• Misbah Haque

Part 1-Functional Bodybuilding: Principles Of Training w/ Marcus Filly

Marcus Filly is back on the show for his fourth episode! This time we dig deeper into the training principles of functional bodybuilding. We reflect on how the first iteration of the Awaken Training Series went for me, the community, and what made it such an enjoyable experience.

I can tell you from visiting Revival Strength HQ this weekend that the experience you receive from on-site or remote coaching is 100% crafted with genuine care (or lack thereof). What a mind-blowing peek at the thought process that goes into truly being with someone throughout their fitness journey.

Show Notes:

  • (6:28) - Community

  • (9:40) - Warmups with intent

  • (14:10) - Learning through training

  • (16:15) - Conditioning, breathing work, and managing intensity

  • (19:34) - Crafting culture

  • (31:25) - Feeling beaten down from overloading patterns

  • (35:48) - Flexibility vs Mobility

  • (39:00) - Tempo training

  • (43:10) - Detaching ego from the load

  • (46:40) - Individualized program design

  • (50:00) - What drives community?

  • (55:20) - Business principles

  • (1:08:00) - Reacting to adversity

  • (1:13:00) - Setting up a structure for balance

  • (1:21:20) - Starting over

Resources we may have talked about:

  • Fitbot

  • Awaken Training Series 1.0

  • Awaken Training Series 2.0

  • Mike Lee - What is tempo and how to prescribe it?

How you can connect with Marcus:

  • https://revival-strength.com

  • Instagram: @marcusfilly

  • Instagram: @functional.bodybuilding


Hey, this is Marcus filly and you were listening to the airborne mind.


Ms. Misbah Haque here.Thank you so much for joining me today and welcome back to the show. So if this is your first episode welcome to the airborne mind family. I appreciate you taking the time out of your day to listen, and I hope you walk away with something useful. If you have been with me from the very beginning, or this is your second, third, 10th, 20th episode I value your time, your energy, your attention, your ears, and your support beyond belief because, without that, we would not be here. So once again, thank you so much. If you have a couple of minutes and you want to support the show, please head over to iTunes and leave a review with your thoughts. You have no idea how much that helps in terms of the rankings. Getting more interesting guests on the show and helping me continually improve my craft.


The second thing that I would love to point you to is airborne mind.com. If you are somebody who is looking for accessory work to supplement your training, whether you do daily class wads, whether you are a coach or an athlete, beginner, intermediate-advanced if you are looking to supplement your training with accessory work, that does not take you an hour-long, that's maybe 20 to 30 minutes and is specifically focused on things like handstand pushups or pull-ups or shoulder stability or pistol squats, head over to the airborne mind.com. And we've got three-day samples for each of our programs there. This is something I've been working on, refining testing over and over and over until I felt confident in bringing it out to you guys. So please, if you want to support the show, head over to airborne mind.com, check it out.


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So today my guest is Marcus filly, and this is his fourth time on the show. If you haven't listened to his previous episodes, I highly recommend that you go check them out. This was a special experience for me because I had a chance to head up to revive RX and revival, strength, HQ, and you know, I always talk about providing light bulb moments and Holy moments to people who are listening on the show, you know, just through a dialogue back and forth conversation and, and sparking that curiosity. Right. but what an unforgettable experience it was for me, because I had a ton of those throughout this weekend, both from conversations, you know on-air, off-air meeting the individual design clients site to see the care the intent, and that goes into crafting an experience for these clients, both remote and onsite was something special.


It's, it's definitely something I have not been exposed to at least at this level, you know, in the past. And so ton of learning that happened on my end, which some of which you will get to hear in this episode. And as always, we dig deeper into functional bodybuilding concepts. So the last time we chatted was before the awakened training series kicked off we got a ton of people excited about jumping on the program, and now that the first iteration has kind of come to an end it is very cool to reflect on, you know, what I got from this experience, what the community got from this experience, you know, why people were excited about it and to just dig deeper into these concepts. And you know, I think that you're going to definitely be able to walk away with some tools as to how you can apply these concepts to your training.


But yeah, so much fun as always. And we also talk about business towards the end, which was something I've been curious about for a little while now, you know, Marcus being a part of reviving RX and revival strength. I wanted to know what does that thought process kind of look like to be successful in business? And yeah, this is one of the longest episodes I believe that I've ever done. And so I encourage you to sit back, relax, take some notes, make sure you share this with a friend and yeah, I hope you enjoy this conversation as much as I did. And more importantly, I hope you do something with it. Marcus, welcome to the show, man.


Elizabeth, thank you for having me back and thank you for making the trip to visit us up here in Northern California.


Absolutely. I mean, while I was in San Diego, there's no way that, you know, I'm only a couple of hours away. I had to make it out here and just see what you guys are up to. And yeah.


We have quite something special going on over here. Yeah. Thank you. Thank you. It's funny. People come out to California and they're like, yeah, I'm going to be in California. I like, I got to come to see you. I'm probably right down the street. And I'm like, well, you're in LA and I'm up in San Francisco. It's like, it's like four States away if you're an East coaster. But you took the flight and I appreciate you being here.


Absolutely. so everybody else is kind of wrapping up awakened training series a 1.0, I'm two weeks behind. So I'm ending week 10 today and tomorrow, but man, what, what a ride it's been and it's been very cool to see how everybody else is kind of reacting to it as well. Yeah. How do you, how do you feel about the whole experience so far since we last talked?


