Size versus movement is a common war in many mainstream gyms; size is number one priority over movement. In Layman’s terms: it doesn’t matter if you can’t move well as long as you’re carrying loads of mass.
Now I’m not here to tell anyone they should train using a style they don’t want to, but I definitely think exercise should enhance one’s quality of movement, not hinder it. ‘Bigorexia’ is the term used on social media for guys who are never muscular enough in their own eyes. Obviously everyone has their own standards when it comes to what’s huge and what’s scrawny.
As muscle size isn’t quantifiable, I think we could argue that movement standards are. Any movement deficits we create from training can definitely reduce our quality of life through compromised movement.
Examples of this are the guys whose shoulders always hurt because their pec minor is so tight, or the people whose lower backs kill them because their pelvis is so anteriorly rotated. What about those with a real lack of hip external rotation, such that they can’t do any knee bending moves without pain?
It’s no way to live and more often than not it’s down to a lack of sensible training or even functional training.
And for clarification, ‘functional training’ to me doesn’t constitute being able to curl dumbbells on a bosu ball while in a one legged squat. My definition of functional training is the ability to move through greater ranges of motion without restriction, pain or faulty movement patterns.
This is not functional training. This is ‘enter-Training’.
It’s not an absolute law but usually when people end up with pain in the common areas, it’s because of tightness somewhere in the nearby areas – a movement deficit.
Training like a meathead all the time is fun and cool when you’re young but when you are older and you feel the toll on the body, you start to realise there’s more to life than sheer size. Being able to teach your kids cool moves, having good posture into old age, being able to run fast, lift reasonable amounts of weight and move your body through space is the recipe for defying age and health degeneration.
Appreciable amounts of muscle mass are an ingredient for anti-aging too, although not the amount where clothes won’t fit you and using toilets become difficult.
In summary: Try and think about what you’re doing with your training. Keep the program balanced. Never disrespect the ability to move. I have a post coming soon all about standards of movement and mobility – and how to achieve them, including possible causes.
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