Friday, May 04, 2007

Training is the Source

Everything I know about training and the body I know because I tried it out for real in the gym and on my body. Of course I have read and studied and learned from many great books ,coaches and teacher. I was tempted to go down the academic road but instead chose the "race track" as the good Dr Hatfield called competition and real training. The proof of the pudding is in the eating and I have to keep remembering and relearning this as I go down this road and the landscape continually changes.

My clients gets the benefits of all my injuries and attempts at rehab. Once something is tweaked I get DRIVEN to figure it out, open it up, get it back to normal. Or at least what passes for normal at any given moment :)) As fast as possible.

ANd since the next step off a peak is always down if you plan on scaling any heights you better get good and learing how to fix things yourself. At least a little bit.
Chiros and masseurs are great but you better be able to do some basics or its gonna be an even slower trip, anywhere.

Once something tweaks or locks up I stretch or work on the area from the moment I get up til I go to sleep. And sometimes when it wakes me up in the night then too.

But the real work comes when I am done working and can fully relax as I stretch things out.Strething at work is maintenance at best. As Pavel said you must "relax into stretch' and it takes a lot of focus to actually relax everything. Especially when it's in pain.Or at least it does for me. But the more I move and open it up the faster it heals. Not moving it keeps things hurt and tight MUCH longer. SOmetimes forever.

My left leg and knee got pretty tight this last weekend and its taken me til today to get some of the looseness back. It brought back the bad old days three years ago when I was seriously contemplating knee replacment. Vioxx was off the market, I could barely get off the floor with a crane and my knee hurt, bad, with every step.

When my calf and hammie tighten up it twists my already torqued knee and 'she just won't take no weight,captain'.Not fun.ANd getting it open, once it really locks up, takes some serious time and brought back just how much bodywork and stretching I had to do,everyday, to get things even close to normal and with less big pain.
Of course 3 years ago,just daily walking would bring that much pain and now I could race through airports, be on my feet for 15 yours a day and demo kbs all day long too with minimal upkeep to keep that pace. Course, as with everything, there ain't no free lunch and its been payback time all week.

LOTS of the adhesions and locked muscle is in my soleus, gastroc and peroneals ; once that ankle locks up the tensions and restrictions go right up the chain. Left too long this will make my back hurt too as I will not be walking square. So it's 'however long it takes" to thump, stretch and massage it out and make human flesh of that side of beef jerky that is my left leg.

I can see the calf is the new territory to conquer , I can really see how its holding my knee ROM back and is the source of most of my knee pain right now.

But I can see the painfree light ahead though and I realize just how far I've come in three years since I got my RKC.It blows me away and I will do my swing workout tomorrow and be back on track in less than a week. Not bad. I just have to keep training and keep listening to what the body is telling me. Keep building the base and expanding my work capacity as well as my mobility.

To get what you really want, in terms of athletic, fitness or, really any goal ,one must do ,or at least try, whatever is necessary to accomplish that goal or you can't really bitch about not having it, imo.Once you figure out what it takes, you then have to figure out if it's worth it to you to do what it takes.Many times , when people really are truthful with themselves , they are NOT willing to do it. That's ok, just don't pretend. Many times the price is too high. Set a smaller goal.

And if you are willing to do it,whether it's stretch as much as necessary to get loose, or lift as much as necessary to get strong, the best thing I've heard is:

"Yard by yard is hard; Inch by inch is a cinch"

This could be my training philosophy. Small bites.

I have to take bending this knee more seriously as well as opening up the calf.


about two hours of RIFGA stretching, spread out from 4 am- 4 pm.
More to come.


taikei said...

I don't recall my last visit to orthopedics but probably over 15 years ago. They were the first one to insist "quit whatever(sport exercise) you are doing", even for sprained ankle.

I agree, injuries taught me many things. I still can't describe how I managed to cure though.

Mark Reifkind said...

for a very long time I take what most docs say huge grain of salt. they only see one very small part of the picture. they know alot about fixing broken object but very little about how those object fit into the grand scheme fo the body and how it works.
I have had the 'opportunity' to have to leanr how to 'cure' things,at least until it shifts again, as I have had so many 'issues'.many learning opportunities.
the body iheals,sometimes the docs just flat out forget that.

Aaron Friday said...

Mark, that was an interesting and thought-provoking entry. I really appreciated reading it.

