Information is a dangerous thing in the wrong hands.
Traditionally our libraries have always benefitted from a filtering system for information. If I want to learn more on a subject, I can search for information that’s reliable, valid and suitable for purpose.
Unfortunately, the internet has no such tool.
Online, we’re at the mercy of those willing, or often not so, to put in the time and research to provide this much needed filter for us as consumers.
Regardless of how we consume our information, the goal should always remain to dispense with the best possible guidance and advice relevant to our individual and clients needs.
Never is this more prominent than within the health and fitness industry.
The internet is awash with information on how to get “beach body fit” or “lose 20lbs in a day” with this “one secret trick”. Methods that play on the human desire for minimal effort, maximum impact solutions.
Yet in the same way we don’t seek quick-fix solutions to repairing our cars, building our houses or educating our children, why do we seek out “quick-fix” solutions for the single most important resource we each have, our bodies?
Our willingness and desire for results, often comes at the expense of our own health.
The positive and negative health choices we each make have a direct impact on our capacity for movement and fitness.
We can often get caught in a downward spiral of poor health and nutritional decisions, effecting our bodies capability to maintain the needed quality and quantity in how we move on a day-to-day basis.
Yet how do we actually change or reverse this process, when our inactivity, sedentary lifestyles and poor health become an injury and health risk for future activity?
Short term approaches providing rapid “fixes” often require drastic action.
Whether from a nutritional or fitness standpoint, imagine trying to go to 0-60mph, as quickly as possible, in a car with the hand-break still on…
We’re going nowhere fast and the likelihood is we will burn out quickly…
The decision to begin Integrative Fitness Training (IFT) came through my own experiences and objection to the industry and media-driven approaches to addressing how we should perceive health and fitness. We’re inundated with advertisement, unsolicited advice and often outright lies as to the what, why and how of developing a better outcome both physically and mentally towards how we move, eat and live.
This quick-fix approach to health, fitness and training, widely spouted and too easily believed, can be seen across gyms and fitness centres across the UK and beyond, and it’s doing far more harm to our physical and biological health, than it is good.
What happens when the 6 week transformation camp that you signed up for ends?? Has behaviour change occurred in such a way to enable you to continue along the path? Or are you simply expected to sign up for the next one?…
Our approach at IFT, is NOT therefore a quick-fix, minimal-effort approach.
This is a long-term, maximum impact strategy to your health, fitness and well-being.
At the centre of what makes IFT a truly unique approach to health and fitness, are five foundational pillars that shape the training methodology and thought processes that underpin our system.
1) Pain has no place in any fitness solution.
“No Pain, No Gain…” is an adage still promoted by trainers, coaches and clients alike. This simple statement is the epitome of what hinders health and fitness development.
Each individual beginning with IFT takes part in an introductory Musculoskeletal and Respiratory Assessment. Our goal here, is to separate painful from dysfunctional movement patterns.
This initial assessment enables us to establish the types of strategies you as an individual use. Are you able to access the full ranges of respiration, from inhale through to exhale? Can you expand and orientate the body to allow movement to occur? Can you compress when need to to create force?
Our reasoning is simple, pain changes everything from a movement development perspective. The brain responds differently when its’ signals and pathways are clouded by pain.
At this introductory stage, we want to know if you’re in pain. Why?
Because it’s in both yours and our best interests, that the cause of your pain is addressed from the outset before we proceed. We are after all at IFT fitness professionals, not health professionals.
Pain is first and foremost, a health issue.
However, we can continue to train non-painful patterns of movement, whilst possible diagnosis and treatment is ongoing with a medical professional. Once pain in no longer present and normal joint motion is restored we can begin to reintroduce the pattern back into our training.
We’re striving for a multi-disciplinary approach to your health, fitness and well-being leaving no stone unturned.
2) Screen, Assess and then Test
Simply put, load shouldn’t necessarily be added to dysfunction.
If within basic unloaded fundamental movement patterns, such as those within the IFT Musculoskeletal and Respiratory Assessment, we see movement dysfunction, what benefit do we gain from testing you under heavy load, when we’ve already discovered that something within the movement system is dysfunctional?
Screen, separating pain from dysfunction, Assess why the dysfunction may be present, Test and then Train physical capacities when dysfunction is clear.
3) Respect the Neurodevelopmental process
Neurodevelopment: The development of the nervous system during the life of an organism
In recent times, exercise correction is becoming increasingly convoluted and often overly complex, as we try to provide the most “functional” outcome to addressing movement dysfunction.
Yet we are all born with near-limitless mobility, only to be restricted by the subsequent years of abuse we all give our bodies.
It’s over time as we developed, that we gained our stability often without guidance, bringing ourselves up from rolling front-to-back, up to our hands and knees, into standing, squatting and finally walking without having ever been formally taught or coached how …
Such is the power of these early movement experiences such as rolling and crawling, that if one of these early steps or milestones is missing from our neurodevelopmental sequence, often serious movement dysfunction can occur.
Sometimes the best way to move forward, is to take a step back and restore more primitive movements that we may have lost over time.
4) Movement quality precedes movement quantity
The number of repetitions or time completed of an exercise becomes meaningless if it’s not performed with the integrity and focus required for non-compensatory execution.
No pain, no load on dysfunction, just respect for fundamental movement.
5) Manage internal load before external load
This pillar is two-fold.
Firstly, how well do you manage yourself within fundamental bodyweight exercises.
So can you Push Up, Pull Up, Lunge, Bodyweight Squat… With a high level of competency? For repetitions?
Bodyweight fundamentals are a cornerstone on which higher movements are built.
Secondly, how well do you mange load relative to your individual lean body mass?
A 60kg female capable of maximally lifting 120kg (2x bodyweight – 120/60), is a stronger individual relative to her bodyweight than an 80kg male lifting 150kg (1.87x bodyweight – 150/80).
The absolute load is heavier in our male counterpart. But our female athlete lifts more relative to her, that has far more implication for how she can perform…
So how well do you manage you….
IFT is far more than a turn-up-and-train solution to health and fitness, we aren’t interested in chasing the lowest common denominator. This is a integrative, systematic and multi-disciplinary approach for you, the client.