August 28 , 2014
This past weekend I had the amazing opportunity to connect with and learn from the entire team at Gold Medal Bodies (GMB). The workshop was down in Salinas California and hosted by my good friend and “cousin” John Wolf at his studio Wolf Fitness Systems. I first met John last summer when we brought him here to Engineered Bodies for the Evolution Kettlebell Groundwork (EKG) workshop.
As soon as I heard Ryan Hurst and his GMB team would be coming to John’s studio for a 2-day workshop, I registered for the course right away. I’ve been a fan of their work for a while now and I’ve also worked with one of their online floor programs as well with great results. GMB has individualized, quality products that are very detailed so I was really looking forward to meeting them and learning from them in person.
Ryan, Jarlo, Andy, and the rest of the GMB team did not disappoint and delivered a rich workshop focussing on movement quality, proper progressions, recovery techniques, auto regulation, and mindfulness. I’ve attended workshops in the past that taught great progressions and technical knowledge but what set this workshop a part was GMB’s philosophy of mindful movement. They drove this concept home with every repetition we practiced that weekend.
To train with mindful movement is to train with your mind and body coordinated. In other words, you’re truly connecting your mind and body and being aware of what is going on while you perform a movement pattern. This can and should be done with every pattern we train because at the end of the day, that’s what we train at the gym. We train movement patterns. Some patterns are a lot more sophisticated and require more control than others but we should be training with mindful movement all the time. When you do this, I believe your training becomes a more rich and meaningful experience because you’re connected with what you’re doing.
Think about your own training. When you’re doing your work out, are you truly connected to the movement? Are you aware of your breathing patterns? Are you breathing from your chest or diaphragm? Are you aware of any weight shifting? Are you aware what muscles are activating? Are you aware of any muscle tightness or restrictions? What is your mind thinking about? Are you even thinking at all or are you in “the zone” where you simply tune out everything, keep your head down, and blast through a workout just to get it done so you can post the crazy WOD on social media? Are you aware of what you look like when you perform an exercise movement pattern?
Don’t feel bad if you couldn’t answer any of the questions above. It happens a lot with people and their training. Thankfully, there really isn’t anything wrong with mindlessly training so long as you’re not hurting yourself or anybody around you but what I’m saying is it will be more beneficial to you from a performance standpoint to train with that concept of having mindful movement. Perhaps slow it down a bit to the point where you can answer those questions above. You may become more in-tune with what you’re doing and identify where your true weaknesses could be in a movement pattern so you can then address those accordingly and improve. It’s not always about blasting through a workout just to get it done. You may miss some valuable information if you continue to do that. Be connected, be in-tune of what’s going on with your mind and body while you move. You may also find you have more fun too which is never a bad thing don’t you think?