willingness to explore these concepts, shapes our world. So which comes first, the idea or the fundamental?

This is kind of a play on the whole chicken and egg thing. I think that in some way, it is both. People have been exercising for probably as long as time has existed. Maybe after climbing so many hills and mountains, some of our ancestors decided that it should be a little easier, so they started doing it a little more. Maybe they decided that in order to conquer the elements more effectively, they needed to move in a similar way with more resistance, Thus, an exercise routine was born. Who really knows?  The point of this, is that fundamentals are those rudimentary things that have come through scientific experimentation and refinement over years and years. Concepts have been the guiding force for these exercises. So which one is more important? Yes. Huh? That’s right. They are both of great importance. You have to have an idea, then you have to build fundamental strength and posture, then you have to have an idea of how to use those things in a way that is effective for you. How do you do that?

Research, trial and error. Get educated on some different theories, concepts and principles. There are a number of periodicals, books and websites that display these things. The best thing, of course, is to get a personal trainer. I know what you’re thinking…I might be a bit biased. But it is true. One of the great things about having worked here, is that Ian and I decided to train each other for a period of time. It was great because we both had to let go of our ego and just start from square one. It really gave us an empathetic viewpoint of what our clients experience. Aside from that, it helped us hone and sharpen our skills. We were both able to take different concepts and apply them to ourselves, each other and our clients. We were also able to take different exercises and plug them into the various concepts and alter them for each person we were training. It was awesome! Here’s an example.

If I was going to train someone using concepts based on circuit training. I might have them do Jump Squats, Australian Pull-ups, Leg Raises and Plyo Push-ups. If I keep that concept, then take one of Ian’s favorite exercises–let’s say TRX Sagittal Lunges–I could substitute it for the Jump Squats without compromising the integrity of  the circuit. Now if I want to get really crazy, this might prompt me to look at the circuit itself in a whole new light.

Maybe what I would do, is burnout the muscles in this order: legs, back, abs, and chest–so that when I was done with them, there was nothing left. Ah but wait; I would take the client’s heart rate down by having them walk a lap. When they get back, I would have them do TRX Squats with W’s, and TRX Atomic Push-ups for 1 minute each with no rest for 2-3 rounds. The subsequent time from muscle group to muscle group coupled with the walking lap, would have already triggered the “repair” mode of the muscles on a cellular level. The “last blast”, as it were, would serve to ensure absolute muscle failure. At the same time, the change from the anaerobic (resistance) to the aerobic (walking) creates an interval that forces the body to adapt, thus making it burn more calories. All of this, of course, is a concept based on science that I can employ to help get someone to where they need to be.

So, try it for yourself. Research some concepts and see what you can do to make them uniquely your own. There really is no right or wrong, as long as you use proper form. Dont forget: post your workout in the comment section of my blog. Thanks.

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