In the “Fundamentals Of Exercise”, we share with you the tools, resources, and knowledge needed to help you live a pain-free athletic lifestyle. Broken down into three parts, follow along at your own pace and leave with a better understanding of the Strength Matters training system.
Why The Five Steps Work
The Strength Matters five steps to living a pain-free athletic lifestyle are different from other health and fitness plans. They go beyond simply treating the symptoms of health and fitness problems like fat loss, strength, cardio, and injuries, and focus on changing your behavior and getting to the real cause of those issues — through a proven, step-by-step plan.
Meet The Founder
After battling his way out of significant back pain and multiple career-ending injuries, James Breese and his team developed the Five Steps as a simple plan they could share with other people over 30 to help them live a pain-free athletic lifestyle too.
Today, almost 10 years later, hundreds of thousands of people have learned how to use the Five Steps to unleash their inner athlete and live the quality of life they’ve always dreamed of. The Fit Over 30 podcast reaches over 50,000 listeners each month, and thousands of people have experienced life-changing results through the Strength Matters personal coaching program.
The Five Steps form the foundation of the Strength Matters common sense approach to health, fitness, and longevity, and are the starting point for anyone ready to change their life from a never-ending cycle of injury and dieting to living a healthy, fulfilling everyday athlete lifestyle.
Get Started With The Five Steps
Follow the plan that has helped thousands of people over 30 live that pain-free athletic lifestyle.
Getting Started Mini-Class
The Fit Over 30 Podcast
A weekly show for people over 30 who want to live a pain-free athletic lifestyle, we combine the winning strategies developed in-house by Strength Matters with those of the world’s leading experts we interview, bringing real-world insight and examples to help you understand how to live that pain-free athletic lifestyle.
Every Journey Begins With A Single Step
If you’ll take that first step, you can achieve anything you want. The Five Steps won’t be easy, but they’re guaranteed to work if you follow them. And we’re here to help every step of the way. But it’s up to you to get started. Are you ready?
Lydia followed the Five Steps to take back control of her health and well-being so that she could be the best role model for her son.
Step 1: Get Medically Cleared To Train
In this first step, the goal is to find out if you are fit, able and ready to train. For most people, physical activity should not pose any problems. However, it’s important to identify the small number of people over 30 for whom physical activity might be inappropriate at this time for or those who may need to seek immediate medical advice.
In order to help establish if you need to seek medical advice, we’ve compiled a list of questions you should answer honestly. If you answer YES to any of the questions below, we HIGHLY recommend seeking medical advice and clearance from a licensed medical professional before continuing. Your health and well-being is our #1 priority.
Please answer Yes/No to the following questions:
Are you pregnant?
Do you suffer from any joint pain?
Do you suffer from or have you experienced any kind of chest pain?
Has your doctor ever said that you have a heart condition and that you should only do physical activity that has been approved?
Do you ever lose balance during normal daily activities, suffer from dizziness or ever lose consciousness?
Are you currently taking any prescriptions for blood pressure or a heart condition?
Can you locomote your body really quickly (sprint) over a distance of about 30 meters WITHOUT experiencing acute pain anywhere?
From a standing position, please touch your belly to the floor then stand back up again. Then touch your back to the floor and stand back up again. Did you experience any pain whatsoever anywhere in your body?
Staring at a fixed point, can you balance on one leg for at least 15 seconds?
Do think there is any chance that participating in physical activity could cause pain or further injury?
If you answered YES to any of the questions above, we highly recommend seeking professional medical advice before starting any fitness program or routine before continuing to Step 2. If you answered NO, please continue to Step 2.
Step 2: Address The Six Pillars Of Health And Longevity
In our opinion, if the six pillars of health and longevity are present in everyone’s daily lives, all health and fitness goals would be relatively straightforward, and life expectancy would rise. Managing these pillars comes before any fitness programming because, without them, success in reaching any fitness goal is inconsistent, slow and temporary. Step 2 is a never-ending journey, this is the key to a pain-free athletic lifestyle and
With the exception of having to spend a little more money on good quality foods, all of the habits below are completely free. There you have it, our solution to modern day health care crisis in the western world and adding 20 – 30 years onto the national life expectancy 🙂 The real trick, however, is not knowing what you should do, but helping you adopt these new daily habits.
