Thursday, February 11, 2010

Preview Gym Movement: Immediate Performance Improvement with Real Time, on the spot, Self Assessment Strategies

Recently i've been looking at biometrics like heart rate variability as a marker of fatigue: to see if today is the right day for that heavy workout or not (scroll down in this post for more). I've been intrigued lately by work folks i trust have been trying to bring that kind of macro daily check to the more micro level: is this the right movement for you to be doing in this workout, right now.

The folks call the approach Gym Movement: Perpetual Progress, and it's key proponents are Adam T Glass and Mike T Nelson, while it's founder as i understand it is Frankie Fairies (no T middle initial).

The premise as i understand it so far is that we can readily test each move we may want to carry out in a workout to see if it, or a variant of it is more appropriate for where our nervous system is at right at that moment. The following is the intro video by Frankie Faires and Craig Keaton.

However you may find that demo vids of the approach in progress by Adam are more illustrative

There's even more by adam at his new site here. I'm definitely intrigued by how this approach may improve within-workout performance.

My current experience has been to use z-health mobility work to address performance weaknesses - when a lift doesn't feel right, or isn't performing right, use appropriate i-phase drills (usually it's i-phase stuff as sport specific mobility/opening work) and go at it again. Usually this produces a good response and immediate change.

What Gym Movement seems to be suggesting is that - and i interpolate here - while you might tune a movement, there may be a more optimal movement for you to do that day. This is where i'm currently unsure. And i suppose the response from anyone in this space - especially in z-health - would be to say, "just test it"

In other words, go ahead and tune the movement, then test myself using these assessments demo'd above in Gym Movement to see if even tuned, they're the optimal ones for me to make progress. These assessments will seem familiar to folks who have done z-health certs or the elite performance workshop. Indeed, i've asked how this is not a repackaging of z-health assessments; here's Master Trainer Mike T Nelson's reply. Faires, a level 4 Z-health instructor, notes in his reply to my query, that he brought these moves to the Z-Health community.

What may be particular about his approach is this location of test everything before you do it to find what's optimal in the moment. That's interesting, don't you think? Though again this does seem to resonate with the R-phase certification in Z-Health. So, the deeper question for me, is what happens when taking a suite of assessments to be combined - as they're presented in Z-Health in anywhere from a 3-6 day workshop/cert context - and factoring out just a couple of them into a self-assessment 40min DVD?

The last move is not always best. One thing watching some of the vids by adam is that ya might think oh well the second or third move will always have a better range of motion because you've been moving more. Not so. Try it for yourself. I definitely found yesterday that my second move of choice consistently tested poorer than the alternate - no matter where in the sequence it was. Relationship to arthrokinetic reflex perhaps?

I still have questions. For instance, i might test better with my toes turned out for a squat than in, but is that what i want? or do i want to get better at toes more neutral? Perhaps the answer is keep practicing the Z-health mobilty drills or FMS movements to enhance better dorsiflexion or whatever, but work with what's optimal that day and see how it improves - or not - over time. And if it doesn't improve, that ought no doubt to be a sign of something.

More To Come. So i have the DVD coming, and Frankie has kindly agreed to have a sit down with me after i've had a chance to digest it and chat here at b2d about it, but i wanted to alert you b2d readers to this seemingly extremely simple approach to get optimal. There's so much available on the web by these guys, i'm really intrigued to see what's left on the DVD. IT seems they're really motivated to let folks test the waters themselves. So that if you want the DVD great, but you can get going without it. That's pretty durn intriguing.

Personally, i'd check out the site, because there are even more free videos there - even if it looks like your typical health marketing site. alas - but push a little beyond that and you'll be happy to have done so.

Please let me know if you've been playing with this approach and what you think, and i'll be back with a deeper review here in the next month or so.



Kris said...

I tried biofeedback after watching Adam's videos over a month ago and I've been using it to guide my workouts since then.

I have ordered the Gym Movement DVD but its stuck in the postal / customs system somewhere at the moment.

I've had some pretty good results with it so far, the thing I have noticed is that the movements that test particularly well I excel at on that day, almost always setting a PR for that movement in either volume or weight.

I'm looking forward to watching the DVD though to see what else there is to know, I'd really like to see how/if it can be used to increase flexibility, such as improving my squats and toe touches etc.

Britt's Training Systems said...

I am looking into it also. I figure that there is knowledge to be gained from exploring every avenue.

dr. m.c. said...

Kris and Paul, thanks for stopping by. will be keen to know what you learn.


hunashaman said...

I've been using this approach during my last three training sessions after watching Adam's videos and the free stuff on the site. So far it definitely is having a positive impact. Not only do I do well during my training sessions but some old injuries and tight areas have loosened up quite a bit. I'll definitely be ordering the DVD because I think this is potentially something really valuable. Looking forward to your full review.

Casey said...

Greatly anticipating the interview and your further research mc. I'm liking the little GM experience I've had so far and will continue to test.

It's nice to see an objective post on the matter. I've got nothing wrong with skepticism, but people have taken this whole GM/RKC/Adam Glass thing a bit too seriously.


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