Yeah, I guess we talked basically like a week or two before things got underway. So we've had 330 participants sign up. It's, it's hard to get a specific number on how many people completed all 12 weeks and where people are at, but there's been a lot of engagement through, you know, our program delivery tool, the fit bot. And God it's been, you know, something that started as sort of just like a, an idea and like, Oh, this is an experiment. If we get 40 people to sign up, that'll be amazing. To then just seeing it kind of evolve and people, you know, want to share their experiences on social media, the feedback that they've been giving us through the Fitbits, telling us about how they've overcome injuries and started to feel parts of their body, that they hadn't felt in a long time set PRS, you know, fall in love with training again. I mean, all the things that we kind of sold on our sales page, like fall in love with training again, sorry to happen. So yeah, it's been just a full circle, you know, tremendous experience for me. And you know, the people that have played a role in it are many for sure.


What's been cool to me is you know, cause I've been trying to document it daily for the most part and people will comment or reach out or just through conversations on Instagram or wherever. You know, I'll find out that they're doing the program as well and we just kind of go back and forth like, Hey, what'd you think how'd you feel? And people seem to love it in terms of the whole-body control and awareness concept that we chatted about previously. That's really starting to wake up for people. And I think that's huge, man, just that alone. You know, you taking that back and applying it to maybe whatever else you want to apply to after this program or whether you go on to 2.0 dude, it's a, it's a game changer.


Yeah, man. I mean, that was, that was kind of the intent, you know? Certainly for me, I, we wrote one point, Oh, I didn't think I was gonna ever write a 2.0, I was like, Oh, we'll just do this one thing. Right. We'll see how that goes. I certainly didn't envision myself getting into the business of writing, you know, an ongoing, continuing online training program because what I wanted to do was introduce people to concepts of training that they could take into their life, take back to their training. Or if, if it encouraged them to out a coach that could provide this kind of service ongoing for them, then that would be great. So to hear people, you know, that buzz and that just that feedback you just gave is yeah, it's, it's rewarding. It's like definitely people are taking this stuff and you know, I see people hashtagging functional bodybuilding and I see what they're doing and I know it's not the awaken training series cause I'm like, I didn't write that, but they're doing principles of it, you know, and whether they pulled it off the Instagram page and saw movement or in some cases it's like, well, that's just tempo lifting that people are talking about is functional bodybuilding, but it's really just a principle of strength training.


That's been around for a long time and great. They saw it being done in a way that appealed to them and now they're utilizing it.


Absolutely. so let's dig into, you know, bits and pieces of the program. So when I first started it, what I was really surprised by was the like depth of the warmup, right. I've really, I'm a huge fan of like making sure that you're warmed up properly and it makes a huge difference. You know, when you carry on to the rest of the training session and each day you've got like a specific warmup that's tailored and bridges kind of perfectly into the rest of the training session. Have you gotten any feedback on that? How do you feel about that?


Well, you've, you've been the most outspoken person about the warmups, which is been great. And it's great to hear someone could be really positive about it. A couple of people have said, you know, Hey, with the warmups, some of these sessions get a little long, which I understand, you know it's hard to, again, it's always hard to write for a big group of people. Like some people can be like, Oh, this is just right. This is too much. This is not enough. But you know, it, it makes sense to go back to kind of how this evolves, like into the sessions that you have. Right. This was a reflection of my training. They'll ask me often, how do you warm-up, Marcus? How do you get ready? Well, I train twice a day. I have an am session, a PM session, my am sessions, you know, and, and because I had to answer this question so many times where people or I got the question, I had to think about it enough.


I was like, gosh, I don't warm up that much anymore because I am sessions, aren't my warmup for my day. I come in, I move, I do a lot of these activation functional, you know, bodybuilding type things in my am session at the tail end of a, of an aerobic blood flow session. So I'll start my day at eight or eight 30 in the gym, I'll do an hour's worth of work. And then, you know, I go in and do some work for a little bit, but I've already kind of like, you know, my body's awake now and taking bits and pieces of that and putting that into our, you know, and training daily designs was a way to say, okay, this is what you can do for a warmup. Right. now it's tailored down. It's not an hour-long warmup, you know, it's you know, hopefully, a 15-minute warmup know how to navigate the gym a little bit. But yeah, it's really meant to do just that. It's like, you know, getting on a bike and riding for 10 minutes to warm up is fine, but why not take advantage of, you know, doing some different patterns that you're going to do in your training in a moment with weights.


That's what I loved about it was the fact that you know, for example, star planks, right? Like the, and maybe even using the Slingshot or TheraBand to do monster walks and things like that. These are pieces that you may really never get to. Especially if you're somebody who's on a tight, like time block and you're like, Oh, 60, 90 minutes, like I'm already here. You may not plugin that piece, but now that you're utilizing your warmup as something to, you know, include these, you know, these nuts and bolts and these details that actually do matter, you know, in, in the grand scheme of things it's a great way to knock that.


Yeah. It's, it's like not only do they matter in the grand scheme of things, but I would go a step further and be like, why, you know, who are you to say that the way training that you're going to do in the second part of your training is more important than that stuff you just did, that band walks, like, why is that more important? Like, what's your, what's your function in life? Like what do you achieve, try to achieve and for a number of different goals that are out there, whether it be competing in fitness as a sport, or if it's just like health and longevity, I think I can make an argument that says, Hey, that 15-minute warmup is more important than the back spots that you're about to go do. So let's not overlook that. And let's definitely not bias our training for year after year after year towards back squat, deadlift, and bench press only.


Right. Let's do these other things. And if it takes up 20 minutes of your, of your session and you don't get to the last conditioning part, like, so be it. Yeah, probably then, Hey, we bias it towards a, this is a warmup bias program. Right. You know, whatever, they, you know, there are so many biases out there now, but yeah. But I really, I really believe in that. And I, and I've, I can say that because I went through it, you know, so religiously for month after month after month after month when I was recovering from some injuries last year where I was like, you know, I am session, I get done and be like, man, I, I got a great training in for the day. If I don't do anything else, I accomplished a lot. I'm making progress and I'm feeling.


