July 03 , 2012


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Today I want to share with you guys one of our favourite fitness websites, Beast Skills!  Beast Skills is a website run by a guy named Jim Bathurst, and is dedicated almost exclusively to bodyweight strength training.  Bodyweight training is awesome not only because it can be done virtually anywhere, but also because there are dozens of new skills that can be learned to progress your training and make you a stronger athlete.  For example, everyone is familiar with common bodyweight exercises such as pushups, situps, and pullups, but many people don’t know the different iterations of these movements that can make them more challenging once you’ve mastered the fundamentals.  Beast Skills has a comprehensive tutorial section on the website where Jim teaches these advanced movements with detailed diagrams, tips, and videos so you can continue to challenge yourself.

As a self-taught acrobat, Jim is clearly a fan of human movement like we are, which is why we were drawn to him.  After reading some of his stuff, it’s clear he is a master at his craft and a great source of information. Here is an excerpt from a fantastic blog that he just wrote on movement standards, and why we strength coaches have such a strict movement quality standard:

Have Some Standards!!

Nothing I say in this post is revolutionary. Nothing I say here is all that new. But what I will cover in this post needs to be repeated time and time again. Every new lifter that comes up through the ranks should be acquainted with good movement standards, and I just don’t see it happening as much as I’d like.

Movement standards are rules about how a lift should be performed. They have been discussed, revised, and developed over the decades so that every lifter knows what is expected of them when they perform a lift. This is assumed that the lifter is of normal function with no inherent anatomical restrictions. Inflexibility is not an inherent anatomical restriction. Missing one leg is.

To clarify, bad form is not necessarily a bad movement standard. Someone may successfully perform a squat, but their knees may cave in a bit, or they may start to collapse forward. They’ve still completed a squat, but they could improve their form (knees out and chest up, respectively, in this case). In contrast, someone could keep their knees out and chest up (good form), but fail to get low enough to consider their movement a squat. (bad movement standard)

As a general rule of thumb, having a bad movement standard will allow you to move more weight in the given exercise, while having bad form will generally limit your ability to move more weight…

Read the complete article here, and be sure to check out the rest of the Beast Skills website.  It will add a whole other dimension to your training!

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