Some thoughts on riding, the FCS, performance and maintenance.
Noam Chomsky was asked how he accounted for his amazing stamina and energy level at age 87. He said, "The bicycle theory. As long as you keep riding, you don't fall."
It's an absolute statement that serves to communicate a good concept. Of course, there are relative circumstances to explain when there are exceptions. Like riding a bicycle when the road is under water, for example. Or riding a bike without servicing it will eventually lead you to slow down or break a component on the bike. My colleague, Andrew Read, and I agreed on this same point a while back when we took a 2-day workshop on program design from the rocket science and caveman point of view. Our experience was that putting "money in the bank" of daily low-stress exercise contributed to resilience. A recent study has supported this experience. We both agree that whilst this is an essential component, maintenance is necessary to stay in the game, and pattern and performance testing reveals your weak links. If you want to stay on the bike, what are you doing to keep it going?
So, when should we ride and when should get off the bike? It depends on two key questions:
What are your goals and where are you now? Conceptually, where do you want to go on your bike and what will stop you from getting there?
For my SFMA and FMS colleagues, we apply this concept to the performance goals of our clients.
The new Fundamental Capacity Screen has to be on your radar. For three simple reasons:
It depends only on a) what your goals are, and b) where you are now? That's all it depends on. Our industry trends towards wanting refined, but then assuming that refined means it's not extensive enough. This stems from a culture that uses absolute terminology to sell, and relative terminology to justify deviations from absolutes. Be that as it may, the FCS is refined. It captures the capacity of elemental resources that underpin human performance. They are: motor control capacity, explosive force production capacity, energy storage and impact control, and postural integrity under load for capacity.
As a professional or screens, tests, assesses and intervenes to personally prescribe, we progress individuals along a continuum of progress towards their goal, checking where they are along the way.
Our clients will spend money on our professional services for five main reasons:
In a performance situation, saving time, money, effort and pain is about seeing through the impediments to performance by having a smarter program, right? It's easier to program for performance if you know what's weak, right? Wouldn't it be great to have a refined step that reveals weakness?
Beware what you wish for. A refined step that reveals weakness is usually considered not extensive enough.
We want simplicity but if we get it, it must have left something out.