Right. And, I, you touched a little bit on like the w you know, why are you training? Right. And, and what function does fitness really play in the grand scheme of things in that person's life? I think that this program brings that out a little bit, right. Like, for example, for me, at least, like I was competing in weightlifting for about two years, and I was doing those, you know, 90 minute, two hour sessions after a while. Like not only was I beat up, but it was, you know, I got to a point where I was like, okay, I'm not, I'm done competing. And I wanted to transition back into like group fitness classes and essentially like revive, you know, my passion for fitness. Right. Yeah. Connect with originally, like why I got into it. So I did that for about seven months or so. And then I was like, okay, am I ready to do another, you know, 60 and 90-minute program? Like, will I be able to commit to it every day? And when I started, I was so pleasantly surprised because of the variants that there were. But then at the same time, I think if you, you know, if you have a bit of an idea of program design, you can watch the trends and progressions, that's been really fun to watch it. Yeah.


Yeah. I had a meeting with an old friend and somebody who actually I trained with a little bit, many years ago was a former client. And he did the awaken training series. He lives here locally. He came in for a visit and he was kind of speaking to the same thing. He was like, you know, as a, as a kind of a fitness geek a little bit, and how he likes to nerd out on some of this stuff, he was like, it was amazing to go through. It's like a six to eight weeks single-leg progression of lunges and split squats. He was like, I didn't, you know, and that was my experience too. Like my personal experience, going through a similar progression of my own training from my coach, I was saying, my gosh, you know, like lunging is pretty varied. Yeah. I could do this a lot of ways. And, you know, week after week after week, we can build upon the fundamentals and make this more challenging and take people from a to B and in a, in a pretty fun and, you know, insightful type of way that, you know, for those people that really can follow the progressions or appreciate that. Yeah, it was its high-level stuff. And I, I, again, I'm not trying to take all the credit for it. I mean, this is just passing on information, passing on knowledge from, from my coaches, but it's been great. Yeah.


Yeah. The other, the other piece to it that I was surprised by was the the conditioning, like, I didn't really know. I knew we were going to do functional bodybuilding and I didn't really know what to expect when I first got into it. But then I like the balance of, you know, you do have days where it's like a tough grinder type of workout that just kicks your, but then you have days where you're focusing on pacing and you're consciously paying attention to detail, which I think is nice because when you have time pressure, and if you're going for time, or Amwraps all the time full of like dynamic movements that you're just trying to, you know, you're focusing on the score on the board or the time on the clock, you don't have a chance to like really connect with how your body is moving. But we were able to do that, not only through the pieces in the beginning, whether it was the core lifts or single-arm, single-leg movements, but then moving a little bit faster and being more conscious of those types of details. Yeah.


And it was, you know, the principal there is like intensity. Like we just have to keep, we have, we have different tools. We can use different tools in the prescription of conditioning work to manage people's intensity. So some of the examples you talked about, it was like, we have workouts in the wake and training series that are like three rounds, not for time, you know? Right. And there's a little note at the bottom, you know, move with purpose, like controlled movement like that. So that's almost giving somebody permission to say, Oh, I don't, I don't have to rush this. Right. Let me actually focus on my quality. Yeah. And you know, when you watch someone do a session like that, they end up moving relatively continuously. They're like, they're just kind of, they already have that mindset of like, Oh, everything's for time. So I got to keep moving from thing to thing, but it slows them down enough to focus on an element of the movement other than, you know, force times, time, you know, or force it out at a time kind of thing. Another example that we we've used is some of these like unbroken sets or increasing pace on bikes or ride.


A bike, right? So it's like.


Four rounds, you know, you're going to do 20 cows on the bike and you're going to do 20 kettlebell swings, but every round you must go faster on the bike. So if you start at 60 RPMs, then on the next one, and at a bare minimum, you got to go 61 and the next one, you got to go 62. And so when you, when you're, you have to increase your pace and you know, that maybe you don't get, most people probably didn't get it right. The first week. They just like went too fast out of the Gates, but you learn after a couple of weeks of doing that, okay. This is how I have to pace. Well again, when people pace at the beginning, that's another way to manage intensity for, for, you know, your training. And and that's really, I think probably the hallmark of this program is that there's a lot of tools implemented into the strength and conditioning work and the warmups that help athletes and, you know, you know, consumers to manage their intensity so that they're not always pushing into that same red zone day after day, which can, you know, for, for a lot of people can just leave some wear and tear and, and make them over time, lose that passion and drive for sure.


Do you feel like there's I mean, not in all communities, not in all environments, but definitely like an addiction to almost like just giving it all you have and, and just killing it, redlining it every single time that you work out and when you're not doing that, you almost feel like, Oh, did I, did I really work that hard? Do you know what I mean? Or yeah. I'm curious to know if people who signed up for this program, if they came from an environment where that was kind of the stigma, and then now that they're like slow, they're slowing things down and they're taking a more balanced approach and, and a more structured approach. I'm curious to see what that thought process is like.


Yeah. I mean, it'd be great to like, have a little survey monkey, send out to everybody to kind of get a sense of where they came from and what they learn. You know, my, my, my gut tells me that we've gotten people through a couple of different channels. I mean, there are people that look at the movements that we're doing and functional bodybuilding and think it looks kind of sexy. They're like, Oh, he's got some muscles look at him doing that thing. I want to try that. Right. I don't know that that person specifically was intensity, you know, phobic after years of doing it too much. But I also know that there are people that reach out a lot of people that have reached out via Instagram direct message. It's like, Hey, I'm hurt from this. I'm tired of feeling this way, is this right for me?


