MBT Exercise Creation Model

Preview for the UPCOMING MBT Training Model & Implementation Online Course!

A Process for Creativity in Exercise Selection

The goal of the process is to match intent with strategy to create an exercise then coach the exercise with proper execution. An exercise is the loading of tissues for mechanical and physiological benefits. Positions are the shapes in which the body is placed to target specific muscles to move bones and to be able to target as much muscle mass as possible.

The process of exercise selection can be overwhelming without a process. Choosing exercises should have a purpose and we should explore our creativity based upon that purpose instead of choosing exercises and rationalizing them later. We tend to choose exercises based on certain loading abilities and associations instead of a specific intention.

  • Am I starting with a exercise or the intent?
  • Am I associating a exercise with a specific quality?
    • Such as associating the back squat exercise with the quality of strength
  • Starting with the intent will allow you not be married to specific exercises

The Exercise Creation Model has a three tier process to create an exercise. The first tier and foundation is position, second tier is fitness qualities, and the top tier is variations. This tier system was created to evaluate and analyze a thought process for exercise selection, ways to progress, and subtle strategy changes. There are many ways to progress, in which you can change position, change fitness quality, or add a variation.

The Exercise Creation Model will help you be more individualized with your clients/athletes, have a guide for exercise selection and program design, and explore various ways to strategize and execute an exercise.

The UPCOMING Training Model & Implementation Online Course will go into more detail and take you through strategies and execution for exercise selection, as well as training principles and model development.

But while we wait for that, here is the steps within each tier:

Base First Tier: Positions are used to target specific muscles to move boney structures. Positions include, but are not limited to:

  • Supine
  • Prone
  • Sidelying
  • Tall Kneeling
  • 1/2 Kneeling
  • Standing
  • Front/Back Staggered
  • Lateral Staggered

Middle Second Tier: Fitness Qualities

  • Qualities: Strength, Power, Endurance, Hypertrophy, etc.
  • Resistance (load): Strength, etc.
  • Tempos (Eccentric, Isometric, Oscillations): Strength, Endurance 
  • Accommodating resistance (Bands, Chains): Speed, Power
  • Velocity (intent to move with speed): Speed, Power
  • Timed Durations/Length of set : Strength, Endurance, etc.
  • Volume/Sets and Reps: Strength, Hypertrophy, etc.

Peak Third Tier: Variations 

  • Create an exercise variation build on position and fitness quality desired
  • Create an exercise variation with additional components of progress such as static or dynamic execution, plane of motion, range of motion, RNT input, barriers and references, placement of loading, cues (focus of attention)
  • This is the creation of strategy related to goal/intent, client, needs analysis, real time modifications, and progress
  • Fulfill with execution

Summary:

Three Tier Process for Exercise Creation based on Intent-Strategy- Execution

HERE ARE SOME EXAMPLES:

Example of Process with the exercise created being a Bilateral Squat based on the Intent- Strategy and follow through with Execution. I first choose a bilateral stance position for a two foot ground reference and sagittal plane dominant position. Second I add a six second tempo for the eccentric phase. Lastly, I choose an anterior loading placement, cue the client to find their heels, and add a band around the knees (from the front) to teach client to posterior shift. The exercise is created from the bottom up based on the client, goal, direction of progress, and real time modifications. For more information on Squat Progressions check out Lucy Hendricks Article.
Another Example of the creation process with the exercise created being a 3 Point Contact 1 Arm Row. First I choose a prone position. Second I choose a rep/set scheme that is focused towards the client’s hypertrophy goal. Lastly, I focus the attention on the stance leg (left leg in picture) and reaching with the arm on bench (right arm in picture). The exercise is created from the bottom up with a connection between the trainer’s training principles and client goals (and abilities).

Now you need to Execute!

That’s why Lucy Hendricks and I created a workshop that is 100% hands-on!

