(I am VERY excited to present to you the very first guest post to be submitted to my humble website! My fellow in The Movement Darryl Lardizabal graciously offered to write me an article and I leapt at the chance to get a more in depth account of his experience with the pros and cons of tracking your training. Darryl is a BioMechanics Certification Candidate in The Movement and will give you more of his background in the article.)
One of the most interesting things I’ve learned from the Movement is tracking workouts. It’s one of those cool things we do that matters – we don’t just like trendsetting, fluffy theories with not practical backing people. It’s like pitting a bunny and a Komodo Dragon together, theories are cool; but if they aren’t tested or aren’t producing results, why believe in them? Shit, we should just eat them like a Komodo dragon would and shit them out for Dung Beetles. Imagery people, it’s good for you.
Tracking is valuable to a new trainee and most would become better as they can either see themselves progress or REGRESS…
But here’s the catch:
What if tracking is sucking?
What if you get more pain, than gain?
What if your hand suffers complete paralysis just from the mere thought of using a pen? (I believe most people use pen and paper anyway.)
I suggest you stop if…
Piers covered an important point in one of his articles regarding tracking (Click these words to read about Da Man Without the Pan – that’s pen with some weird Asian accent): Just like anything, everything can put you into pain, and anything can take you out of it – tracking is one of those things that can hurt you and make you go ape shit (in all the bad ways).
First before we get into the importance of tracking, here’s my story.
I got into the Movement after Z-health failed me in terms of relieving my pains and those of my client’s permanently. They would come and go, but to no avail they never went away…(you can cry here) Before I learned all this stuff, I spent 4 years of my life (literally when I became a trainer) in Z-Health – a system of training based entirely on neurophysiology.
It was during my final weeks of Z-Health where I was having a discussion with Dr. Cobb on how he personally works out. He was using Nail Bending as an example and how he would assess whether or not he would do it for that day (at that time he called it assessing, which is basically what we Movement people do when we say we test things). If he assessed it and it was good he would do it for a certain length of time – The basic idea he presented me with is a very basic approach to what we do with the movement – he simply tested the exercise that he would do, but not the sets, reps, weight, and rest periods.
Once he knew the right exercise, he would do it for a certain amount of time and called it quits. When I learned this, it was only about 2 weeks before the Movement made their introduction into the world through Adam Glass’ first videos. Before then I was simply fumbling along with how to really put this “assessing” protocol into use. Little did I know – it would literally change my life.
I used the Movement System after watching Adam’s videos. It relieved many of my pains and because of tracking I was able to capitalize on the Movements that would fix me if they ever reoccurred.
I noticed one thing: I hated tracking personally.
It sucked hairy balls – even though it was cool to see my progress day in and day out.
I’ve never been really a numbers guy or in general liked doing tasks that take too much time to do. I’m an idea guy, not a numbers guy; and trying to analyze every little thing; isn’t fun to me, nor did I ever find it helpful when I had other crap to do.
But Why You Should Do It – and I don’t mean sex people, sheesh.
Aren’t I a dumbass? First I tell you why I don’t do it and now I’m about to tell you why you should do it. It’s simply really – beliefs are confusing. The problem with the Movement, if there is one; is that it looks stupid when you touch your toes all the time or move your shoulder it funky ways all the time. Sure, Movementeers (what I’ve aptly named all the people who practice Testing shit) are used to it; but it’s one of those things where you’ll know you’ll get stares.
Simply from the awkwardness, why would you continue?
Aww, Sherlock and that’s why tracking is important. For the new Movement trainee or just trainees in general, results matter. One of the big things the Movement promotes is results over beliefs.
Why do it if it ain’t working?
And, if it is working, can we make it better?
The side note for most Movement people is: can we make it better without wasting time?
One of the very first things tracking helps do is build awareness of what you are and aren’t doing. One of the big things successful dieters do is write down everything they eat, and just from that alone many see 50% more results.
Some of it maybe just because they see all the crap they stuff into their piehole.
Another may be because it takes a crapload of time to write down a shitload of food.
But, besides the point – they see more results: Who cares how they got it?
Because caring matters…
If you don’t know the before, it’s hard to figure how the after happened.
If you don’t know the after, it’s hard to figure how the before happened.
How will you know what exercises help you get your back get more muscular – especially if you don’t write down the exercises and you aren’t taking the measurements.
The exercises help you develop the bigger back.
The measurements are the standard for which you judge the exercises that help you most.
