Good Training? ... Or Bad???

I have become a big fan of Ido Portal. He was in Singapore recently but I didn’t get the chance to meet him. He actually wanted $1K per attendee for a 2 day workshop so even though I am a big fan, I’m not that big a fan! He’s also back in Singapore soon for an extended workshop costing many thousands of USD and I won’t be attending that either! All power to Ido as he’s very inspirational and very accomplished in the field of fitness.

But what is he all about? Well I am no expert on him bu this is what I get.

Ido Portal seems to be a gymnast and possibly a dancer that has a very good understanding of physiology. He knows a lot about movement and his general message is as humans we need to try and move better.

Moving better, moving properly, moving regularly, moving. As a race it seems we are trying to de-evolve in many ways. This is never more evident than in movement. At UFIT the physio team here placed a poster on the wall of the treatment room entitled, “Our Flexion Addicted Society” in reference to sitting at a computer with your spine curled in flexion as you hunch over a device we all probably use on a very regular basis. And children are using computers at younger and younger ages. They play on them and as they get older work on them and all the time they are probably in a worsening postural position.

Will we start popping out of our mothers in a permanent foetal position? And rolled into a chair in front of a computer?

At UFIT when clients come to the Studio we take them through a posture analysis and movement screen to see how they’re going with their physical wellbeing. Do they show signs of excessive spinal flexion that may present itself to us as kyphosis or sway back which can lead to worse conditions if not corrected early? Did they break a bone at a young age, not get correctly rehabilitated and end up with some type of compensatory movement pattern? Did they never learn to squat properly and its never been picked up by a Trainer nor Physio (I am constantly amazed that Physio’s don’t as standard practice take patients through full assessments as part of their service. Well other than UFIT Physio’s that is!)?

But back to Ido. He says we specialise too quickly and too frequently. And Eric Cressey says something similar. Eric says something like, “do you have a balanced training program? If you do its wrong, imbalance it!!” I think what Eric is saying is not dissimilar to what Ido is and that is, DO NOT KEEP DOING THE SAME THING!!

What? I have been and I am doing fine, thank you! If you are a footballer you train specifically for that sport, right? And if you are a bodybuilder you train for that, right? If you forever want to battle injuries and forever want to look like what you are training for then keep on going! Ido has said bodybuilders can’t move very well. I say footballers will struggle in later life with massive imbalances between their upper and lower bodies. If you train for specific outcomes, all the time, you will have problems.

Professional athletes for sure train for specific outcomes in their chosen sports or events. But outside of this specific training they do recovery sessions, flexibility work including Pilates, yoga and massage and they do complimentary training sessions designed to off-set or counter-balance the specific work they do.

As recreational athletes do we? Do we know how? Do we attempt to “imbalance” our training?

If you do a lot of cardio should you consider doing more resistance training? And vice-versa. And if you are someone doing a lot of resistance training and throw in some more cardio work, what about doing more bodyweight training involving single limb exercises? And if you do extra or more cardio what are you doing? HIIT, sand runs, hill runs, ride/run/ride or run/ride/run? Do you do yoga or Pilates if not throw some in.

Imbalance your training. Don’t specialise. One day your body will thank you!