Incremental Progress

Incremental Progress

Long ago I learned the value of incremental progress. A process requiring patience and attention to detail. Incremental progress takes the approach of having a plan with an end sight in mind.

For example: In the sports of Power and Olympic Lifting competitive athletes know the exact dates of their meets and their current numbers. Within these 2 key aspects of the plan in place, the athlete will plan from the meet date to the first day of the new cycle aimed at prepping them for the meet. For instance if they have a meet in June and it is currently January, the athlete will start their plan from the June Meet Date and look backwards all the way to the current January start of the cycle.

In this example the athlete knows the numbers they currently have, approximately the numbers they should achieve at the meet and the time frame. Certainly we can call this a goal but it goes beyond just having a goal. For these athletes they have spent time day in and day out training making incremental progress towards this day. Often the next meet is not their last but a stepping stone to their next. Along the way the focus on a planned an incremental progress. Along with their coach they have a damn good idea of what each day from January 1st to June 1st will look like in terms of their training including exercises, weights, sets, reps, rest, nutrition, sleep, etc. at least on an elite level.

In my experience and through my training we focus on making incremental progress. In Kettlebells it may be a 1 size increase in bell week by week for 4 weeks, an increase of 1 set per week or even 1 rep per week during that 4 day period. It depends on the movement and overall goal.

In Olympic Weightlifting it may be 1-5 kg from week to week within a movement complimented by a proper adjustment of sets, reps and volume. Typically as the weight increases the sets and reps decrease as a whole, the law of supply and demand and an inverse relationship.

The point is do not rush your training, do not feel as if each time you need to test your limits. Instead focus on building brick by brick, layer by layer, making incremental progress. Schedule and plan back off days and weeks. This applies to all athletes not just elite and probably even more so than those whom train hard while working a regular job and having a life where their sport does not pay them in money but in other more intrinsic rewards.

The Elite perform as such not because they hammer or grind or crush or push and test but through incremental progress and intelligent design. It is fine to push, grind, hammer, test, etc. but have prepare for it so when you do you set a new PR and have something to build off of, a foundation moving forward

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The Art of Happiness

The Art of Happiness

  • Discover your passion
  • Find a way to express and live your passion
  • Find meaning in your work and life
  • Be generous, often finding passion in work that helps others brings more joy to your own life
  • Find joy, smile and laugh
  • Be compassionate, place yourself in the shoes of others and see life through their lens. This will often provide clarity and perspective and this will lead to a great understanding, empathy and compassion. This is similar to the concept of non judgement but in my thoughts an easier way to conceptualize and integrate.
  • Be grateful and make the most of out lives everyday opportunity (refer to the above)
  • Meditation is a form of absorption. It is being so consumed by what we are doing in the moment that all else ceases to exist. I would surmise that many of have experienced this. I know as a practitioner of yoga, an athlete, a doctor and a coach I have felt this many a time. One instance that stand outs was my first ever rock climbing experience in Joshua Tree. Scared, sweating profusely and filled with negative self talk there were 2 distinct moments when all ceased to exist, I consumed and at peace, my mind quiet, my breath at ease and I was able to take it all in. I can still to this day relive this moment in my mind and body.
  • Think Happy, See Happy, Breathe Happy, Be Happy, it is an attitude and state of mind. If we surround ourselves in our everyday lives with passion, meaning, empathy, generosity, laughter and gratitude we will find our peace and be happy.

This meditation and reflection came about from my current reading and listening.

Here are links to the 2 talks

Principles of Corrective Movement & Therapeutic Exercise

Principles of Corrective Movement & Therapeutic Exercise: It’s all about Anatomy and Biomechanics 

The human body does not lie, it is up to us, the clinician to discover and see the truth.

1. It’s all about relationships

It comes back to anatomy and biomechanics. The body is an interlinked system aka connected albeit joints, tendons, muscles, organs, etc. understand the relationships, understand the movement mechanics and you have begun to solve the puzzle.

2. It’s all linked.

Yes we are made up of connnective tissue and thus must understand a connective tissue disorder in one area is bound to reach beyond to a much larger area. Again biomechanics, anatomy and relationships.

The picture below is a great example of the interconnected dynamics of the body. I use the plank as a tool to teach and understand how the body integrates and then further apply to other movements. The cues for example are looking at how the shoulder girdle connects to the hip girdle including the role of the navel; how the hips girdle connects to the knees and how the action of squeezing the legs ever so slightly together enhances this; and how the knees connect to the ankles. This is only a small sample and goes much further but sets the tone for a deeper understanding of the body in action.


3. Use the best method and tool for the job to produce the result. 

The better ones understanding the better equipped to successful do the job. More is not better, better is better.

4. There is no magic & no tricks.

The body is logical and works accordingly. Understand the anatomy, biomechanics, relationships and modalities application as such as you are that much closer to getting the results.

5. Make it applicable.

Understand what it is the person does in sport, work, sleep, and daily life. Besides history which helps provide framework, I want to put them in position, teach them the position and cue them within the position. I do not just release the pain & rehab I also teach in particular the how to of what it takes to do the movement aka anatomy and biomechanics. A educated patient and client means they are more likely to succeed and never return because they are healthy movers.

Kettlebell Basics Program

For all my kettlebell enthusiasts. This is a basic beginners program. As might be understood or expected there is much more to this but this will provide a start and direction.

General Kettlebell Starter Plan and Goals

Turkish Get Up
1-5 reps per arm x 5 sets
3-5 sets of 3-5 reps/side
5 reps/arm x 5 sets
5 reps/arm x 5 sets
5 reps/arm x 5 sets
Clean and Press
5 reps/arm x 5 sets
Clean and Squat
5 reps/arm x 5 sets
Squat and Press aka Thruster
5 reps/arm x 5 sets
Clean Squat Press
5 reps/arm x 5 sets
2 Hand Swing 20 reps x 5 to 10 sets
1 Arm Swing 10 reps/arm x 5 to 10 sets
Hand to Hand or Swing Switch 20 reps (10/hand) x 5 to 10 sets
Note: for swings the initial goal is 100 total reps (for 1 arm that is 50/50/arm). Work up to 200. Meaning you can add an additional set each week till you reach This is just one example
Note: for squats one could substitute Lunges, 1 Leg Deadlift or Pistol Squats. All these provide other ways to train the legs, core, hips, etc.
Example layout for 3 days a week
Turkish Get Up
3 reps/arm x 3 sets
Clean Press
5 sets of 5 reps
5 sets of 5 reps if in rack. If Goblet do 5 sets of 10 reps
2 hand Swing
20 reps x 5 sets
Get Up Sit Up (first part of the turkish get up). Use a heavier weight
3 sets of 3 reps
Press (heavier bell)
3-5/reps x 3-5 sets
Clean Squats
5 reps/side x 5 sets
1 Arm Swing
10 reps/arm x 5 sets
3 sets of 3 reps/side
Clean Squat Press
5 sets of 5 reps/side
1 Arm Swing
5 sets/arm x 5 sets
2 options
A.  Heavier bell
B. 30 sec intervals: use the clock to work intensity i.e. do them in 30 second intervals meaning 30 seconds you must complete work and recover).
2 Hand Swing Tabata…..20 seconds of work, 10 seconds of rest x 8 sets
note you can get about 12-14 reps in 20 second window