We harness the wisdom, power, and success of evolution, to bring out yours…
Whatever Got You To This Level, Won’t Get You To the Next
“A lot of people in our industry haven’t had very diverse experiences.
So they don’t have enough dots to connect, and they end up with very linear solutions without a broad perspective on the problem.
The broader one’s understanding of the human experience, the better design we will have.
Design is not just what it looks like and feels like.
Design is how it works.”
We’re going to leverage our empirical sensibility with everything we’ve learned from evolution and exercise science, to redesign not only how you look and feel, but how well your body works/functions/performs outside of the gym.
Roughly 2 million years ago our Homo Erectus ancestors fully abandoned arboreal life in the trees and were making a decent living off the land. Their new livelihood necessitated making tools—like sharp rocks & hand axes—that made it possible to scavenge and cut meat. But this was hard, hands-on work that often-times didn’t end well.
After 1.5 million years of carving out a humble living, Homo Erectus got beat out—and went extinct– by a new breed of athlete (Homo heidelbergensis) who didn’t settle for the status-quo sharp-rock solution for everything… Instead, they developed better Tools, like the spear; they trained to use the tools with precision & power, and they developed sophisticated hunting tactics to consistently bring down protein-rich game: all of which led to increases in both brain size and body mass.
The ongoing battle for Survival of the Fittest was not unlike any athletic event, with the eventual winner possessing the power-couple of brains and brawn. Those who could successfully marry the best use of Tools, Training & Tactics, with the highest performing 6-Pack of Fitness (Strength/Stamina/Mobility/Lean Muscles/ Coordination/Core Engine Power) got to survive, procreate, and pass on their DNA. We are all very fortunate to have inherited their agile brains, anatomical architecture, and athleticism.
In recent times it’s relatively easy to find a meal, but hard—until now– to find the right Tools/Training/Tactics to deliver the 6 key fitness variables that make the human body harder to kill, and easier to enjoy in Life & Sports.
Core Engine rotation is why humans can throw, strike, and swim (freestyle is ~8% faster than butterfly) more powerfully WITH ONE ARM, than both arms same-time.
The Core Engine—everything between butt bones & shoulders— is the powerhouse of the body. It’s nearly half of your total muscle mass that you can’t live, or move, without.
As you can see, the vast majority of our mid-section muscle fibers are arranged obliquely— not “vertically”—because the Core Engine is specifically designed to produce, transfer, and manage rotational power; not stiffness/stability.
According to Dr. Eyal Lederman—author of the Myth of Core Stability, “there may be a potential danger of damaging the spine with continuous tensing/stiffening of the trunk muscles during daily and sports activities.”
“Core stability exercises will not prevent injury —or reduce chronic lower back pain— more than any other form of exercise”.
The World’s foremost expert on Spine Biomechanics, Dr. Stuart McGill has gone on the record saying “planks for more than 10 seconds are a waste of time…And probably detrimental to other aspects of human performance..” Need one more reason to not waste time practicing being stable/stiff? NASA abandoned isometric exercises for astronauts because they didn’t prevent muscle wasting.
If you want to be a great mover, train the Engine in your Core. If you want to be a great mummy, train Conventional Exercises/Core-Stability.
Like all things physical, the Core Engine is use it, or lose it.
1. Sit on the floor, legs straight out in front. Now “stabilize/tighten/plank” your core—i.e. don’t rotate hips/shoulders–and try to Walk; Throw; Punch; Swing a racquet. Sucks right? That’s what a wrecked Core Engine feels like!
2. Now go ahead and “walk”/throw/punch/swing while dynamically rotating your hips and shoulders…Notice how much easier and more powerful every movement is when you use your Core as an Engine.
Aside from functional improvements, training your Core Engine in every exercise can significantly increase the number and size of your mitochondrial fat-burning factories, making it a LOT easier to get leaner.
3. Don’t get up just yet…Try simulating an overhead press, push up/bench press, kettlebell swing, squat, deadlift, pull-ups, row, bicep curls…While these exercises are great at making you better at bilateral/symmetrical exercises, they’re not so great at dynamically engaging the rotational musculature of the Core Engine, and making you better at the movements we perform in Life & Sports.
Whenever possible, make every exercise an opportunity to train your Core Engine to produce, transfer, and manage rotational power.
It’s always possible.
This isn’t made up magic to sell a product. This is how evolution designed the human body to move and produce power.
What is “magic”, is the idea that practicing planks and conventional exercises that teach the core to NOT move, will magically help you move better and avoid back injuries.
What you don’t move, eventually won’t move. This is why it’s super important to dynamically train the Core Engine in every exercise. Unless of course, you decide to trade mobility and power for rigidity and weakness, which is exactly what Sadhu Amar did in 1972.
Inspired by his deep-seated beliefs, he practiced 24/7 saluting his right arm overhead. After a few focussed months, his fascia/connective tissue took over the task of “stabilizing”, and his arm has been stuck in a salute —immobilized & useless like a dead tree branch—for over 40 years.
Practice doesn’t make perfect. Practice makes permanent.
Choose your practices wisely…
Check out this 30-second video, to see how we practice using our Core Engine’s to dynamically produce, transfer, and control 3-D Movementegrity™ exercises
What’s a Super Simple Way to Tell if an Exercise is Junk?
The FitCAT test!
Every exercise in our extensive library has to pass the FitCAT test to determine if it’s making you Fit for Life & Sports, or just tired and sore.
CAT is short for CATALYZER™, but its also an acronym for
Core engine rotation, Alternating legs, and Think balance & coordination.
1. Core Engine Rotation:
Unlike turtles which have the most stable cores on the planet, 99% of human movements in life and sports use the Core as an engine to produce powerful rotational forces. If you’re not rotating in every movement you’re not optimally training 50% of your muscle mass to produce power and burn fat.
2. Alternating Legs:
Unlike Kangaroos, 99% of human movements in life and sports Alternate which leg you’re on. If you’re not alternating power from one foot to the other or training one leg at a time, you’re missing out on making your entire body more powerful and athletic.
3. THINK! (Balance & Coordination):
Unlike a Rocking Horse, 99% of human movements require a cerebellum to THINK about balancing and coordinating complicated motor patterns. If you’re not challenging your brain when you train, you’re missing out on a big part of the fun and functional adaptations from every exercise.
Junk Exercises may make you tired and sore, but you’re not giving your body what it needs to feel energized, Function like an athlete, and look lean, strong, and half your age.
If our ancestors didn’t move well, they died.
If our top athletes don’t move well, they lose.
If our bodies don’t move well, they die a little every day and lose the 6-Pack of Fitness we all need to SurThrive.