For me: Bench Presses, Dumbbell Bench Presses; frankly any kind of Bench exercise with Free Weights SUCKS for developing my chest. It grew, but it didn’t have that sexy rounded look, that chesty men have.
What worked for me was machines – anything that helped stabilize my arms, which possibly helped my arms do less work and helped shift the load to the muscles of my torso. For me, do I do bench presses for hypertrophy? HELL NO. I just like benching. If I’m trying to develop my torso muscles, I use machines. I want to look sexy too you know.
It’s in getting sexy, why that training journal helped so much. Just like I said above, not knowing the exercises that help and not knowing the results associated to that exercise – helps you blow chunks. There’s plenty of people still doing the same shit – I’m getting stronger, veinier (Is this even a word?), sexier; while they still look like blobs…They suck at moving forward – and are so used to moving backward, they’re completely out of balance.
One of the interesting things I learned from an article from Adam Glass, was when he quoted Frankie Faires (creator of the Movement protocol) about his position transitions from grappling, “Move where you can, so that you can move where you can’t.” The saying is simple, in the beginning often we will not be able to work directly towards our goal, but we’ll probably be able to work on the parts or behaviors that help us attain that goal.
People that don’t capitalize on using a training journal have no idea as to what parts or behaviors are helping them realize what they should or shouldn’t do. Tracking helps you figure out a better balance for yourself, so that you can keep moving in any direction that allows you to move forward.
For example: All my life, I couldn’t follow a one program for too long. The only time besides doing the Movement Protocol I actually did follow a program was when I tracked the workout – it was Starting Strength by Mark Rippetoe and I noticed I was gaining muscle in my legs and back. The problem was that the increasing weight, didn’t feel right all the time – sometimes I wanted to do something else; but I did the program anyway; but my knees hurt afterward.
Little did I realize, the program would have probably been better if I skipped the exercise that made my knees hurt – because of it, I moved slightly backwards.
And moving backwards sucks.
Why You Shouldn’t Do It – But Doing It Feels Too Good (Yes, now I’m talking about sex, but it’s just for the headline).
I must sound like a horny teenager by now, but back to point, there are reasons why not to do it. One of the key things I learned from being part of the Movement, is that to me – anything you have to do (a certain gesture, pattern, position) can be bad for you too.
Notice I said can, not that it necessarily is.
What I mean is simple – just like coins, there’s always two sides to the matter.
Tracking can suck or it can not suck. PERIOD.
I don’t track right now because I’ve spent a year tracking and have noticed a few things about myself CURRENTLY (I highlight currently because this can change at any time in the future – I like change):
- I didn’t know what to do with any of the data.
- It took too much time logging my workouts down TO ME.
- Not only would I have to write them down, but then I had to type it all out again on the computer.
- I’ve been getting PREveryday’s for so long – I just knew that I was getting better, period.
- I actually felt crappier after spending all that time doing it, especially since I’m pretty much a one-man show (now I’m a man and woman show, but still) with all the business stuff I have to attend to.
I like training happiness to everything I do – it helps me be more relaxed and people notice a difference in me for the better (my personality has become magnetic because of it).
If we are constantly getting better at everything we do – what do you think I’m getting better at?
If I tend to do things that cause me to feel crappy – what do you think I’m getting better at?
If I do things, that cause me not to act better – what do you think I’m getting better at?
Remember you can get better at getting worse too.
In Closing…(Here Come the Fireworks)
I want you to realize, I’m not saying you should or shouldn’t write in a training journal. I’m simply helping you understand my own dots. The ideas I have that have led me currently not to write in a training journal. When I feel happy again to figure out how I’m progressing, especially if my own current progress seems to stall, then I will begin again trying to figure out why I’m regressing.
The only question I want you to ask yourself: Is tracking making you better or worse?
Remember, no matter what any guru says, only you can lead you.
So if you’re sucking because of doing a training journal, stop it.
If you’re awesoming because of doing a training journal, keep it up.
For now I’m getting better. I may not know I’m setting Personal Records everyday, but if my body is leading me...I just know. The results speak for themselves. Plus, more women are hitting on me, every single day – makes me start judging my personal records a little differently.
To each his or HER own,
I am Darryl, and I Am The Movement
Darryl can be found in “The Dungeon”, editing videos of himself playing with himself or with his clients, training his clients for Pure Greatness, or writing smart ass articles on Easier Strength Training. If you’d like to contact him: E-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org, friend him on facebook Darryl Lardizabal, or twit him @XPO312.
Thanks for that, Darryl!