“Strong people are harder to kill than weak people and more useful in general.”
-Mark Rippetoe, strength coach [with debatably more fame than Pat Flynn]
I think we would all agree. And I think we would all aim to be both harder to kill and more useful.
But, now let’s play a game.
Who is harder to kill–the guy who can squat 5o0 lbs. and bench press 250 lbs. OR the guy who can squat 100 lbs. and bench press 50 lbs.?
Why, obviously, the first guy! The second one is a weakling!
Not so fast, my friend. Not. so. fast.
Let’s talk durability.
If the first guy is injured, he is of no use to anyone.
If his skills are too *specifalized, and he can’t jog a mile without being breathless, his weightlifting routine has rendered him nearly useless.
I’d take a healthy, well-rounded Guy #2 any day, if Guy #1 has a herniated disc.
After all, the first guy is only harder to kill if he is durable.
*The word “specificality”is perfect, and if you disagree, you’re wrong.
Unfortunately, strength and fragility go hand-in-hand all too commonly.
What we need is durability.
If I don’t know for a fact that the first guy is working all 3 energy systems and developing movement in all 3 planes, I’m gonna go ahead and draft guy #2 for the Zombie Apocalypse.
Conventional Training vs. Unconventional Training
Conventional training obviously means different things to different people. Lucky for you, since you’re here, your “conventional training” probably includes methods that the general population would deem anything but.
To the standard gym-goer (gym-bro-er, if you will), “conventional” means straight sets, body-part splits, and lots of isolation work. And curls. Lots of curls.
Thank goodness you and I are ahead of those conventions.
But there are still some of you out there who may be missing out on some training methods that will increase your durability, thereby making you the type of strong that ensures you are hard to kill and useful.
For today, let’s do a quick rundown on the
3 planes of movement & how to train all 3 of them.
The 3 Planes of Motion, overly simplified:
- Sagittal: This is forward/backward movement.
- Frontal: This is side movement.
- Transverse: This is rotational movement.
If someone mostly trains by moving heavy loads–pushing (bench press), pulling (pull-ups), squatting (back squats), and hinging (deadlifts)–this person will be strong in a basic sense. They may do well in a powerlifting competition. But they are working almost entirely in the sagittal plane of motion, and they are neglecting to develop the synergy of their body.
They will be prone to injury, and they will likely not be”fit” in a functional, useful way. They will not be resilient to unexpected outside forces. They will not be well-rounded.
Your body is most useful when your brain can control it efficiently.
So that’s where the “carry” comes in. But I’d like to widen our consideration here to address locomotion.
Within the category of locomotion, let’s include all types of movement:
-walking, jogging, running;
These can be with or without loads.
Let’s move forward and backward, side to side, coordinating our limbs to move as instructed by our brains.
Let’s rotate, and let’s resist rotation.
Let’s practice moving our bodies with control in all directions, with various speeds, with various loads, and utilizing various patterns of movement.
Let’s be harder to kill because we are nimble and adaptive.
Let’s be more useful because our bodies are as healthy as they are physically strong.
Here’s a 5-Minute Sweaty
to get you the kind of strong you aspire to be
Choose from any of the movements below, cycling through as desired, for 5 minutes non-stop. If you can’t yet stay moving for all 5, your goal will be to work your way up. Vary your speed.
-Plank walk-outs/inchworm (hands walk out to plank, toes walk in to fold)
-Plank walk-ins/revere inchworm (toes walk out to plank, hands walk back to fold)
-Side plank walks (step out with right arm and right leg, follow with the left)
-crab walk, forward or backward, side to side
-Spiderman crawl (moving same-side limbs at the time time to move forward or backward)
What do you like to do to increase your aptitude across the planes?
Are there other locomotion drills that you like? Drop ’em below!
Here’s to being on the winning team of the Zombie Apocalypse,