Yoga can wreck your body. Crossfit might kill you. Running marathons permanently damage the heart. It seems that no matter what exercise activity you choose, it has the potential to do a lot of harm. So, exercise is bad for you?
On the other hand, the list of benefits conferred by strength training, yoga, cycling, running, and other exercise activities is nearly endless. So, exercise is good for you? What is the explanation for this contradiction?
The reality is that there is no such thing as a “good movement” and there is no such thing as “bad movement”. There is only movement that is good for you and movement that is bad for you right now.
In addition to the millions of movements the body is capable of, there is also the question of how much? This is the source of endless debate in the fitness and training world. Ask 10 trainers, and you’ll get 10 answers as to how many reps to do for a given movement and the desired outcome. They’re all right, and they’re all wrong.
No matter how good a trainer or coach is, they can not possibly know all of the interactions going on in your body. Only your body knows what the entire roadmap looks like, and whether you realize it or not your body knows exactly what it needs. The Gym Movement protocol teaches you how to perform certain tests to unlock this knowledge already inside you.
This is the reason we test everything at The Movement Minneapolis. Since everything is either good or bad and affects us immediately, testing can be accomplished by measuring the change in any quantity in the body. Examples include finger tapping rate, eye blink rate, movement speed, hand grip strength, or range of motion.
How exactly we test is beyond the scope of this article, but why we test is that it tells us the following things in real-time:
- Whether or not a given movement is good or bad for the body, right now.
- How we might improve the movement with a small change to make it even better, right now.
- Whether or not we’ve done the right number of repetitions of a movement, right now.
- When we should stop doing a movement for the day.
Allowing our body to answer these questions for us eliminates almost all points of debate in a training program. We have a saying within The Movement community that is a sort of go-to response for any discussion about training. The saying is: “Or…you could just do whatever tests well.” The point is, there is no sense in discussing whether 3 reps or 5 reps is better when your body can tell you exactly how many reps to do.
Simply put: We’ve found we get better results when we test our movement.
If you will just listen to your body, you’ll make the fastest and safest possible progress. Start by learning how to test your movement.