Metabolic Stability Series

Metabolic Stability Series – January 2016

Bridging the Movements

Hard to believe we are entering our fourth year of Metabolic Stability (don't worry, I know Troy said ending the third, but that is what Wyoming cold does to you!). I remember approaching Chris Poirier, the man at Perform Better, about just offering coaches and enthusiasts a different approach to training. Rather than seeing their tools as separate components, helping them realize that real functional training meant having one exercise lead into another.

That is why we have always tried to bridge our movements in Metabolic Stability, not just randomly throw exercises together, but sequence them in a logical manner. This month's video series is really no different and Troy Anderson does a wonderful job of breaking them down so not only do you know how to do them, you know WHY!

While I was traveling in Asia teaching some Dynamic Variable Resistance Training (DVRT) courses, Troy was kind enough to brainstorm with me about how could we keep building upon the important concepts we want to instill in Metabolic Stability. As the name of this series implies, really we are developing multiple qualities at once. It really never changes from that, rather just where you are at on the fitness continuum.

Like most months, we reversed engineer the idea. Having moved back to his home city in Wyoming where Troy grew up on the farm, we talked a lot about simple concepts that people can take away from the real life work that use to be common place. While Troy is happy to have visitors to help him, we wanted to make this practical and still thoughtful, not just a bunch of wacky exercises that seem like we are emulating manual labor.

Instead, we are breaking down what appears to be a simple drill that actually possess a lot of complexity and relates to one of the hot topics in functional fitness right now, Shouldering. While the idea of shouldering an object isn't foreign in farm life, it is something we easily forget in the gym world. Why does it matter?

Shouldering can be thought of as another type of clean (especially because the definition of a clean is from the ground to the shoulders in one clean motion), but offers us something that most other clean variations do not. We get asymmetrical axial loading. That differs from a kettlebell or dumbbell clean that while can be asymmetrical, doesn't have the same stress as resting on our frame. Where the kettlebell/dumbbell tend to be more anterior to our body, having to resist the load on our body is a unique stress and tells us a lot about our strength or stability.

Of course, while Troy shows you how it relates to work on the farm, probably the best tool to use to replicate this in gym life is the Ultimate Sandbag. It isn't just because it goes nicely on your shoulder, but the instability of the load starts to expose movement compensations very quickly. However, as you will see, we don't start people there because there are elements of Ultimate Sandbag Shouldering that most people miss…

• Very long range of motion (far great than that of a typical clean due to getting low to the ground and high end position), this really challenges hip mobility.

• Cross patterning: while most cleans and explosive drills move purely in line with our body, Shouldering requires the weight to move and creates a unique cross patterning effect.

• Multi-Planar: due to the movement we just mentioned, both the act of Shouldering and the holding of the load pull in transverse and frontal plane movements creating a powerful and overlooked multi-planar clean.

Like all our Metabolic Stability drills the key is how do we take anyone at any fitness level and lead them to success? That is why Troy has broken down four drills that lead us to our Ultimate Sandbag Shouldering. You will see how we move from stable to unstable, simple to complex. You will find how we use great tools like kettlebells, TRX, and of course, our Ultimate Sandbags to build qualities and progressions that lead us down the path to more productive and thoughtful programs.

So, without further to do, let's welcome in 2016 with this great Metabolic Stability series!

Josh Henkin, CSCS, is the creator of the DVRT Ultimate Sandbag Training System. His innovative program has been taught in over 13 countries worldwide as well as top industry conferences and mainstream magazines. Check out more about DVRT HERE.