Updated: Apr 24
We believe these three words: movement, nutrition and mindset succinctly describe everything we need to hone for true fitness.
We need to move well: with purpose, with intensity and against resistance.
We need to acknowledge and control the food and drink we intake.
We need to work on our minds as hard and as vigorously as a bodies to create positive habits and a strong will.
We have a much deeper and more informative publication coming soon on the basis of these three words but we will unload the basics here.
We are designed to move. To run, jump, climb, lift, carry and throw. Our fitness is determined by our ability to do a task - that task will change from athlete to athlete but their physically ability to complete it will indicate their fitness.
Through varied and structured training programmes we can adapt our bodies to be more capable at most physical tasks. Through a focus on general physical preparedness we can build a base from which to develop any specific fitness needs we have.
Movement starts with the body and then progresses to external loads. We first need to be able to control our own movement before we start throwing heavy things around. Body awareness is a dangerously rare skill to hold these days and time spent building this control will pay off when we look to apply our fitness to tasks.
Once we are able to move our body well we can start to incorporate loads be it with gym specific equipment such as barbells or more abstract tools such as sandbags and tires. Our ability to control and move external loads is key to well rounded fitness.
With a solid base of both body and load movement we can then apply this ability to the task at hand. For some this may be sport or indeed just exercise. For others it might be job or lifestyle specific.
Nutrition is where the vast majority of people fall down on their fitness. Mainly due to quantity but also due to quality and a lack of understanding of the impacts different foods can have on our bodies. Our nutrition is a huge contributor to our performance and time spent optimising it will pay off ten fold.
Our understanding of nutrition and it's impacts is still very young in terms of science and new information and knowledge is pumped out almost weekly, much of it with a hidden agenda. Due to the lack of long term research into nutrition it is very easy to pick data to support pretty much any belief or purpose. Combine this with the large scale marketing of diets, supplements and food movements and it is difficult to find a stake in the ground to work off.
It is our belief that there is no one type suits all prescription for nutrition, our diet needs to be as individualised as our genetic make, our enzyme structures and our microbiome. What seems to be the most optimal diet for one athlete might not be the most optimal for the next. Different foods can impact our blood sugar levels in varying ways, can be tolerated and digested more or less easily and can cause or prevent inflammation.
The first step to enhancing your nutrition is tracking. If nothing else tracking what you eat makes you aware of and take notice of what you are putting into your body. For some this step is enough to cause considerable change and progress with their nutrition.
Monitoring what you eat can be taken as far as you wish with the measuring of both macro and micro nutrients and records of the impact this has on mood, energy levels and performance. Whatever works for the individual is what we recommend.
The mind is primary when it comes to performance, progress and development. Without self belief, determination and control of our thoughts and emotions we will never be able to implement change or work towards improvement. We need to believe that we can do more and that we can grow, bit by bit, each day.
We need to develop understanding of ourselves and be willing to learn about the how's and whys of our behaviour. If we acknowledge and interpret the thoughts and feelings that we have we prepare ourselves for our reactions and optimise the outcomes. By understanding ourselves we gain an element of control and we can work through our lives with that knowledge in mind.
We also need to be willing to get uncomfortable and discomfort starts in the mind. We will give up mentally on a task long before our body is actually at it's limit and it is this regular discomfort that will not only allow mental growth but will also foster the physical progress too.
Acknowledgement of these areas and a desire and commitment to work on them is what it takes to pursue improved performance. Focusing on one and not the others or half arsing all three will lead to little progress, stagnation and ultimately a dampened effect. Commit, that is all it takes.