Once I hit my 50’s, maintaining fitness presented a serious challenge. There are mental and physical hurdles that arose all of a sudden and I realized that no one had prepared me for them. I also have clients of all ages who are facing the same challenges. Some of these challenges are the loss of coordination, a loss of power, a loss of strength, combined with an increase in stiffness and pain. Maintaining health and fitness becomes too difficult and most people give up. Increased immobility means we are that much closer to death.
Whether a function of age or civilization, there are things you can do to gain the function that is your birthright. The eBook, “Becoming Bulletproof: An Uncommon Approach to Building A Resilient Body” (NOT an affiliate link) is a roadmap to that goal. The authors, Tim Anderson and Mike McNiff, have created a blueprint for better movement. They use their own experience and the research of others in the field of human performance to show how we can move the way we were meant to move.
After reading the book you will learn how to (re) train your neurology through exercises that they call “Resets.” The authors present resets for your breathing, your core, your feet, and the thing that controls your balance – the vestibular system. You will also find an elegant (simple and effective) strength-training plan
Our brain always moves us towards survival. What this means in the modern world is that our bodies are made to compensate for the chronically stressful situations we find ourselves in. These compensations cause our movement dysfunction. For people who still have the energy to exercise, you go to a fitness chain to get strapped into a machine that proceeds to lock in bad patterns as strength is placed on top of dysfunction; or you pound your way through an exercise DVD that has you jumping and pumping into positions that will eventually cause your connective tissue to rebel. “Becoming Bulletproof” provides a more intelligent approach.
Most people have firsthand awareness of how sedentary our society has become. Our bodies too often map our occupations and our emotions. This means that many people walk with rounded shoulders in a head-forward, stiff-legged gait. This was “learned” through too many hours at the computer and at soul-destroying jobs. Pain often accompanies the posture. There is evidence that this posture and the pain are not only a reflection of a troubled inner world but often become the source of it in a feedback loop of dysfunction.
I now perform a sequence of resets as part of my warm-up and on my recovery days. After several sessions, I am already feeling the difference. I have also started adding them to the workouts of my clients.
The criticisms I have of the book are that the nutrition section could have been more detailed or left for a separate eBook. I also would have liked to read some case histories of clients using these methods from Mike and Tim.
I highly recommend “Becoming Bulletproof.” Whether you are a personal trainer, an athlete, or a middle-aged person trying to fight back against life’s insults, you would do well to use this book as an organizing principle for your training. You’ll learn why and how the “warm-up” should be the workout for most people who are starting or getting back to working out. You’ll learn how your workout can actually be play and practice for living. Follow the program and I’d be willing to bet you’ll get physically stronger, improve your awareness and mindfulness, become more aware of the balance between relaxation and tension, improve your posture, and develop powerful and pain-free movement.