Now maybe they were in a culture of like, you know, you gotta be pushing it every day. Otherwise you're not making progress, or maybe they, you know, created that story in their head because, you know high intensity, functional movement, you know, constantly varied was also preached to them too. And, you know, I, the, the problem is that without if the programming's not right then, you know, high-intensity functional movement and, you know, constantly varied, isn't, isn't, doesn't always work, right. If you're always doing, you know, a 10 to 12 minute time domain of three to four movements, you know, at super high intensity and you do that six days a week, well, that's not really constant variance, right. That's not the true CrossFit. Like where are your days of going long? Where if you go past 40 minutes, like your intensity drops, cause you're running a 10 K and you can't run that fast.


Right. Or you're doing five sets of two in the back squat, which has a different stimulus on people. Right. So anyway, back to the point is like, they may have been, you know, in a environment where intensity was like pushed on them or they created that story in their own head, or they watched too much of competitive fitness and assumed, right. Assumed wrongly that I see these athletes going, you know, what looks like? So hard look at these regionals guys are, and girls are just crushing it. And, and really they're going 90%, you know, like in most of their training videos, right. They're not, they're not going a hundred percent, but the perception is it's a hundred percent and that's how they got there. And so therefore I have to do that. So there's a number of reasons why I think people fall victim to the, I have to go hard all the time. And, and then they go hard all the time is really the same kind of energy system like this lactic endurance sort of fatigue zone. And then it does lead to, you know can lead to burnout for a huge percentage of people and the super resilient ones. Maybe don't get burned out for a while. Maybe never, they get burned out and they end up on podiums, you know, at competitions locally and regionally.


I think the the culture is so huge, right? Because I feel like I've witnessed that whatever you kind of what the standard that you set from the very beginning is huge as to how you're going to kind of perceive what's right. And what's wrong, or, you know, what's most efficient. And, and something I've noticed at Invictus recently is they have two tracks, they have performed and they have fitness, right. And it's preached that one is not better than the other, right. One is not like fitness is sometimes harder than performance. Right. But now that you've kind of set the standard for every drop-in and every new member that comes in that, Hey, there's these two tracks. And for part, a part B, you guys can mix and match based on, you know, what your goals are. And I've just noticed people are so much more receptive to scaling down. They don't take time on the board or anything like that. So it's like, or they do, but it's not like, Hey, you know, everybody has to put their time up. So now it's like, people are focused on, you know, what is right for me, you know, what is moving me further towards my goals, and that understanding it's very cool to see because it's definitely not like that at every single CrossFit gym, you know, sometimes people are a victim to just competing for, you know, times on the board.


Yeah. I mean, my previous you know, and I was formerly a CrossFit gym owner. We, we had some of those same principles. We had kind of a, an all levels and then like a level two kind of program that we've put up you know, on our all levels program, we didn't prescribe weights ever.


Yeah. That's the other thing I, they don't prescribe wage as part, and that, that tempo prescription is there. So it's like when people ask how, how heavy, Hey, as long as you can maintain tempo and quality of movement.


Yeah. So giving people the freedom to sort of decide for themselves and with their coach, like what's right. You know, and, and then not be so married to like, get your time on the whiteboard, because everybody that's coming today needs to see and have something to push for, you know, periodically when we would have certain tests or certain workouts benchmarks, we would encourage that because a periodic dose of intensity is good, you know? And so yeah, there's definitely things within the community, different gyms and different coaches have done to ensure that their clients aren't, you know, pushing it too much and, and overdoing it on a regular basis. Certainly, if you want to retain these people for long periods of time. And then there's some that just hadn't caught onto that yet, because they're still new to the game. And if you've done it for just a year, you could push intensely for every day.


And if you're a beginner, you're fine actually until you get a little bit more trained and you do too much of it. And then now your body's capable of really pushing even further. And, Oh, it starts to catch up to you. So, you know, it's, it's a learning process and evolution that has to happen for everybody at their own pace. And, you know, the, some of the stuff I did eight years ago, as a, as a, you know, a new CrossFit coach, I fi I think back on what I, how I used to coach fitness classes and introduce people to functional movement. And I'm like, Oh man, what was I doing? Like, that was a little aggressive, but, you know, Hey, I did it with the best intentions and I learned from my mistakes and we're continuing to learn as we go. And this is the newest iteration of our coaching. Okay.


Absolutely. And I think that you've had a decent amount of you know, coaches who are hopping on this program as well. And I feel that wakes up, you know, a lot of people as to how they program for their clients. Right. And certain concepts that they may have been overlooking. It's like, it's very easy to spot like, Oh, wow. Like this needs to be there for Joe or for Lisa, like this would work really well. So I'm sure that you've had a lot of feedback in terms of, you know, coaches implementing some of these concepts and you know, kind of rewiring the way that they think about programming and helping, you know, pass that message on to the athletes that they work with too.


Yeah. I would, I would say that there's a couple of different kinds of coaches that have two different connections I've made. There's the coach. That's like, Oh yeah, this is to look at this thing. I want to, I need to know more about this. And I would like to deliver something like this to my clients. So they've reached out and they say, Hey, Hey, are you doing a functional bodybuilding seminar? Are you doing any traveling workshops? How do I get the program? Can I get a program for my clients at my gym? Can we write a, you know, a group functional bodybuilding thing for a class-based setting. And you know, I, I've actually got a gym on the East coast. That's doing that right now in the Southeast who has you know, it's a, it's a weight, it's like a functional bodybuilding specific class.


