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Become Like Water…

Become Like Water…

“You must be shapeless, formless, like water. When you pour water in a cup, it becomes the cup. When you pour water in a bottle, it becomes the bottle. When you pour water in a teapot, it becomes the teapot. Water can drip and it can crash. Become like water my friend.” Bruce Lee

It’s been about 12 years since I stepped foot on a mat, whether it was for Brazilian jujitsu, Japanese jujitsu or Muay Thai training. Now in that time I never really count the once in awhile here and there because that’s not real training, nor a distinct dedication to the arts. In 2004 I left Perth Australia with a heavy heart, a lot of training under my belt, a few competitions and some lifelong friends. She was a beautiful country with truly blessed experiences that brought me back to where I felt the most comfortable and confident in; on the mat.

I think of the above quote and I realize that interpretations can be made from many directions, but I choose to compare it to my own journey. Life is about transitions, going with the flow, not stifling your creativity or listening to those that will stop your growth. We’re a river that gets veered by rocks and trees and all other types of obstacles in life. Sometimes we hit a dam and our lives become pooled, stagnant and the flow simply stops; but our passion like a wave can get stronger, the river rises and we break those dams.

Needless to say I’ve been training a year now in full contact karate doing Renbukai under Kyoshi Verlin Koch. Our school is also affiliated to Koryu Uchinadi, a functional style of karate with it’s style more focused on self defence. Now here’s the part that you hear so much slack for on the internet; I also do ‘online’ BJJ training due to my life’s time constraints… Like I said, never let the naysayers get you down, and just keep flowing in the direction that brings happiness to your life. Martial Arts makes me happy, and some day I’d like to create a fantastic venue where strength and conditioning is paired with martial arts, but first my river needs to keep flowing, keep learning it’s route and creating new routes.

I need to keep learning the martial arts I love, keep learning self defence, just keep learning. It’s so enriching to become inspired again, understanding positions, techniques, movement. Transitioning movements from exercise to a specific sport I love. I’m 43 years old and I’m willing to start from square one and pour myself back into the same journey I was in 12 years ago. Funny how rivers fork like a parallel universe and yet we can find that path once again; never say never.

If someday I have children, the purest advice I can give them is never stop learning. Never close your mind to a subject. Don’t let a peer reviewed article tell you it’s the way, there may be ten saying otherwise. Be the journey you want to be, be the inspiration you need to be; become like water my friends…

Franco Gomez  Become Like Water... IMG 1102

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Are goals the basis for assessments? Or assessments the basis to your goals?

350755_Vitruvian-robot-tattoo_620 are goals the basis for assessments? or assessments the basis to your goals? Are goals the basis for assessments? Or assessments the basis to your goals? 350755 Vitruvian robot tattoo 620Recently this past weekend I was privy to doing my Functional Movement Screen (FMS) Certification Level 1 and 2, and being amongst my peers was not only fun but very inspirational. I looked around the room with such admiration at the variety of education and backgrounds all coming together to learn what it takes to help people move better, move often, and just simply move. As most of those who know me, know that my motto is ‘Performance is for Life.’ I always iterate that performance is not just at the elite level but rather in all walks of life! What people don’t understand in this day and age though is that performance at all levels will fail you if you’re not moving properly.

I want you to close your eyes and imagine yourself in a long white smock as you’re building your first Robot! Think of it’s brain as a computer and it’s body is a steel mechanism of moving parts. This robot is run electrically through the wiring from signals sent from the computer to move the robot’s joints and parts. The computer sends signals to keep the joints oiled and lubricated so that the robot learns to move freely with out obstructions, creaking, or the steel body binding. The computer learns motor patterns so that the robot can move efficiently, and effectively within its tasks. But more importantly, the robot now begins to understand movement as it’s artificial intelligence continues to learn all the patterns necessary to strive in this world.

Ok now take that robot which you just took the time to teach movement within the span of it’s short life, and sit him in a chair for 8 to 10 hours a day. Now you’re noticing the robot is a little slower at moving and there’s a little more steel sounding movements due to the oil in the joints drying up and collecting dust. The robot’s body isn’t looking very shiny anymore, and instead starting to collect the odd rusty specs of dust here and there. Also because of the lack of usage you find that for some reason the wiring from the computer isn’t firing signals fast enough or none at all and the steel in the joints are starting to bind a little so the robot isn’t moving very efficiently throughout it’s daily tasks.

