The Site Is Not The Source ///
As some of you know, many years ago I suffered a horrible back injury in Russia from deadlifting. Early last year I lost 80% of the strength in my left shoulder.
My intuition connected the two absolutely. The defensive bracing protecting my lower back (the Source) predisposed me to an overtraining injury in my shoulder (the Site).
Before my shoulder injury, I introduced goofy-foot specialized long-board skating for several months, and as a result developed a kinetic chain of tension: muscles activated along the length of the body from repetition and adaptation to a specific demand. I didn't think to compensate for this activity at the time since I considered it 'merely' recreational.
The kinetic chain resulted from pumping with my left leg while stabilizing with my right - creating an isometric chain of tension running up from the hyperstabilized right leg to the bound defensive bracing at the lower back.
Then, one day ... add a strength test with dumbbell bench press. Voila. Twang! The encounter of a kinetic chain with the bound tension of my lower back fired upward and across (since we function symmetrically) to my left shoulder - under the load of the exercise. I lost almost all my strength in the shoulder within a few days.
Several months of self-rehab through Body-Flow?. Textbook case. Very instrumental in teaching me how to 'see' the necessity of "cleaning the slate" in others.
Learning To Clean The Slate ///
It's taken me many years to develop CST? with one of the major stimuli being healing my back. I rehab'ed it through the program I developed called Be Breathed?. And I developed Warrior Wellness? to improve my dynamic mobility in my spine, and all of my joints.
But I've been working these past few months to release some deep residual muscular tension, presumably intersegmental musculature - the final remains of that old injury ... and the emotional issues it anchored.
I chart my progress photographically but I could sense releases rather dramatically, sometimes through a POP and other times through soft melting away of tension but always progressing baby steps at a time.
They demonstrate the amount of release I've managed. Two months ago I was locked up in the thoracic and the pelvic. First the thoracic released, now the pelvic released this past month. I'm going to be concentrating on the cervical this coming month. Wish me luck ... for there are attached 'emotional' issues anchored to each 'bound' area.
I find myself telling this to people more and more in different words. So many people have gotten on the CST? craze that they want to jump in the deep end of the pool, without first taking off all of the rusty armor they've been carrying for years. And even though you may feel accustomed to carrying and wearing that armor, it still puts you on the express route to the bottom, once you jump in the water.
I hear many people saying that they're just starting CST? by 'cleaning the slate' with Warrior Wellness?, and that the only precondition they suffer from is less than ideal mobility/flexibility. Well, who doesn't? That's the whole point of CST?. It's like saying the only thing wrong with your nutrition is that you don't eat regular meals and don't monitor your food choices. There's a lot more going on than may know at this time.
I've been teaching the first CST? Maxim so often now that it's becoming a household phrase: If you want consistent, long-lasting progress, you must clean the slate ... and do so daily! And there isn't one person who has a clean slate!
Not only must you resolve the submerged chains of tension created over the years, but you must offset the effects of daily stresses which will embed if not discharged immediately. Cleaning the Slate is the goal of Deepening your Daily Personal Practice.
Yes, it is possible to train specific goals concurrent with 'cleaning the slate' since through journaling your training we can monitor, assess and address resulting interference from preconditions. However, if you compound preconditions with "cocktailing," then by definition you won't be able to clean the slate. As a result neither your short nor your long term performance will improve to optimum.
What Is "Cocktailing Your Training?" ///CST? Maxim - Cycle or circuit, but don't cocktail.
It's the primary CST? protocol generator: cycle a training program toward achieving a specific physiological goal (endurance, strength, speed, flexibility, mobility, et cetera) with one or two specific exercises over a specific time period to adapt and progress (and craft a scheme appropriately); or create a circuit of exercises performed to tap a particular energy system (in other words, all exercises are performed toward one physiological goal).
However, don't create a 'cocktail' of haphazardly (or fad-determined) exercises with differing (contradictory) physiological goals. In other words, training with no goal in mind gets you nowhere fast. (Caveat: exploration and fun are valid goals, so long as they are 'checked' to prevent overtraining, but you still need 'planned' exploration and 'structured' fun.)
