Thursday, May 7, 2020

Compared to who - Part 1 Why?

Compared to who - Part 1 Why?

Asking fit for what helps narrow the field.
Asking what does that mean will yield specific attributes.
Asking what does that look like should provide specific obtainable skills and abilities.

The next question then is compared to who?

Why ask compared to who?

Asking compared to who helps provides an objective means to determine if you are becoming more fit.  Regardless of what your specific definition of fit is.  This will be a key stage in setting reasonable goals and developing an action plan to reach those goals.

This is your “fit for”, so obviously very specific to you.  However we can use a general “fit for” personal protection as a template.  I will include worksheets you can adapt to your needs.

Bench pressing your body weight doesn't necessarily make you better at personal protection, and you may never reach that goal.  However, consistently striving to achieve that goal will make you stronger than you were before and strong people are generally harder to kill.

You can not obtain perfection, but in chasing perfection you can achieve excellence.

There are a few basic human motions required for any athletic endeavor.  Whatever your fit for is.


Looking at your fit for through the spectrum of basic motion makes quantifying your fit for easier.

It might look something like this

Fit For What?...
  • Personal Protection / Professional Use Of Force

Define that (what does that mean?)

  • Strong
  • Moves well 
  • Technically skilled
  • Endurance / gas tank 

What does that look like?

  • Strong
    • Power (1 Rep Max)
    • Muscular Endurance (Max reps in one minute)
    • Functional strength (ability to transfer these attributes to practical skills)

Power (1 Rep Max)
  • Push
    • (Away) Bench Press
    • (Above) Over Head Press
  • Pull
    • (Toward) Row
  • Hinge
  • Squat
  • Core

Knowing how much weight you can move in these fundamental motions for one repetition is an objective measure of one aspect of your fitness.

Clearly the percentage of your body weight you can move through these motions has different importance based on your goals.

Anything over 5 reps is cardio.  If that is your fit for that is fine but more than likely you will need a more well rounded athleticism to accomplish your goals.  How long can you sustain effort?

Muscular Endurance (Max reps in one minute)

  • Push
    • (Away) Push up
  • Pull
    • (Up / Climb) Chin Up / Pull Up
  • Hinge
    • Toe Touch
  • Squat
    • Air Squats
  • Core
    • Sit Ups

Knowing how many repetitions of these fundamental motions you can achieve in one minute is another objective measure of your fitness.  Giving you a broader perspective of how fit you are.

If you can dead lift twice your body weight but you can't do 3 pull ups that should probably be addressed in your action plan.  Same goes if you can knock out 15 pull ups but can’t pull your body weight dead lifting.

So let's say you can dead lift twice your body weight and do 15 pull ups.  That is pretty kick ass!  However, if you can do those things but you can’t bend over and tie your shoelaces, are you fit for whatever your fit for is? 

Moves Well (Mobility)
  • Push
    • Shoulder Movement
  • Pull
    • T Spine Rotation
  • Hinge
    • Hamstrings
  • Squat
    • Quads
  • Core
    • T Spine Extension

What do those exercise names mean? Myron Cossitt of THE MOVEMENT LAB has developed a mobility testing method and training program for the Life Dynamics project. Those terms are short hand for the ideas Myron has shared with me, which I will share in depth in future blogs

Knowing how well you can move through these fundamental motions is yet another objective measure of your fitness.  Giving you an even deeper perspective of how fit you are.

OK, so now you can dead lift twice your body weight, do 15 pull ups, and you can place your palms on the ground with out bending your knees when you bend at the waist - Awesome!!!

Next question...
Can you apply those attributes that you are kick ass at to the skills / abilities of your fit for?

Functional Strength (ability to transfer these attributes to practical skills)

  • Push
    • (Away) Medicine Ball Throw - shot put
    • (Away) Sandbag accordion press
    • (Above) Over Head Press rope weighted drag
  • Pull
    • (Toward) rope pull weighted drag
  • Hinge
    • Sandbag power clean
  • Squat
    • Sled work - weighted push  / pull behind
  • Core
    • Sandbag shoulder and slam
    • Thor’s Hammer

Functional strength is general physicality as opposed to specific muscle groups.  Compound motions.  Not skill specific but should have a direct correlation to enhanced skill performance.  This should incorporate strength, strength endurance, mobility, and include the use of different cardiovascular energy systems.

What motions mimic / are related to the physical skills required for your fit for?
What motions mimic / are related to your physical personal protection skills?

Technically skilled
  • Striking
  • Take downs
  • Ground Skills
  • Counter Assault

Alright, you can dead lift twice your body weight, do 15 pull ups. You can also place your palms on the ground with out bending your knees when you bend at the waist, and throw a punch that would knock out a bull.  Very impressive!!!

However, if you have to run a block you feel like your heart is going to explode and you want to die.

Next question...
Do you have the stamina to apply the skills / abilities needed for your fit for, for the amount of time your fit for requires?

Endurance / Gas Tank
  • ATP / Max Effort : 30 seconds to 3 minutes :                                                          
    • Ability to recover and buffer the shutdown point.
      • 500m Row For Time
      • 800m Run For Time
  • Glycolytic / Hard Effort : 3 minutes to 15 minutes :                                                  
    • Ability to hold under the failure/shutdown point. (Get there fast and hold it)
      • 2000m Row For Time
      • 1 Mile Run For Time
  • Oxidative / Sustained Effort : 16 minutes plus :                                              
    • Ability to hold a steady and consistent pace and come as close to recovering while moving as possible
      • 5km Row For Time
      • 5km Run For Time

At my oldest daughter's Volley Ball try outs they ran a timed 2 mile run. That fits in the oxidative / sustained effort : 16 minutes plus category. However, Volley Ball primarily consists of sprinting 2-5 yards to return the serve, and a lot of explosive jumping. Volley Ball's primary skills fall into the ATP / max effort : 30 seconds to 3 minutes category.

The fit they were testing for had very little to do with what they needed to be fit for.

To help avoid these type of pit falls...

The Budo Blog will return with "Compared to who - Part 2 How?"

Until then - train hard, train smart, be safe.

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