I credit the Movement with several things, especially the founder of the Movement, Frankie Faires. There’s one thing that I credit him the most for and that’s helping me find me, like I know he’ll help you find you. Often if you talk to Frankie, you’ll get an interesting experience, an experience full of questions (instead of answers) that can challenge your very core.
Frankie has created a system that isn’t just a training system, I like to say it’s a life system – one that asks you to challenge all your beliefs and gives you a guiding protocol to do just that.
Whereas many have chosen to specifically use the Movement’s Biofeedback Testing protocol to determine their Gym Movements, and there are some who use it to determine the Chemical Movements (Nutritional Lifestyle), there are a few who use it to determine their Psychological Movements (their operating beliefs).
Who Am I: The Search For Darryl
I’m not prone to me, like others are prone to them. Me, wasn’t something that came easily. Them, was something that did. I could weave and adapt to changing beliefs as long as to me those beliefs made me better. What seemed to be the issue is my beliefs were rooted in what they thought was good for me, rather than what actually IS good for me.
But in order to understand this I want to give you just a small back story. I was raised in a family that had back issues (herniated discs, degenerative discs, slipped discs, etc) from an early age during a time when most people thought back issues should happen when you’re older, not younger. Because of this, they assumed I was prone to it and as some loving family are – chose to be overprotective and make sure I NEVER got hurt.
Almost any physical activity was out of the question during my early childhood – this will apply later on to things that seem to test well, and generally speaking I grew up learning to sit, rather than play (this may have stopped certain fundamental movements from ever being learned in the development period).
Funny though, how conflicting some beliefs could be as you grow just a bit older. 1st grade proved to be a battle for discipline, since to them public school was making me a menace. I was enrolled shortly into Taekwondo and learned the sport quickly. Apparently I was pretty adept at kicking and became pretty good, pretty fast. Within 2 years winning a few tournaments and taking 1st and 2nd place in forms, but would often fail when it came to sparring – losing a match where I was 1 point shy of taking it. Shortly after I had to quit, 3 belts from receiving a black belt (I was a brown belt and had to go through red, red/black, and black belt).
Off and on I would try to return to the traditional martial arts: karate, and back to taekwondo. The feeling though wasn’t the same. Probably because I felt I may have to quit, just like I did before.
I tried basketball a bit, but I wasn’t quite the superstar – this was in 6th grade for only a few months. This was one of the only sports I tried and sucked at quite considerably and chose to stop doing all together. To them basketball couldn’t hurt someone. But I would end up avoiding being rough and often being scared of the ball hitting my face (this feeling of being hit would happen to in sparring – I didn’t like being hit period).
Other martial arts came and go, and other activities would do the same throughout my highschool career: Wrestling (2 weeks), and Track & Field (2 weeks), and Breakdancing (2 years) – often I had feelings of inadequacy and/or the inability to continue because of non-diagnosed pain issues (going to several doctors, specialists, chiropractors, and massage therapists to try to relieve the issue).
It was during this time that I took a Strength Training class and thought that strength training my help prevent some of the issues my feeling was having and at the same time make me better at other activities too. Through reading what gurus said, that strength training can make me better at activities I liked to do – breakdancing at the time, I began making it a priority.
So much so, that I began spending a majority of the time doing it. It didn’t hurt and I started getting pretty strong pretty quickly.
A long story made shorter: I searched for activities that seemed cool, but didn’t seem to really jive with my inner workings – what made me tick.
Time to Fast Forward
Biofeedback Testing started for me about 1.5 years ago. Adam Glass shared the very first Biofeedback Testing videos ever out by the Movement, while at the same time I had questioned Dr. Cobb about how he worked out and pointed that he in fact “tests” his exercises, although using the term assess and reassess to describe his method.
*For those curious, he gave the example of him practicing steel bending. He would bend something, test it, then set the timer and go for a specific length of time. Unloaded Movement weren’t tested, rest periods, or period of work time.
It is through the Movement protocol that I began testing many of my common strength training beliefs.
Do I really have to hold things in a certain way?
What grips can I use?
Do I really need to have a neutral spine?
Can I deadlift with a rounded back?
Is their any real way to stack plates?
Should I always put the big plates on first and the little plates on last?
What direction should I be facing?
Although some of these questions seem to be meaningless; some of these questions began to unknowingly challenge my psychological beliefs, more so than my biomechanical actions, something I didn’t think they were doing at the time.
To help me test better, I decided to take the Movement’s Certification Courses: Biomech 1/2/3 and Biopsych.
In Biomech 1/2/3, we learn the ideas of what are better actions to take when you are training a fat loss client, a sports performance client, and a pain relief client based on the biofeedback training protocol. We also learn the possible why’s of what and how things test.
In Biopsych, we learned how to test our beliefs and figure out what may be truly limiting our performance or simply the betterment of ourselves.
Because of this information it led me to continue to follow what tests well, rather than my own personal conscious goals: changing my psychology that cared about lifting heavy and traditional strength training. And pursuing more unorthodox strength training practices like: Tires, Clubbells, Chains, Sandbags, and more often than not loaded and unloaded bodyweight exercises.
It it through this biofeedback testing period, that I began to pursue Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu off and on, as I always had an inkling of wanting to try it out over and over again throughout my life. I did it for 3 months then had to stop for financial reasons. I began it again for 1 month then had to stop again because of psychological fatigue. Then again for 2 weeks before I got my elbow injury.
Throughout this period I noticed I barely touched the weights and it wasn’t until me and Jacob Eggleton decided to challenge each other in Deadlifting conventionally and with an Axle that I sealed the fate of my strength training career forever.
The Battle of the Napoleans would be hosted on July 4, 2012 with 2 months to prepare to compete. Out of those 2 months, I only trained approximately 5 times in the Deadlift, and 27 out of 60 days with any thing more traditionally Strength Training oriented – especially with a barbell.
During that time I did more bodyweight and gymnastic based training, than I even cared to compete in the deadlift. I could say the deadlift simply didn’t test well, but even the idea of doing MORE strength training just wasn’t fun to me anymore. And the idea of lifting the barbell, dumbbell, and even the unorthodox tools just was eh.
What I’ve found works best for me and my own personal enjoyment are:
Loaded and UNloaded bodyweight and gymnastic exercises – breakdancing, capoeira, gymnastics, and parkour movements.
Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu – almost all the time.
Kickboxing – I seem to have a natural penance for this because of Taekwondo.
Wrestling – I like it, but am still lacking some fundamental movements to fully enjoy it.
Because of this, this blog will begin to start making a shift towards the above and how I am training specifically to begin competition in MMA and Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, keep myself away from major pain states and injuries, and still filter through my secondary goals of bodyweight and gymnastic exercises.
I’m finding MY better, let me know yours,
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