Your Guide to a Rock Solid Foundation

For those of you that actually read my emails and follow my Facebook posts you’ll be well aware that I’m a big believer in building our foundations in Training, Food and Lifestyle so when things go wrong as they sometimes will like an injury or a two week blow out in the canaries we will have plenty of good habits to fall back on and it won’t be as heart-breaking to get back on track.


I was doing a Strength and Conditioning mentorship under Robbie Bourke a couple years back and he introduced me to Al Vermeils Hierarchy of Athletic Performance. Since then I use this as a guide to show my clients where they’re at and how we are going to progress towards optimum health. This really caters for everyone from the couch potato looking to sort himself out to the athlete.

Here it is:

You can see your foundation doesn't start with ‘Lose Weight’. For everyone we need to watch our Nutrition, Supplement where necessary, Circadian Rhythm so get plenty of sleep and sort out your Mental, Emotional and Spiritual health.

Next we look at probably the most important factor that contributes towards your physical exercise and everyday getting around. Movement Quality has been so under rated in this country for years but I think in sport anyway we’re starting to realise its importance. But the amount of average people that jump in for Boot Camp, TRX or Kettle bell classes and there’s probably more movement in the foundations of my house than what they’re capable of. You need to learn how to Relax muscles under tension (Flexibility), Move joints freely (Mobility) and create more Stability in muscle groups and other joints. A good place to start would be my Prep Series Instructional Video’s. Check them out HERE.


Work capacity is the ability to perform real physical work as measured by force x distance / time (which is average power). Fitness is this ability in as many domains as possible.


Bottom line is keep training properly, push yourself when appropriate by upping Weights, Reps, Distance, Time or whatever else and if you’re getting fitter and stronger then you’re more than likely improving work capacity.


Now if you work on the first three steps of the pyramid then Body Composition is pretty much going to look after itself isn't it. Does anyone not agree that if you eat and supplement right, Sleep more, be less stressed, Move better which will let you train better and develop more work capacity that you’re not going to drop body fat and develop muscle?


I’m sure for some this is a penny drop moment on how you've been looking at the wrong areas to lose weight.


Now I think I’m safe in saying that for the majority of Irish females who are looking for optimum health this is where you stay and for the majority of Irish lads who want the health but also develop Hypertrophy (Size) you also need to have everything else in place first and then we can look at more specific programming to put some meat on those bones. Remember there are no shortcuts. Olympic athletes have to tick off every step of this pyramid from bottom to top as well.


I’m not going to talk about any more steps. It’s an area the majority of you don’t need to worry about. But if you’re into Power/Olympic Lifting, Rugby, a GAA Centre Forward or other sports at a decent level then talk to your coach regarding this. If he hasn't a clue then get in touch with me and I’ll put you in touch with the right people. 

Until next week,

Love and Happiness,

John T.