Have you ever attended a seminar where they picked you as an exercise demo? For 5 minutes, you get to feel what it’s like to be coached by the instructor. You get to respond to their verbal and manual cues, which allows you to feel what your clients will need to feel.

Out of all the other attendees who didn’t get coached, you’ll be more successful getting your clients to execute that exercise correctly.

This workshop allows you to be coached, demo, practice coaching, and walk through some troubleshooting with every single activity! Instead of 5 minutes of personal attention, you’ll have a whole day of movement and hands-on learning.

If you’re wanting your staff under one consistent model, this is the workshop for you and your employees. Learn to develop movement standards where everyone gets to develop their own training talent and skill following the same principles.

Going through our Consistent Training Model will allow you to manage multiple people in one session while keeping the coaching quality high. You will creatively increase your client’s movement repertoire by altering load placement and performance variables to drive adaptation in each plane of motion.

Location: Hype Gym, NYC

Date/Time: Sunday, September 29th 2019. 9:00am-4:30pm (lunch 12:00pm-1:00pm)

CLICK HERE for the event’s page.

Self-Care.

Humbling experience speaking on the Self-Care panel at the 11th annual Women in the Law Conference. Such a great opportunity to meet and hear many distinguished attorneys that are doing incredible things for our country.

Self-care is related to your world view and the hierarchy of value you use to create this view. A restructuring of your value system may be needed to put yourself at the top. You are the only one who is going to take care of you. 

NEW ARTICLE. A Perspective on Program Analysis & Design: Explore your Belief System.

New Article on Robertson Training Systems.

I am very proud of my new article titled ‘A perspective on program analysis and design: Explore your belief system’ posted by Robertson Training Systems @robtrainsystems…Check it out!

A link to watch my live presentation on this subject (and my time as a D1 ice hockey S&C coach) is included at the end from the Holy Cross Sports Performance Conference (March 2019).

Shifting Perspective with Continuing Education

“If you’re not understanding, you need to understand enough to formulate a question” –Bill Hartman

When we leave the academic system we know how to speak a certain language using specific words based upon a curriculum (most likely outdated). In relation to specific degrees such as Exercise Science the curriculum is based upon an accreditation program, guidelines, or certification. In many Exercise Science or Strength and Conditioning programs these include:

  • American College of Medicine (ACSM) professional practice guidelines
  • Accreditation standards are outlined by the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education programs (CAAHEP)
  • Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist (CSCS) certification from the National Strength and Conditioning Association.

There are specific terms and definitions utilized within an overarching language of these structured curriculums. Language involves a method of communication by structuring the words in a specific manner and sharing common definitions to create a common understanding. Sharing the same language is important in communicating with other professionals. Even though each coach has a unique way in which they view the world based upon education (explicit and tacit learning skills), past experiences, and values, a common language connects coaches.  However, the academic system is after all just that, a system.

In the higher education system we focused on specific variables related to the execution of  specific exercises; mostly the ‘Big 3’: clean, squat, bench. I will also refer to these as the sacred cows of S&C. I used the term sacred cows as these movements are not questioned in relation to building variables of strength and power. The exercises are exclusively associated with the acquisition of a specific variable. For example, “we need to hang clean to acquire power…”

We associated performance variables, such a strength, power, and flexibility with very specific exercises:

  • Strength- Back Squat, Deadlift, and Bench Press
  • Power- Olympic Lifts
  • “Flexibility/Mobility”- Stretching (with associated sensations)

Assessment of performance ability was revolved around moving a weight from point A to B. The weight room revolved around the ‘Big 3’ without questioning the relevance to performance. These exercises are required in the sports of olympic lifting and powerlifting.

This was the model for performance within the system. Performance variables were defined within the constraints of the system and commonality of language:

  • Strength: “the maximal force that a muscle or muscle group can generate at a specified velocity during strength testing” (Baechle & Earle, 2008).
  • Power- “the time rate of doing work [product of the force exerted on an object and the distance the object moves in the direction in which force is exerted]”  (Baechle & Earle, 2008).
  • Flexibility- “measure of range of motion [has static and dynamic components at a specific joint]”  (Baechle & Earle, 2008).