You wonder and study the problems and you try rewiring, and you reset the computer and nothing seems to be happening; you’ve broken the robot… The human body spent the first half of it’s existence or more moving. As you’ve heard before we were hunters, gatherers, warriors, etc. and for this last third of human history we’ve become more and more sedentary. Our careers demand hours and hours of sitting around in front of the computer typing, mouse surfing, reading and all other wonderful things that our borne of our jobs. We are now that broken robot but the difference is we are slowly learning how to reset that computer, we are learning mobility drills, flexibility exercises, myofascial release, and so many other fantastic techniques that are putting us back together. Unfortunately in this society We just have to want to move more then wanting to move at any cost!

Lately we’ve been living in the world of low attention spans and high regard for social media and all the poisonous fruit that comes off that tree. Things like 30 day challenges that push the metabolic envelope to sickness, promises of beautiful bodies at the cost of your health and general mobility and let’s not get started on the nutrition fads; that’s a Blog in itself! I was once asked by a very important man from a company I was working at if I just took down people’s goals and built programs for them to work on. I just gave him a blank stare and told him that goals are secondary to me if the people can’t move properly. I need to see how they move and find out what weaknesses lie within and why. I need to see people’s asymmetries and distinguish what sort of corrective exercises need to be applied and how, I also need to assess their strengths so that I can formulate a few of their goals into a program as well to compliment the fixes needed to move better.

This is why I felt that the Functional Movement Screen (FMS) was an important tool to add to my arsenal, and this is why I still feel that those 7 simple movements in the screen can tell so much about a person and what lies within. This past weekend working with friends and colleagues just reaffirmed that I’m on the right path. Clients don’t need to lose 50lbs tomorrow, they need to lose 50lbs intelligently through a program that incorporates their strengths, considers their asymmetrical issues, compliments their weaknesses but still is able to challenge them physically. I always say, ‘do the exercise right and not only will it be harder but will also make you stronger.’ The fitness world is starting to follow in the elite footsteps and move towards function and specificity, and I believe that the the Functional Movement Screen is a great starting block in assessing a client, so that they can get to their goals in healthy fashion. Well friends, I hope I was able to open your eyes like mine were this past weekend; and now for my next assessment; stay functional (healthy) my friends…

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Oct

04th

Uncategorized

Simple Rules To Programming

images-1 Simple Rules To Programming Simple Rules To Programming images 1

Simple Rules To Programming

Interesting isn’t it but with the inundation of workout fads, DVD’s, magazines, phone apps and philosophies it’s hard to understand why it’s still not a simple task for the general population to figure out a program. Ok so everyone wants the secret to the six pack, or those elusive wonderfully tight glutes, and even a pair of great biceps!

The reality is that in this article you will get a little of what COGO Fitness + Performance’ training philosophy is and for those that want a hand learning a little about how to program on your own. Before I start I want to dispel a few things that people constantly use in training and where we at COGO differ. Generally people like to train body parts where we prefer to train movement. People train core with crunches, sit ups or V-twists we prefer planks, anti-rotational cable work, or hip dominated med ball work as a few examples. The reason we stay away from specific body part training is because the human body doesn’t move in one plane rather many planes of motion. Also to add insult to injury (no pun intended) working one body part at a time generally causes imbalances in muscles and joints that lead to overuse injuries such as tendonitis, crepitus, impingements or joint ruptures.

Ok ladies and gentlemen, here are a few rules we use at COGO Fitness + Performance to program for you, but more so influenced by how a body moves, and the technique necessary for this movement:

1. Big muscles before small muscles, for example back, chest, or legs come before your biceps, triceps, or calves
2. Joint mobility/stability (depending on the joint), core stability and muscular strength and flexibility, which means full range of motion in all movements.
3. CORE, CORE, CORE, CORE and stop doing CRUNCHES!!!
4. Hip hinge movements such as squats, deadlifts, reverse lunges, etc.
5. Knee stability such as a split squat
6. Vertical push or pull such as shoulder press, single arm kettlebell press, pull ups, or different pull down variations.
7. Horizontal push and pull, like a bench press, or cable row
8. All upper body push/pull variations vertical or horizontal must be led with a scapular retraction or in layman terms, squeeze those shoulder blades low.

Well there you have it, turn some of those workouts into a superset, and you now know our secrets, or do you? the hard truth is there’s obviously more to this depending on mobility issues, sport specifics, or simply what your goals are that you want to achieve. In the mean time I hope that this might be a good start to learning how to program, rather than running your old high school program for the guys or being so confused in the gym that you run to the nearest Zumba class for the ladies. We at COGO Fitness want you to ask as many questions as you can because the more we teach the more education you’ll want; we don’t benefit from keeping secrets rather we benefit from sharing what we know. Remember that performance is for life and in the mean time;

Stay healthy my friends…

Franco Gomez

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