Wednesday, March 21, 2012

My issue with "movement matters"

"Movement matters" is a slogan that has been going around the industry for a while now, but I can't help the feeling that we're missing something every time I read it.

I love the fact that for the most part the fitness industry has moved from two groups, "fitness matters" and "muscles matters", to one group "movement matters". This has been reflected in the transition away from the machines towards the free weight world. This is a fantastic step for the standard gym goer. Learning, re-learning or simply perfecting simple movements like a hip hinge, squat, push or pull pattern is what most people need to spend their time doing in the gym. Once you have a good movement pattern, you then challenge it so that it won't break down under duress. By figuring out what's the most important thing, and training that, everything down stream will be affected. Therefore, people who train movement will be training muscles if they load the movement (heavy deadlift). Likewise they'll train fitness if they do it for duration (light kettlebell swings).

The problem is, "movement" isn't top dog. We're focusing on the wrong thing. Just like when we moved from training your pecs and triceps to training a pushing pattern we moved one step up in the ladder. But there's another step, and for some reason we stopped climbing.

"Central nervous system matters" or simply "CNS matters". Train the CNS and you'll train everything downstream. And everything is downstream of the CNS; "cardio", "muscles" and especially "movement" training. Train the CNS effectively and everything else will get trained.

This is why the name of Grey Cook's book annoys me, and the phrase "train movement, not muscles" annoys me. Come on people, I mean, I'm a relative newbie to the field and even I get that this is BS. Everything we do in the gym, just like anything any other health care practitioner does, should be all about affecting a change in the CNS.

This is why breathing matters. Its why joint centration matters. It's why we train specific movements like a hip hinge for god's sake!!! It's all CNS training.

Muscle growth, posture, power development, pain, endurance...I don't care what it is. If we want to make any changes we've got to have a specific way to affect the CNS. If we do a good job of that all the other changes that need to take place simply will.

It's all about the CNS. That, and psychology. Yes, "movement matters", but it's only one small part of the picture. Step back and refocus.

1 comment:

  1. Excellent post Cian, well said and to the point! Hard to argue with that.

    Indeed CNS training is important, and something to consider at all stages (learning, maintenance and fatigue) understanding the ramifications each one has on the body's ability to perform, cope and adapt is key to any training program.

    I like where you're heading with this....