Movement ‘limitations’ were referenced in relation to a ‘tight’ or ‘weak’ muscle. The solution was foam rolling, stretching, or strengthening. The curriculum viewed the body as a lever system with regional independence of movement. Program design was referenced to periodization of the ‘Big 3’ lifts. Progression and success of a program was related to increased loading. We discussed the use of bilateral vs unilateral lower body exercises until we were blue in the face.

The intent was to create an environment that emphasized the importance of load progression. The execution was in the prescription of the ‘Big 3’ exercises and specific sets and reps within variable ranges.The desired outcome was assessing external load.

This isn’t wrong, it’s just a constructed system that utilizes a specific language and perspective.

If you never leave this constructed system, you will never be able to create your own world. With new experiences we can gain a different perspective on training, performance, and exercise selection. Seeking out opportunities to hear coaches share their perspectives may influence your own intent and execution of a specific exercise is related to a different desired outcome.

The pursuit of understanding and questioning is in continuing education.

I attended several courses relating to respiration, gait, and planes of movement in relation to movement restrictions, pain, and fitness. I began to see things in relation to those concepts. These concepts allowed me to question dogmas in the fitness industry, adaptation, and seeking answers to what the term performance actually means (the ultimate desired outcome).

Postural Restoration Institute Courses

Pat Davidson: Rethinking the Big Patterns

Zac Cupples: Human Matrix

My perspective shifted: I gained an appreciation for lower threshold activities to greatly enhance high threshold performance. These concepts provided a viewpoint to appreciate how consequences of training manifest. I saw movement limitations as respiratory driven and the position of bony structures. I thought about how these ideas could be executed in the weight room with creative positions (orientation of axial skeleton, pelvis, cranium) in relation to the outcome of improving performance. I used concepts of loading and propulsion within the gait cycle with the intent of improving performance variables.

This new information pointed me down a path of exploring our sensory systems, a deeper understanding of anatomy, neurology, the brain, and human complexity. I gained an appreciation of how our brain and sensory systems can change with training.  

I attended a few Dr. Ben House’s Functional Medicine Retreats and gained knowledge about lifestyle variables outside of training that could arguably be more important. I gained an appreciation for environment, purpose, sleep, stress, sun, nutrition, gut health, and community.

My perspective shifted: I focused athlete education on these subjects. I viewed movement ‘limitations’ as possible factors of past experiences, behavior, trauma, and autonomics. This experience truly allowed me to understand what the term networking meant and what having a community feels like.

I watched Jordan Peterson’s Maps of Meaning course at the University of Toronto and explored books related to psychology, behavior and communication.

My perspective shifted: The most important aspect of being a coach is related to human connection. My coaching philosophy evolved into the statement of, be responsible for a position of influence. I become aware of being aware. I started to understand myself to a greater degree. I started to coach differently, with more emphasis on how athletes treated each other, discussing values, asking more questions about them, getting to know them better, placing more of an emphasis on being a good person and thinking about what that means; outside of sport. I started to question what was really important.

I recently attended Bill Hartman’s Intensive II event and now I see the splash of guts and fluids during movement. I see pressure moving down, rebounding, and moving upward with a counter movement jump.

My perspective shifted: I see creating exercises that are designed to move fluid and pressures in different areas based upon how the client manages internal and external pressures. I see the ‘Big 3’ in a different way. I see how a bench press can actually flatten the axial skeleton structure which changes pressure and airflow dynamics. I see how the squat can be used as a tool to teach people how to manage or mismanage pressures within their body depending upon the individual and variation of the exercise. I see movement ‘limitations’ as the inability to deal with internal forces. I understand more about what it is to be human: we are not a lever system, we are a hydrodynamic structure.


My perspective on performance has changed my definitions of the variables that we tend to value in our fields.