They call it something else. Right. We're writing a program for them. A couple of others have reached out. So there's that coach. And then there are the coaches that have been doing this for a while, right? Like this isn't new to them. They're like they've been doing it. And, and maybe, and I, I don't mean to like, take credit for this, but, you know, maybe just, it didn't resonate with people when it, when they said it. And then now I've got a little bit broader audience, you know, maybe I, I use the right word, functional bodybuilding, you know, maybe we made it look a little sexier, but and they're coming to me and they're saying, man, I'm so glad you're talking about this because I've been trying to do this for a long time. And people haven't really caught on and therefore, you know, but now people are interested.


And so, you know, even week one of awakened training series, I remember there was a, there was a gym out in Ireland that, you know, was like tagging me and PO and like saying, Hey, you want to come to do the Marcus filly type of workout. We have this going on at our gym. And I was like, well, that's pretty cool. Like, you know, they're mentioning my name as a tool to get people interested in what they already offered. And so, you know, there's been yeah, there's been quite a networking between other, you know, professionals, coaches that are looking to provide, you know, a balanced service to their clients. And, and this seems to fit for a lot of who they're seeing out there. So like, you know, coaches are the ones that see what's happening out there. They see what their clientele needs, and then they're kind of sifting through the information and being like, yeah, this, this aligns with who, who I'm seeing.


Day-To-Day basis. Yeah. And I think that that, you know, that packaging of functional bodybuilding, right. This stuff, you're right. We've talked about this before, how it has been around for a while, right. The concept of time under tension and tempo training. Like, but when you have somebody who can provide it in a way that resonates with other people and gets them excited about it, like, I don't think there's anything wrong with that because we're all humans, we all have cognitive biases and it's like, you're, you know, if, if somebody else is saying it, but there's maybe a different tonality to it, or it's like a very raw type of, you know, way of doing it, some people might not resonate with it and that message isn't getting across. But the fact is that, you know, for whatever reason it's, it's caught on and it's like, it's packaged up these great principles and just articulated it in a way that people can digest. And you, yeah.


Yeah. I mean, we said that for a lot of years in the CrossFit group class setting, it was like three different coaches saying the same thing, and the client, you know, client X heard it from coach number three and they finally got it right. And there, and, you know, and it was like, Hey, you know, Shawna told me this great cue on how to do my TOSA bar. And it really helped me. And in the back of your mind as a coach, you're like, Oh, I was telling you that last beer, like, but you didn't say it in the way that they resonated with, or that they understood, or maybe they just needed to hear it for the fifth time. Right. Because on the third time, it didn't work the fourth time. It didn't work, but the fifth time it finally sunk in. So, you know, that's why we keep circling around many of like many principals of fitness year after year, or it's like, we're coming back to some old topics, but it's like, Hey, people need to hear it again. And again and again, and there's probably gonna be more and more of that cyclical stuff happening for years to come.


Right. The other point that you were mentioning how people were feeling kind of beaten down, and then it's a great way to kind of get rid of aches and pains and things of that nature. I want to dig into that because I feel, and we've, we've kind of touched on this before this program started, but now having gone through it we can definitely see those principles kind of playing out where it provided people with a dosage of things that they just weren't getting before. You know what I mean? Like you weren't, you probably weren't doing, you know, single-arm pushing and pulling or a single-arm bending and squatting. And so when you start to involve these, you know, maybe unilateral movements in different planes of motion, it's not that you were just damaged and hurt. It's like, you just weren't getting enough of the right things. And now that people are kind of, it's almost like a sense of balance has kind of been restored for these people.


Definitely. Yeah. I mean, you know, my, the core of my strength and conditioning education as a coach has come, you know, from OPEX where, you know, and this was eight, eight or nine years ago, I got into the, I guess eight years ago, I ended the education system there. And it was like, I, they gave me a framework to look at movement. It was like, well, there's single leg movement. So single-leg, knee flection, there's bending, there's a double leg, knee flection, there's upper body pushing upper body pulling and cord. So there's okay. There's these six patterns within each pattern we can do, you know, unilateral loaded stuff. I mean, so I kind of always looked at how do I train strength? You know, strength training should be a balance of these things. Right. And then when I looked at kind of what we were doing classically in the, you know, programs at the gyms I was at, it was like, wow, there's a lot of double legs.


There's a lot of double-arm, you know, upper push and pull and there's, you know, how do we, how do we introduce that stuff? Right. And you know, there's definitely some pushback from clients that were, you know, we used to the traditional lifts. They're like, why are we doing this single-arm thing? I'm not getting as much of an intense workout, or I don't feel that way. You know? So there were bumps and growing pains along the way, but it's definitely been a way that I've looked at design because in my early days of programming were regroup programs, which then evolved into individual programs, which it's kind of backward. It's like, I should have learned how to do it with individuals first and then do groups, but is this the setting I was in? Right. So if I'm programming for a group, like I'm just going to basically design a balanced program based upon somebody who's got no red flags.


Right. And so if they're going to do a day of double leg squatting, they better be doing a day of single-leg squatting. If they're going to be doing a day of upper body pushing, they better be doing a day of upper body pulling. And then how we mixing in single-arm exercises there as well. And so, you know, yeah, anyway, I'm getting a little, you know, on, on, it's somewhat of a tangent here, but, but I think what you're, what you're recognizing is that by giving people some structure and some balance in their training, through that thought process it can just sort of let it sort of gets aches and pains to somewhat go away. Because they're just not overloading certain patterns, right. You squat every day and you have some deficits in your squat, mechanics, and mobility, you might find that you get some overuse injuries.