What's Your Plan ///
What is the progression scheme over what period of time to accomplish what goals? If you're just lifting for 'general fitness' then realize that none of this work contributes to the energy system of your events. General Physical Preparedness increases your work capacity in your target activity.
Random, unplanned 'work' will compete and interfere with the development of your specific physical preparedness for your events. If you cocktail, you will squander precious training time and energy - and accumulate overtraining trauma resulting in serious injuries.
Furthermore, even if you're doing multiple activities which tap the same energy system, they'll do this in different patterns through the body. The skills differ, so the musculature activated differs, so the Specific Physical Preparedness will differ: in the same way that racquetball and tennis differ dramatically.
You CAN perform your sports or recreational activities concurrently. I do many activities myself throughout the day, BUT I don't 'train' for them. This is why you need to state specific goals, and concentrate on 'training' for them exclusively. In other words, if you're training for two different activities you need two different sets of goals.
At times two different goals may be integrated, but for the most part, if you intend to benefit from both goals, you must create a PLAN of progressive cycles which culminate in an event, or long term goal: from General to Specific Physical Preparedness, to Sport Specific Training to Mental/Emotional Training - 3DPP's Training Hierarchy Pyramid
Begin by asking yourself the question and honestly answering, "HOW specifically do I clean the slate, and towards what end?" I've provided extensive guidance on how to do this in my new manual: Three Dimensional Physical Preparedness.
You want to prepare for your events and do your best. It's my honor to help you avoid the same mistakes millions of athletes make every day: unplanned training not only COMPETES with your performance, it directly leads to overtraining. In other words, you can't keep doodling on the chalkboard if you want to clean the slate.
Short-Term Success vs. Long-Lasting Development ///
People are in such a rush for immediate results, that they're even willing to sacrifice their health and longevity to achieve them. What few realize is that if you follow the CST? Maxim of Incremental Progression, not only will you achieve your goals with long lasting success, but you will surpass them in ways you couldn't even have predicted or dared hope for!
This is what Active Recovery regards - cleaning the slate. If you shorten or neglect Active Recovery, then slight overtrained effects accumulate rapidly. If you continue to ignore the apparently scattered aches, pains and twinges, you will land yourself in a chronic injury.
And this is how most people live their lives: hurry up and get quick results at a cost) and wait for the injuries to heal. Don't get stuck in, and get out immediately of, the cycle of pursuing immediate results and regressing while your injuries heal.
How many of you have said to yourself the following: "I feel like I finally get the results I want and then WHAM I get hit with another injury. I must be injury-prone or something."
As you get older, it becomes increasingly unlikely that you'll be able to recover from this cycle. This is why for most people as they age, injuries happen more often. You can't escape your own folly.
How Do I Get Out Of The 'Immediate Results - Eventual Injury' Loop? ///
Well that's the purpose of forum. You need to journal your CST? PERSONAL TRAINING PROGRAM. This allows you to monitor when and how you need to 'clean the slate' every day. It allows you to reassess your plan, and adjust your approach so that you meet and exceed your goals. It guarantees that you'll be able to set your near, short- and long-term goals. It also gives you the opportunity to receive feedback for FREE from certified coaches, as well as other enthusiasts.
But most of all, journaling your training commits you to transforming your PLAN into a REALITY! And why do plans fail? Well, there are many reasons, but journaling commits you to monitoring and regulating those reasons ... and redefining your goals so that you do achieve them. Journaling forces you to exercise the most difficult thing of all: restraint.
You can't ignore what you've written. You've tracked your progress and you've committed to your goals. When a behavior doesn't support your achievement of those goals, then you need to change that behavior. The world is full of chronic over-trainers, but you won't find any of them keeping a CST? journal!
I'm honored to invest the time and energy to help you prepare for and achieve your goals. But if you want my help, then you need to listen carefully to the suggestions I offer. There's a process ... and it begins with a plan, and committing to recording your daily cleaning of the slate.
I look forward to reading on the CST Discussion Forum about your fully recovery!