  • Strength: the ability to manage pressure
  • Power: the ability to rebound pressure and propel
  • “Flexibility/Mobility”: I do not use these words in my language, but they would be the ability to move structures through a range of motion without restriction. It’s the position of structures and fluid that may restrict joint movement, not the ‘tightness’ of muscle.  

I now see the solution to a problem as more than load modification. I now see an exercise, such as a split squat, as phases of gait and a loading and propelling side rather than something we do to acquire a vague variable such as strength. There is not ideal way to move and there is no ideal ‘movement pattern’. Within the desire outcome of performance there are so many considerations; organism, environment, task.

Question transferability. 

I see responsibility: “whether you like it or not it’s your decision of what strategies you want people to use.”                        – Bill Hartman

Continuing education needs to be more than attending a seminar. It needs to introduce you to something different and expose you to something that makes you question your belief system.  

Identifying events requires people you trust and valuing concepts over modalities. Dr. Ben House and Bill Hartman’s events raised the bar for continuing education by creating a shared experience, building a community, and creating opportunity for communication past the event. Dr. Ben House’s Costa Rica retreat was full immersion in a unique environment and created an emotional attachment to the experience and other professionals in attendance (who I now consider great friends).


Conclusion

Continuing education opportunities taught me a different language and provided me with a different perspective of myself and what I do as a professional. New experiences provided a cycle of self-improvement, which did involve some chaos and transcendence. Information that challenges previous knowledge can be threatening and push you into a state of chaos. It should make you question yourself, not always reinforce what you already know. Each person is different in their openness to chaos and ability to prosper from it.

With each experience and new information, you have to both dig deeper for yourself and combine explicit learning with tacit learning. Utilize the new knowledge.

  • Explicit learning- information, data
  • Tacit learning- experience, thinking, competence, socialization, sharing experiences, observing which requires discussion, mentorship, apprenticeship, and application

I don’t let other people’s perspective bother me at all, neither should you. We all have different experiences and perspectives. You can’t blame someone for something they have not been exposed to, but sometimes we can find ourselves speaking a different language within the same profession.

More experiences will create more questions:

  • Is chasing a number in the weight room strength? What does that mean?
  • What is performance?
  • What does all of this mean for this specific athlete?
  • More isn’t necessarily better.
  • More flexibility isn’t better
  • Maybe how we view athletic ability is changing. Can changing an client’s structure and ability to accept and propel pressures make them more powerful and better at their sport?

We make things too simple. Humans are complex. We need to keep exploring deeper.

Question what we learn in the academic system, explore new areas such as physics, behavior, psychology, etc. Keep pursuing education rather than accepting the ‘known’….because nothing is known.

I have been able to build my model with these experiences in establishing commonalities and filtering. Commonalities of experiences include the importance of teaching both load acceptance and propulsion in training and being a good person as a coach. The power of language and word choice is everything when interacting and connecting with others.

The power of commonality in language also provides professional communities with shared experiences.

Read. Network. Experience. Seek Opportunities. Explore Novelty. Reflect.  

You shouldn’t fear failure, you should fear staying the same.


References

Baechle, T.R, & Earle, R.W. (2008). Essentials of strength training and conditioning. Third edition. Champaign, IL: Human Kinetics.

Growing Your Model

Look at that left stance and right trunk rotation…
Sometimes we don’t always speak the same language but we can find ways to understand each other. 


Be grateful when people share their training models and make connections with your own model, that’s growth. 
I am thankful for Train, Adapt, Evolve for sharing what they do as they are one of the best.

Cells to Performance Seminar:
– Question. Question when simplicity is applied to physiology.
– Utilizing less oxygen for the same task makes you more efficient and comes at a lower cost
– Respiratory mechanics matter for respiratory limitations
– Athletes need to be able to load and explode on each leg and side and we need to understand how our anatomy is biased – Let biology grow in an environment and build structure
– Place value in frequency by not abusing volume


Also follow Justin Moore as he has been posting some great physiology resources that were explored in the seminar.