Walk: Aim to walk 10,000 steps every day
Drink Water: Aim for 2.5 liters/88oz every day
Rest: Sleep 7 – 9 hours per night
Food: Make sensible food choices that aren’t governed by emotion or impulse
Breathe: Spend up to ten minutes a day on focussed diaphragmatic breathing
Joint Health: Spend ten to twenty minutes a day bringing every joint to its end range of motion
Step 3: Complete The Strength Matters Assessments
It’s important to not only monitor your fitness levels today but to set goals, and try to improve upon your fitness levels in the future. How can you do that? Well, you use the Strength Matters Assessment System to test your movement, strength, and cardiovascular abilities to establish a baseline and monitor progress over time.
Meeting people at their current ability level is key to long-term health and fitness success and we created a simple self-assessment system to make it possible to prescribe suitable workouts and Programs for people of all ages and all abilities.
As humans, we naturally default to training our strengths. We like activities that we’re good at. They’re fun! However, let’s consider the bigger picture. If the goal is to be able to handle anything that day-to-day life throws at us and to be able to move well as we age, avoid breaking and still be able to lift things up, we need to look beyond our strengths. We need to break old habits, get out of the chair and think outside of the gym.
There are a number of components that make up complete athleticism and we are only as useful or as strong as our weakest link. The Strength Matters system is first a series of simple self-assessments that anybody can replicate in their own home or gym. The assessments serve to help identify weak links within the whole organism.
The assessments are based on the ten components of complete athleticism and broken down into three layers. Each individual layer is tested and you receive a score of either “Rookie”, “Explorer” or “Pro”.
For example, layer one is a series of fourteen simple self-assessments that paints a general picture of an everyday athlete’s level of balance, coordination, mobility, and stability. If a “Rookie” score is achieved on any one test, they would not be issued the layer 2 self-assessments. That’s it: you are officially a Rookie. In order to achieve long-term success in their endeavors, they must focus on their mobility, stability and balance issues.
The same rules then apply to layer two and then layer three. It’s all about identifying your weaknesses and then training them for long-term success.
Step 4: Train Your Weaknesses And Track Progress
The first step toward correcting any problem is admitting you have one. It’s important you look at your assessment results with an unbiased eye and create a training plan suitable for your own personal needs. Our proven system is about identifying and training your weaknesses to make the whole body more athletic in the long term.
For example, if you achieve a “Rookie” score on any one of the layer one tests, you need to follow a “Rookie” type program to address your imbalances in mobility, stability and balance and coordination. If you reach the Layer Two tests and score “Pro” on strength, but “Rookie” on Cardio you need to address your cardiovascular imbalances.
The Strength Matters training system is designed for people who buy into our concept of training weaknesses to make the whole organism more athletic in the long term. People still come to us with short-term goals, but it’s our prerogative to help you find and visualize a long-term goal that’s not at the expense of your health and longevity.
When performance is measured, performance improves. When performance is measured and reported, the rate of improvement accelerates.” — Thomas S. Monson”
One of the MOST important things you can do for your health and fitness is being held accountable and tracking your progress. The American Society of Training and Development (ASTD) did a study on accountability and found that you have a 65% chance of completing a goal if you commit to someone. And if you have a specific accountability appointment to track progress with a person you’ve committed to, you will increase your chance of success by up to 95%.
Step 4 is about putting specific structures and systems in place to measure and record your progress. Building and using a tracking and accountability plan within your fitness regime will dramatically improve your chances of success.
In the Layer Two assessments, we track pull-up performance. In the figure below, you can see how our member, Andrew, plateaued for a number of months with his pull-ups, but by monitoring his progress we were able to make the changes needed for him to improve. Then, by the third round of assessments, he progressed from 2 full reps to 6 because of the recommendations we made.
Step 5: Graduate To Pro Level And Maintain For Life
Step 5 is the big one! There’s only one more thing standing in the way of you and your pain-free athletic lifestye—graduation to pro level. Can you imagine your life – with no aches and pains – and an athletic body ready and able to handle anything life throws at you?
Think of this part of your journey to pain-free athletic freedom as a marathon. Your perseverance and good habits got you here, so keep setting goals and keep working hard to achieve pro level. Don’t let up now, you’re so close! Step 5 is the last step but by far the most fun – and we’re not stopping now!
Do you know what pro-level everyday athletes can do? Anything they want!
And when you have reached your own health and fitness goals, maybe it will be time to help someone else get started on their own everyday athlete journey…?