Yeah. so there was this there's a dude that approached me the other day and he, his elbow was flaring up a little bit. Right. And so, pretty much what happened was I just kinda got a background for like, what are you currently kind of doing? Right. What's training look like. And he said, he touches a barbell every pretty much six days a week. Right. And it sounded like a lot of, a lot of double, double leg movements, right. Alarm movements. And I was like, you know, what, why don't you try? I believe I gave him like pinch grip caries. Right. And then, you know, you take a simple band and do tricep pushdowns, but focus on like the eccentric portion. And it was like, you know, a couple of weeks of that. And he's like, dude, it went away.


Like, it feels fine and it's starting to get better. Like, I don't really notice anymore. It's like, you know, it's not that you are broken. It's like, we're just feeding some of the things that you weren't getting enough of. And now magically, you know, some things have kind of gone away. The other thing I wanna touch on is this is something I've thought about since the guys that active life RX have came on. And Julian Pinellas talked about this as well, is if we first kind of define right. Flexibility would be a passive range of motion. Right. and mobility would be an active range of motion or range of motion with tension, right. Being able to kind of create torque. So if you look at some of the stuff that we did throughout the weekend training series, you are taking your joint through a full range of motion, like with your shoulders, for example, doing like, I dunno, half kneeling, Arnold press, for example. Right. And typically we're following a certain tempo. I believe that that stuff kind of not only helps with that stability aspect, which we can kind of use may be interchangeably but may also improve like the overall mobility for people because they've been hammering away at flexibility stuff. Right. Totally doing like lacrosse balls and all this kind of stuff. Yeah.


I think that that's, you know, people, so I think I mentioned, I get the question of like, what do I do for warmups? And then also the question of like, what do you do for mobility or for flexibility and what are your, like go-to things for your shoulder? And basically I just I'm like, I just do these movements as I do.


So I got reminded of it. Cause you were doing the ask. I think it was at the granite games, Facebook, somebody asked you what do you do for flexibility or something? And that's when I thought of I'm like, Oh, well, you know what, all his warmups are taking his joints through a full range of motion. Yes.


Yeah. So that, that's, that's one way, you know the other way is through my, you know, through the training program, through deloads and then building back up through new progressions, I always approached like early weeks in a program. Because my, my coach doesn't prescribe percentages for me or loads that often, you know, he may do so, but it's always in the later weeks of its a training cycle and the early stages of a training cycle, it's per se, it's like percentage of effort, not percentage of your max one RM. So it's like, Hey work at 70% of the effort. So I always like in my brain, I'm like, okay, these first couple of weeks of this new pro program are my chance to hit full range, explore different depths, maybe take off the knee sleeves for a week, maybe take off the belt for a week, you know on my front squats, like, you know, no lifters, right?


And so I'll use two weeks of training to regain some mobility that I may have lost. And then additionally, the, you know, the kind of the warmup activation drills, the functional bodybuilding classic stuff that we're putting out, you know, those are often done at lower loads, just because the complexity of the movement, like a half-kneeling dumbbell, Arnold press at a two, one, two, one tempo not going to lift super heavy cause you might just start failing. But so I'm at a lighter load. I'm just going to feel and move through big ranges of motion and that can keep the joints for me. And I think for participants like working through a great range and then maintain range, maintain strong range.


Cause you dig into like, I guess the, maybe the intricacies of prescribing tempo, right. And time under tension a little bit. Cause I feel like it's one of those things that, you know, you can see as you said, two, two, one, two on tempo, for example. And people, if you see a video of somebody doing it, you're like, Whoa, that is like, you think you're doing two on two on tempo, but in reality, it's just, you're flying through the movement without regard for it. And the best thing that I've seen so far kind of like describing it is at Invictus on the board, they put like, let's say it's two, one, two, one, right. There's an arrow. Cause the first number and the third number will be like the up and down phase. So there's an arrow pointing up or down. And then for the second and fourth number, there's like a dash. So it signifies the pause. When I saw that I was like, visually, that makes so much sense. It's easy to explain to people.


To draw that up on the board a lot from your clients. Cause every one of our new clients, right. It's starting to get its own prescriptions. And so we have to teach that stuff at the beginning. And so, you know, there's, there's definitely other coaches that are out there that have written and given Mike Lee from OPEX fitness has a great, I want to say it's on Vimeo under the OPEX account. You can go on their website and get it, but it's like, what is tempo? How do you prescribe it? He does a good really, you know, I mean, I can't do a better job than he can on that. And then you can probably listen to Polycon stuff and get really good insight into tempo prescriptions. He really, I think popularized it early on with his strength programs German body composition, training, things like that.


So there are different, you know, applications of it certainly, but James Fitzgerald kind of made it really simple to me when I first heard about how to do tempo prescriptions. He's like, it just gives you a chance as a coach to control the outcome of a lift for a trainee. Yeah. Right. Hey, go do back squat for five reps. Well, is that person just going down and up for five reps? Are they going down pausing at the top for 10 seconds to get their breath and to let their legs recharge or they don't, you know, there could be a thousand different permutations of that if it's just five sets of five, but if it's five sets of five at a three, zero X, zero tempo, you know, then that's control, right. And then next week we can have more control. So in the awakened training series, you know, again, there were some prescriptions template prescriptions that were really clearly trying to get at a specific portion of the lift example, like pausing at the top of a single arm, overhead lift, you know, so adding in a two-second pause with the tempo, well that helps to build overhead stability in that arm.