Especially this paragraph, which I find most instructive:
Many times, when people really are truthful with themselves, they are NOT willing to do it. That's ok, just don't pretend. Many times the price is too high. Set a smaller goal.

I've never regretted quitting something when the decision came after an honest assessment. Sometimes, things just cease to be engaging or useful. I'm getting much more comfortable letting go.

On the other hand, anything that sparks my interest is worth at least a look-see and an attempt. Achievement has nothing to do with it for me anymore (thank God). I just want to spend time doing things that are satisfying.

I spent 10 min. with the KB this morning. Felt great. My goal for tomorrow is to do it again.

Mark Reifkind said...


thanks for the thoughtful comment.afterw coaching and teaching for so many years I find that many people hold back really going after what they 'say' they want to achieve so that when it doesnt happen they can say' well, I didnt really put everything into it; if I had I would have done it'
it's much more difficult, psychologically, to put your ALL into something then fail, knowing you held nothing back and that you still couldnt do it.

and yet I feel this is the real way to grow and find out many things about where you are, what you can do and how tough something really is for you.

so many adults are really just big children, using magical thinking and deluding themselves as to what it is they want, the price of that,and whether they are willing to pay the cost.

One of the biggest benefits of serious training( not just exercising) are the opportunities for increasing conciousness and awareness on many levels.another reason I love the kb: it forces you to concentrate and be in the "now" of the moment,very similar to gymnastics to me. You cant dissassociate while you are throwing around big chunks of metal.
hey I took the zma last night and had very vivid

Aaron Friday said...

One of the biggest benefits of serious training (not just exercising) are the opportunities for increasing conciousness and awareness on many levels.

Understood. I got a big lesson in this when I started boxing. For some reason, mentally retreating into my "happy place" made things even less happy for me.

I don't do much sparring anymore, but get a similar focus from shooting handguns. You are simply not allowed to check out when handling loaded guns.

I expect to see you at my door soon to redeem my soul.

Geoff Neupert said...

Even though I'm 16 years younger than you, it seems as if I've walked an almost identical path with regards to injury and rehab: figure it out yourself.

Great thoughts on goal setting.

Here's something for you to mill around in that melon of yours: The arthrokinetic reflex is the reflex which causes muscles surrounding any given joint to become inhibited due to [excessive] joint compression. Therefore, how much soft tissue work really needs to be done and how much is joint related work? Also, the hands and the feet are HUGE sources of chronic tension, especially for power athletes, former power athletes, strength athletes former strength athletes, runners, former runners (hey, I think you might fit some of those categories...) so spending time on opening/moving the joints in those areas will alleviate stress (muscle tightness) in other areas of the body. Otherwise, like all good western medical professionals, you are treating symptoms (muscle tightness/spasm) and not root causes. Remember, tension AND relaxation. Stretching in and thru pain doesn't promote relaxation: quite the opposite--more tension.

Mark Reifkind said...


exactly. shooting guns, swinging around a bar, fighting with a person or a 500 pound barbell or a 53 lb kettlebell DEMAND that you pay attention. I like that.

Your soul is already on the mend, I heard you are now the owner of your own 24 kg kb. thats all you need.

Mark Reifkind said...

geoff I hear ya but as you said, you gotta go with what works. Many times,hell MANY TIMES, I have no idea why something works only that it does. Until it doesnt and then I have to tweak it, retool it or throw it out completely and rethink and refeel the process once again.
I like to think I am always going mainly forward, and less and less sideways as I go ahead.

when I went to chiros they said the same thing: put the joint back in the place and the muscle will release. Personally I have found it much more successfull to got through the muscle to get to the joint.

If I articulate the joint and dont address the scar tissue adhesions and spasm then it just pulls the joint out again.

I have gotten MANY things to 'stay put' with this method,especially combined with the right special/corrective exercise for that point in time( eg, stick press for my shoulder)..
ANd when I am stretching I stay out of pain but when I am doing bodywork I dont necessarily care if it hurts if it breaks up the tissue and gets it to stop flexing.

I also have to stretch the right things. My knee went back in when I stopped just stretching my hammies and calves and also stertching the hell out of my quad.

It wasn't firing so I thought it wasnt tight. Mistake.
Remember too that the knee only bends 90 degress and this presents very different mechanics, compensations and referrals than joints that have all or almost all ROM.

Royce said...

Inch by inch, I goota kep that one up front in my head!!