A person who trains with the intention of being able to handle anything that everyday life throws at them.
A person who trains with the goal of improving the quality of life they will have when they reach 80 years old.
A Proven Training System For Everyday Athletes
When we’re 80 years old and beyond, wouldn’t it be nice to be powerful and agile enough to break a fall or leap out of the way of incoming danger? Who doesn’t want to be able to join the grandchildren (or grandnieces and grandnephews) on a trail hike or a game of Frisbee? How about being able to put our own luggage in the overhead locker on an airplane indefinitely? Wouldn’t it be a feat to maintain our ability to locomote from A to B until the day we die?
Unfortunately, most of the adult population in the UK and USA are completely sedentary. We pulled the following stats from a number of UK and USA government websites. This is how Strength Matters places these findings on a scale of athleticism.
Fig. 1 Scale Of Athleticism
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 body.
In order to come up with these tests, we first identified the following ten components that make up complete fitness. We realize people and organizations have been doing a similar thing for many decades, but with the everyday athlete in mind, this is the way that makes the most sense to us. In no particular order:
The Hierarchy Of Athletic Development
Next, we considered which of the ten components might be more important than others. This lead to our Hierarchy of Athletic Development.
Mental resilience is a master quality that’s required to make any significant progress in all areas.
Training for power is fruitless and risky without a base layer of strength. Training for endurance is mostly ineffective without a certain degree of cardiovascular capacity and strength. Adding load to a movement to train strength is a big no-no if the movement pattern can’t be performed slowly with no load. Training for cardiovascular capacity by means of any modality (running, rowing, cycling, jump roping, flywheel bike) is asking for injury unless a foundation of mobility, stability and balance are present.
Of course, this begs a few questions:
- How do I know if I am mobile or stable enough to train for strength?
- How good should my balance be before being prescribed a locomotive program and how do I measure it?
- How strong is strong enough to be able to train for power without risking injury?
- How powerful or agile is “enough” for humans of all ages?
To tackle these questions, we collected opinions from several highly respected industry professionals who have buckets of practical experience working with everyday people. For scalability, it was necessary to create categories that any result would fit into. These categories are Rookie, Explorer, and Pro. But what does that mean?
We developed a self-assessment system that enables an everyday person to measure their ability within each area. The assessments are reproducible by people at home with no anatomical knowledge and little body awareness, and with reasonable accuracy. They are also safe. For instance, we’re not going to ask someone to test their power if they can’t perform basic human movements, hence the 3-layer assessment system was created.
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?