You know, increasing East centrics on some of the double leg squats, for example, like five-second Centrix or, you know, lowering down slowly, you know, more time under tension to help people build, you know, just actually build some strength through slower eccentrics. But what it also allowed me to do as well week one was you know, a four, one, four, one tempo. We too were a three, one, three, one tempo week three was a two, one, two, one tempo. So in just simply changing tempo prescriptions, showing people that, Hey, we can progress from week to week by changing the speed that you're moving and that will ultimately lead to, you know, potentially more load for you and so forth. And we start with lots of control. We take away a little bit of that and allow you to just move more freely. And so again, there's a lot of different ways that it gets implemented. I wanted to give people exposure to lots of different types of tempos and yeah, I mean, we rarely in our gym with our clients and our remote clients, like it's almost never done we write a lift without a tempo, unless it's like an Olympic lift, like the snatch, you know, two reps. Right. but even then it's like snatch two reps, take a five-second pause between each lift, you know, or, you know, there's some control variables put there.


Right. I think especially if you're like an, I definitely have dealt with this when I was competing in weightlifting, especially for like, you know, the first couple of months when I first got into training you know, your, your ego gets attached to the load. Right. And it's like, it's very easy for you to just, okay, let me just try one more. Right. One more, one more. And you don't realize how much of an impact that can have you know, in the grand scheme of things throughout that week and how it might affect the training session the next day or throughout that whole 12 week period, for example. So what I think this does is it allows you to detach your ego from, from the load a little bit, because no longer are you like, yeah, you're still paying attention to weights. And you know, you've said like, okay, make sure you're trying to build off of the weight from last week slightly, but you're paying attention to the tempo prescription. You're paying attention to movement quality. And as long as you do those two things, you can keep pushing it. And the second that you're no longer following it, you know, you've lost the stint, you know, you're not paying attention to the stimulus for that day. So it's very I like how you can use that to kind of teach the athlete in a sense.


Yes, definitely. It's yeah. Back to the implementing levels of control and, and how to control intensity for people. It's just another way of being able to manage that. So by giving people new tempos, you know, rep ranges, having to give them more variables to kind of focus on, gets them potentially to think less about the load that's in their hand. You know, yes. On Fridays, we're going to do some knee flection, but over the course of the 12 weeks, we're changing up what that looks like for knee flection. So new movement this week. Well, I don't know what my, I mean, I don't, I don't have weights from last week necessarily to push off of. Right. Cause we too, you're building off of week one, week three, you're building off of week two by week four, you're building off of three weeks and you're starting to get deeper into that movement.


You're starting to push it a little bit. So if you come back for week five and week six, the same movement, you're now really hitting high thresholds. And it's kind of at that point where it's like, okay, let's switch patterns. So now you've got to start from scratch in a sense, and you can't, you know, you don't get the chance to be like, yeah, last week I got this much and this week I'm going to go for a PR like a personal story anecdote. It's like maybe a month ago I was wrapping up my sixth week of a training cycle and I have split jerking. Everything it was Friday, the first three weeks, you know, I had my mentality of like, well, it's week one. I'm going to, I'm going to purposely go a little lighter week too. You know, I'm not, I'm not anywhere near my max is week three, starting to feel good.


Well, I kind of, Whoa. I, I think I hit a PR for a double today, week four, Whoa, I'm sniffing out a PR, I just hit three 75. I haven't done that in a long time, you know, week five was coming up and I had split shirts again. And I was like, I'm going to PR today, I'm going to, this is gonna be great. Coming to the gym. I sucked. I was like already, you know, tapped. Right. And I had put so much stock into that number before I got there. It was a bad session for me. And, you know, I kind of had to like, remember my own lesson that I've taught to other people. It's like, yeah, like I was deep into it. It was pushing, I had had so many weeks in a row of success that I had, like almost my expected to PR that day. I knew I was going to be a big day, you know? And then that almost led to, you know, my failure. Right. Right then and there.


Yeah. That's, that's crazy. This is something we were chatting about beforehand and I would love to dig into it is, you know, group fitness. Right. And of course it's great. But how, how, like the people that have done awakened training series, have they come from a background of doing group fitness for quite a few years? Because if you're doing this program, chances are you're, you know, doing it alone. Or maybe you're lucky to have signed up with somebody else, like a friend or something like that. But Hey, have you ever, have you gotten any thoughts on that?


Yeah, I think there have been people that have, I think a good number are definitely from the group fitness community or their coaches in facilities that maybe have followed programs. Some of these people have followed their own programs or followed online training blogs before. So they know how to navigate following something that maybe the people around them aren't doing. Plenty of people have had recruited friends. I've had like a number of people reach out and say, yeah, I'm doing this with my wife. I'm doing this with my my husband. And, you know, so spouses getting together, even like I mentioned, full group classes doing the program. But I have had a few people be like, you know, it's been great, but I kinda miss working out with my buddies. In fact, there was one person in week two who was like, Hey, you know what, I'm not gonna, I'm not going to continue. Can I get a refund? And I was like.


Oh my gosh.


Do you know? And it was the only person that had that kind of thing, you know, request. And I was like, well, I got to figure out what's going on. Like what, how did we, we, did we sell it the way away? Like, did we promise something that we just didn't deliver on? And ultimately it was like, I work out at this time, I'm with my buddies, you know, it's a small space. They don't want to do it with me. So I can't really, you know, it's not really my second to my thing. And I was like, I get that totally. You know, here's your money back. I don't wanna, you know, make this about the money at all. Absolutely. Here are your refund and thanks for your feedback. But yeah. And we actually had somebody from Sweden who was traveling through California.


Wait, does it, Henrik? Yeah. He reached out to me. I think he's actually.


