Principled Based Training

In the field of physical fitness and athlete development, debate over which methodologies are best is heathy and ubiquitous. For the athlete, coach or weekend warrior interested in the design of an effective training program, principles must first be identified.

“As to the methods there may be a million and then some, but principles are few. The man who grasps principles can successfully select his own methods. The man who tries methods, ignoring principles, is sure to have trouble.” ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

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Increasingly, well meaning folks seeking to increase their level of fitness, improve their body composition or elevate their athleticism are confused as how to to best proceed. Most understand that the decades old myopic fallacy “cardio burns fat” and “lifting weights makes you bulky” has had a ruinous effect on our society. Countless hours, months and years have been squandered by adherents to these unfounded tenants. We are thirteen years into the 21st century people – and it is time that we all know the basic principles of physical fitness and the rudimentary concepts of how to  exercise in such a manner to elicit the desired response.


“Obey the principles without being bound by them.” ~ Bruce Lee

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The fundamentals of ones own physical fitness is a responsibility of the highest order, no different then knowing the principles of bodily and oral hygiene. When we hear the hygiene we reflexively think of getting our teeth cleaned that the dentist yet it meaning is more robust. Hygiene is defined as “a branch of  medical science that discusses the set of practices performed for the preservation of health.” Through the mid twentieth century American colleges offered courses on hygiene that included education of nutrition, sleep, exercise, disease and infection, accidents and drugs. How different our society would be if a single course like we’re thought to our children!

I looked at several definitions of “principles” and “methods” and I liked these.

Principles: “A fundamental, primary, or general law or truth from which others are derived.” Example: the principles of modern physics.

Methods: An arrangement of parts or steps to accomplish an end.” Example: random efforts that lack method.

To be clear, a principle, a “general law or truth” is not what your friends sisters roommate, who teaches Pillow Boxing three nights a week, says. Rather it is an act or in our case exercise that has been validated, proven if you will to elicit  a specific result.

The SAID principle; Specific Adaptations to Imposed Demands, informs us that a specific or particular change will occur based on the exercise you choose. Of course I’m  assuming that the variables are accounted for i.e. volume, intensity, frequency etc. So choosing the correct exercises – I’m talking in a very general sense here – is critical to getting the desired result.

Once one engages and acts in a principle based exercise program, then and only then are methods considered. To put a fine point on it the methods one chooses are simply the details of a principled based program. In the next part of this series of articles I will discuss the principles necessary to succeed – regardless of your fitness or athletic development goals.

If you found this blog post informative or at least interesting then please pass it on to friends, family, coworkers anyone you think can benefit from my knowledge and experience. I’m in the business of personal coaching and love a challenge My aim is to help as many people as possible get fit and healthy and do it in a safe and productive way. My goal is to make fitness and athletic development should be fun – it should not a mystery!

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The NFL is How we Are Wired

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As a former NFL defensive end I get excited this time of year as the very best football teams in the world compete for the opportunity to play in the Superbowl and be crowned Champions. I am admittedly biased towards the superiority of professional football as the best spectator sport on the planet but I have a lot of company too! Allow me to prove my bias and explain why football is such an integral part of our American culture.

Football is a TEAM game – and life is too. Don’t think so? Next time you are sick, try treating yourself. The next time your car breaks down, try fixing it yourself. Get my point. Our species is one that was genetically designed to live and thrive in groups of 25-75. With the inclusion of looser connected ties on the periphery that number might expand to 150. A group of this size allowed for necessary social bonds and a safer existence offering protection against predators.

The modern world has altered this number and allowed for greater variety yet we still do relay on a network of others to live. Think about it. You’ve got your immediate family then friends, cohorts, neighbors. Add in your mechanic, dry cleaner, grocer, teachers, trainers etc and it adds up to around 50 with an expanded scope of lesser contact of around 150.

These numbers got me thinking about the last team that I played with, the Los Angeles Raiders (you forgot they used to play in LA didn’t you!). At that time the league allowed 48 players on the roster. Yet the players alone do not make a football team as they need an owner, coaches, trainers, video crew, ball boys, equipment staff and doctors and before you know it you have a tribe of about 75. Factor in the marketing department, public relations and tickets sales staff and it works out to about 150.

I’ve drawn a connection between how our primal ancestors and professional football players work and thrive, and I believe it means that we need each other to realize out personal best. We need friends. We need family. We need each other.

I hope you enjoy the pending NFL playoffs and Superbowl and wherever it is that you watch the game – remember that we – just like the athletes you are watching on TV – need one another. So tell them that you care and confirm it with a hug a kiss or a handshake. The most important thing is to let them know that they are an important part of  your tribe and your life and that you care. PK

I’m Back In Los Angeles!

I am back in California and available to help those looking to get in te best shape of their life. Whether you are interested in building muscle, losing fat, improving athletic power or a combination of all three I can help you!  

Send me and email and I will set you up with a fitness and health consultation at no charge. Make 2013 your best year ever and let me help you beginning right now!

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