Sunday, June 15, 2014

Move Better, Feel Better, Live Better

By Andrew McGunagle

Having worked in a commercial gym for nearly a year now, I've become acquainted with how average gym-goers view and approach exercise. There are a variety of strongly rooted misconceptions that cause people to do some inefficient, hazardous, and bizarre things during their weekly workouts. In addition to these erroneous beliefs, the overwhelming majority of individuals have no idea how to lift correctly using the safest, strongest techniques. Combine this lack of awareness with an otherwise sedentary lifestyle and the psychological stresses of modern living, and you've got a population unable to explore the wondrous facets of their physical existence. Instead, they often remain stuck in a cycle of pain, injury, and stagnation.

I consider myself a strength, movement, and behavior coach. I provide individuals with blueprints for beautiful movement, and I help them problem solve as they construct proper patterns. Once a fundamental mastery is established, we train these crisp new movements and work towards experiencing the perfect moments that accompany notable personal records. The initial awkwardness of this re-patterning process can be a frustrating affront to the individual's sense of self, and I do my best to help the wonderful people I work with see the forest of the training process through the fallen trees of pervasively poor movement habits. Emerging from chronically substandard movement and soon thereafter hoisting previously unrealistic poundages is an accomplishment I've yet to see produce anything less than joyful appreciation.

The gym should be a practice field, a playground, and a self-exploratorium. Instead of mindlessly churning towards vague body composition goals, most everyone would be better off turning their attention to performance. Working towards workouts where elegant and powerful demonstrations of basic human movements - such as squatting, hinging, pressing, and pulling - become a fulfilling aspect of daily life is the ideal route for the average non-athlete. Too many people tune out as they churn their hamster wheels and stare into bright screens, and they don't realize that they're missing out on an incredible opportunity to live more consciously and experience life more fully. Rather than running towards your vision of a leaner, better future, realize that now is the time to begin exploring, expanding, and enjoying your physical capacities. 

With proper coaching, anyone can internalize the skills necessary to move great, feel better, and lift for life. Combine this movement education with some nutrition guidance and adherence, and basic body recomposition becomes a time-dependent absolute rather than a series of fruitless affairs. I'm writing this because I know that exercising better can change lives, and I want to change the world. Spreading awareness starts with the lucky, passionate few who happened to stumble towards a better way of doing certain things, and it is the responsibility of those individuals to pass the info on and humbly ask that each newly aware individual do the same. Work towards moving better and getting strong, and help your friends see the value in doing the same, and soon we'll all see a population ripe with good health and happiness.

Thanks for reading!

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