Unintended Consequences

We all do many things, it can be a difficult thing to manage sometimes. It’s important to know that in some of the things we do, we are setting gears into motion which we do not fully understand. 

We do something looking for a certain result and oftentimes it may come at the cost of something unexpected.

This is how I see it after having injured myself. In search of strength and validation, I was left in pain and confusion. I invite you to consider some of the details I overlooked..

A story like this is not uncommon, for many in the fitness culture, this becomes a part of their life. I’ll tell you the story and we can all learn from it together.

Everyone needs an identity, and growing up we might seek this out in many different ways. For me, it was training my body. The goal was to build a physique and abilities which would help boost my confidence and value to the team.

When we get good results from something we tend to stick with it, and so I did, diving deeper into an ocean of different ideas regarding training; breathing, movement, nutrition etc.

What I did not realize is that my training could have done so much more for me than just building muscle, that while I was more confident and stronger in a certain sense, I was also more fragile and misguided in other ways.

Someone who trains for validation from others is fragile, reinforcing a pattern of poor thinking.

Even with all the so-called diversity in my training protocols I was missing very important movement ingredients, relative to the recipe for the most complex movement patterns humans have evolved for, Gait.

The result of this was an altered balance within the tissues of my body, I became dominant in movement patterns which would create compression and rigidness down the line.

Traditional barbell lifts were my Gold Standard; Deadlifts, Squats, Cleans, Overhead Presses and Bench Presses.

My body fortified these patterns and although I also ran and did Calisthenic Exercises, the dominant movement patterns became those I practiced in the weight room. This is not surprising since the intensity of moving heavy weights demands changes in structure.

Training Muscles

Entering into Martial Arts with Muay Thai and Brazilian Jui Jitsu I was surprised to find how unprepared I was for a deeper level of movement competence.

I felt sluggish and uncoordinated. Honestly, the size and strength from the weight room didn’t help me much in this context.

This means the feelings I was looking to escape through my training would come back and I would have to train even harder to outrun them..

So hard that I injured the SI Joint on my left side and was bed bound for a few weeks.

It wasn’t over once the pain subsided either.. I could feel that the balance in my body was off. I could still move and even do things which might be impressive for some, but I could feel something was off.

I got better with Physical Therapy and when that had reached its limit I began practicing Tai Chi. Both these things helped me to feel the balance returning but still, I could feel something was off..

It took years before I found Functional Patterns, Anatomy Trains and the ideas of the interconnectedness of the body as a Tensegrity structure.

The lines on the figure represent Myofascial Meridians, pathways of force transfer which connect the muscles and stabilize our bodies. Traditional Training builds very limited connections in comparison to Gait.

These things painted a clear picture for me of exactly how the injury I experienced started. The way I was training actually sowed the seeds. 

For the first time, instead of being some sort of accident, I could actually see clearly how the road to injury was paved by my own hands.

Once I could see this, I was relieved to know that there was a way I could Regenerate my body.

The idea of training muscles in Isolation and out of context had never occurred to me before this point.

Training Gait/Posture (Functional Patterns)

There are a huge variety of movements that humans are capable of but there is only one thing that is non-negotiable and that is the gait cycle.

The moment a human being can no longer walk, they become dependent. When we consider our evolution, walking was always the number one movement to gather food, resources, and defend ourselves.

The pattern of contralateral reciprocation and rotation found in gait is the very core of our human movement patterns. To walk upright in this way is defines us as humans. Our structure itself can be seen to be organized around this movement pattern.

When we stress ourselves through training, we will experience much more desirable adaptations when our training fits the context of gait.

If we train in a way that does not involve these core contexts, then we are building connections in the body which will not support our most basic function.

The relationship between structure and function goes deep. Structure affects more than just the way we move, it is also the environment for every cell and process in the body.

Healthy structure, healthy cells.

Published by Primal Fitness Project

Hello and welcome to the Primal Fitness Project. I’m a Personal Trainer with a deep interest in the body/mind. I believe it’s coming to light there is much more overlap between body and mind; physiology and psychology. In the context of evolution, the conditions we are experiencing are quite new and surprisingly unpleasant to our genetics. Major environmental conditions like lighting, temperature, food and stress are having negative impacts on our genetic expression. Negative impacts on our very human blueprint. I’m not suggesting we run off into the woods or abandon the progress that benefits us. I am suggesting that we begin to ask questions about where our culture has lost balance with the human blueprint. In an industry oriented purely the physical and worse still, dominated by dissection mentality. Disconnecting the body instead of training it as a whole. Isolating muscle groups is being shown to have negative impacts on our Fascia, the organ of form which integrates all systems of the body. The rates of injury and degeneration are fire alarms signaling our straying from the path. This BIG! It means we are unintentionally limiting ourselves in the quality of our movement and psychology. On top of that there are the environmental challenges of diet, distraction and sleep. It’s fair to say we’ve hit a low point in health and happiness with the epidemic of diseases both mental and physical. This space represents our resurgence. We’re building a community conscious of these challenges and prepared to take action back towards balance. Our weapons are information and practice. Here you will find information from people looking to empower you to take control of the six major points in our Hexagon of Health: Mentality, Movement, Breath, Sleep, Nutrition and Community. Let us put this information into practice and become stronger together.

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