Went back down. Yeah. He's back down in like Santa Barbara for a wedding and then maybe in San Diego right now. But yeah, he stopped by for a workout the other day and yeah, he's been great. He's like one of those people that puts comments in his fit bot all the time, I read all his co you know, what he's doing, I get to see his results. And he was like, yeah, I kind of just missed, thrown down with my buddies. And I was like, I get it. You know, he was happy. He gave 12 weeks to the program. But I imagine he won't be a 2.0 person cause he's ready to go back and engage with people for a bit and then maybe he'll sign up for something in the future or who knows, you know, but I think there's definitely a, there's something to being committed to a training program enough that you're like, I'm gonna, I want to do this, even if I don't have somebody next to me. And then ultimately if you can find an environment where you're training doing your own thing and other people around you doing their own thing, and everyone's kind of there for each other, I think that's, that's the environment that we were trying to create here.


That's kind of the next thing I wanted to ask you about it because, you know, when I walked in here, it's like, okay, everybody has their own prescription, but you guys are doing it together. And there's still that sense of community comradery and like, you know, everybody's kind of aligned with like fitness goals or mindsets and things like that. And I know you guys are starting to kind of ramp up your onsite clients and stuff like that. How, how do you, like, how do you build community in that sense? Right. Because in a group setting, you know, we know community's important and you know, it's good for the soul. It's good for keeping people around. And there's, there's kind of a method to essentially doing that. How do we do that? When you're individualizing, you know, program design.


Well, it's, I think it's still a new concept and we're still proving that community can, you know, this can support community. There are gyms that are doing it and they're doing it very well. So we're just having to ask the question, you know, what, what drives that community feel? Is it truly the fact that we're both doing kettlebell swings next to each other and that we're racing against the same clock? You know, maybe, maybe that's part of it, but there's a lot of other parts to it, you know? Yeah. The people that you see when you walk in the gym, the people that you introduce yourself to, or that introduce themselves to you, it's, Hey, we all showed up here to work out. I'm here to work out, to lose weight. You're here to work out, cause you want to run the, you know, half marathon coming up and you're here to work out to rehab, you know, your low back.


Right, So people have different goals of they come in, but they're kind of collecting around a similar, you know, tool that's going to help them achieve those goals, which is fitness. You know, building community it's having, I think something that's true can build community in the fitness world and what we're going to try and really build here is a common belief in the system that we're using to train people. So, you know, we try and educate every client that comes in on what they're doing, why they're doing it. That's a big you know, it's a big part of our onboarding process. It's not just, here's the thing, go do it. But here's what we learned about youth or your assessment. These are the things that we know we need to improve upon. This is also what you stated as your goals.


This is how we can get there. Let me teach you some of these exercises. Let me teach you some of these training principles. And they're the same principles that we're teaching to every single person that comes in. So now everyone is speaking the same language about their fitness. They're not just consumers that like, give me the workout. I'm gonna go do it. It's Hey, give me the plan. And then I understand, okay, like all of our clients understand to some degree what temple means, and they can turn to the next person and be like, Hey, what's up? Are you doing, you know, like now we're creating a language just around training, which is fun? I mean, you go into the gym, people love to talk training, you know, it's like, yo bro, what'd you hit on your bicep curl. Like what'd you get for doing your 20 ones?


And you know, like, what are you doing? Like those are like terms that are specific to a, they don't mean anything anywhere else. Right. Well, that builds community. So we're creating that around training principles which, you know, not only helps us as coaches because now our clients know what we're trying to get them to do, but I think it helps the client. It helps the client to connect with their peers. It also helps the client to understand why they're doing what they're doing a little bit better beyond just like I'm here to sweat. Yeah. You know, which is part of the goal, but it's not the entire goal. So I mean, those are kind of the foundational pieces that I see to start building this community. And then beyond that, it's like, you know, the tribe and the culture of what you have at your gym, you know, as a reflection of the people that are here, the most, the coaching staff and the owners.


So, you know, I have a, I have a sort of a, a culture that I've created around me when I train and when I coach people and that's spreading into our community and that, you know, that builds a certain type of community that will attract a certain type of person that resonates with that. And I think, I think you have to accept that, you know, you may not attract every single person that's out there and that somebody might come in and not vibe off of your culture, but it doesn't mean that you don't have community. It just means you have a specific type of community.


So two points there. One is, I like how you pointed out that, you know, working out side by side and doing those kettlebell swings with the person next to you, that may not be the only thing that makes you feel good in terms of that community aspect. Like there's so much more involved. And I think I've heard Ben Bergeron write something around like a calm time, right. Community time. There's a way that he's has a formula for figuring that out. And that's essentially like before and after the workout, how much time are people spending, just building community, talking to each other and things like that. So there are other moving parts and pieces to it that, you know, you don't think about the kind of right away. The other thing is, yeah, I think that's, that's a fear maybe, you know, that like, oh, I'm not going to, how am I going to be able to deliver this message? It's not going to appeal to as many people how am I going to kind of run my business that way? You know, how, how do you kind of.


Well, I think number one is setting up a business that doesn't really like, if, if the business can only succeed, if I appeal to everybody I'm going to fail. Right, right. Like I need to get 50% of the population to come in and do my thing. Otherwise, the numbers don't work like, well, you're not going to appeal to 50% of the population, you know, unless you're selling water and you're the only person in town, then you're gonna get everybody. But so yeah, setting it up so that, you know, for this place to run well, you know, and for the coaches to be fulfilled and to, you know, have enough work for the gym to be supported for the clients to get a good service, you know, we don't need 700 members. Right. that helps that's one way to set it up. Then I reduce my fear factor of like, Oh my God, I'm not going to appeal to everybody.

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