MOVEMENT IS A VITAL SIGN 

part 1 

Posted on Aug 22, 2019

"All those, however, of any age who woo health for health's sake, and whose bodies are made and kept in the best physical condition, will find in its ultimate possession a reward for greater than any honours, titles, or distinctions others may bestow on them. They will possess with it a happiness, a sense of joyousness, a capacity for work and play, an exhilaration that the unfit and unhealthy can never find in all the artificial allurements of a decadent civilization. They will drink daily from the cup of life a perennial draught more refreshing and more stimulation than the nectar of the gods." 

- Eugen Sandow (“The Father of Bodybuilding” 1867 – 1925)


At TRX we consider movement as an underutilized form of communication between coach, instructor, clinician and athlete, client, or patient. In other words, how an individual selects and demonstrates their movement behavior can speak volumes. Creating an effective and motivating training environment for an individual or group should involve “physical education” where specific standards are made clear and feedback is given in such a way so each person can explore and learn how to effectively manage their body to drive physiological responses and adaptations. As a ”movement mentor”, you should always be striving to improve your skills in communication. In other words, you need to “listen” to how each person is moving and provide timely coaching cues. The better you can perceive how people are moving, the better you’ll be able to coach them on how to improve - which equates to faster and more sustainable results. The TRX Movement-Based Training System is designed to improve how you look and listen to movement and respond with systematic strategies for coaching, connecting, cueing, and programming. This TRX Suspension Training Course is the introduction to this TRX Coaching System using the most versatile piece of functional training equipment, the TRX Suspension Trainer.

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WHY MOVEMENT SHOULD BE AN INDICATION OF AN INDIVIDUAL’S HEALTH

The idea of Movement as a Vital Sign (MAVS) evolved from the TRX Training Philosophy where we identify movement as a forgotten component of fitness. Traditional components of fitness include muscular strength and endurance, aerobic fitness, flexibility, and body composition. There are several accepted measures for these domains including one-repetition maximum, maximal number of push-ups, VO2max, sit and reach, and hydrostatic weighing. Exercise goals, workouts, and training programs are designed to meet and exceed standards of fitness and health. However, this model seems to assume people move well, and that is often a bad assumption. Moving well with appropriate levels of mobility, motor control, accuracy, strength, and fluidity will not only contribute improved performance but also to durability, resilience, and overall health. In the health and medical fields vital signs are heart rate, blood pressure, respiration rate, body temperature, and blood oxygen saturation. These are used as baseline measures, with biological standards, to quickly identify health status and changes in physiological functioning. To add yet another assessment practice,  around 2001 there was an effort to include a 10-point pain scale as an additional vital sign. Part of this effort was to address musculoskeletal pain and injury. Unfortunately, some believe this contributed to the opioid epidemic because pain was often treated as an outcome rather than a symptom of a different underlying mechanism. 

All in all, as  fitness or performance professionals, our job is not to diagnose or treat pain, but we can and should address movement as a component of a comprehensive fitness programs to reduce the risk of musculoskeletal strain, overuse, and injury. When you move poorly you place excessive demands on structures beyond their capacities, however, when you ”move better” you apply load and stress to structures and systems suited to disperse, absorb, store, and return energy in an effective and health promoting way. This is why TRX believes movement is a vital component of fitness, performance, durability, and health.

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 When you are coaching, teaching, or interacting with your athletes, clients, members, or patients how you design and instruct a workout is a dynamic interplay between what you have planned and what happens in real life. How you bring your training session from the drawing board to the gym floor is a combination of what you had planned and how you now have to “modify” based on what you see. This is one of the distinguishing traits of high-quality coaching: how can you still deliver your intended training strategy using different tactics based on real time issues, problems, and individual performance strength or weaknesses? You can consider part of the coaching art an algorithm of sorts. What is your process or set of rules you follow to problem solve a given situation in a workout to simultaneously achieve your training plan and the possible unexpected needs of the individual(s) in front of you? If you can’t identify your process, then that may be an area you can work on. The systematic application of TRX Foundational Movements and TRX Programming Lenses has proven to be an easy to use and powerful way to make movement count.

TRX SWING THOUGHTS - A CUEING METHODOLOGY

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 Having a system of rules you can use while coaching is always helpful, creating a physical culture in your workouts, facility, and business should focus on giving the people you coach enough structure and information to know what “right looks like” and ”what right feels like,” but also enough freedom to explore and discover how they may most effectively get there. This may mean communicating to them some evocative cueing and coaching points, we call “swing thoughts” so they can start to learn for themselves and hone their personal set of movement heuristics. 

Tell me and I forget, teach me and I remember, involve me and I learn.  – Benjamin Franklin.

Active coaching means being aware of not only where you want to take your people, but how each of them can get there based on their needs and abilities. Often, their movement behavior can be a powerful way to see in real-time how that process is unfolding.

When you start to think of strength, mobility, power, and even endurance as a skill you practice you can take your training and your coaching to new levels that transfer outside of the gym and beyond just physical education. Purposeful and deliberate practice means breaking things down to smaller focused components or objectives which are repeated to gain increasing levels of competence using effective feedback from a coach.

  • This means you are motivating, and goal oriented to your people.
  • You are effective at matching each person’s ability to the proper level of progression and challenge.
  • Your instruction/coaching is clear, with defined standards, leading to small wins along the way.
  • You provide effective, specific, and actionable feedback to groups and individuals.
  • You can identify each person’s comfort zone, and then know when to push a little beyond it – the adjacent possible!
  • And above all, you use physical, emotional, and mental cues to create a compelling experience.

So, ask yourself – are you listening to movement? Are you hearing everything your people are telling you? Does your coaching system look for and respond to movement as a driver of intensity and learning? Can you do it even better? That is the motivation behind TRX Training and Coaching. The Suspension Trainer provides a uniquely effective, proprioceptively rich environment, which enables fast and effective changes in resistance (Vector Resistance & Pendulum Principle) and the relationship of your base of support to your center of gravity (Stability Principle). This surprisingly effective blend of top down instability and ground force reaction lets you scale exercises to the needs and abilities of any person.

The marriage of the TRX Movement-Based Training system with the Suspension Trainer delivers a powerful training, learning, teaching and coaching platform that will give you and your athletes and clients an evidence-based advantage in reaching and sustaining training goals.

LEARN MORE ABOUT TRX’S MOVEMENT-BASED TRAINING SYSTEM WITH TRX EDUCATION


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