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How Are You Evolving?

By Jack Haynes | In Blog


My Philosophy:

My goal as a trainer and a student of movement is to teach others why exercise is important and how it can positively impact their life. I teach people how to feel better, weigh less, and have more strength through various exercises. It all starts with having a fundamental understanding of how the body should be carried at all times, during any movement, standing or seated, with or without external weight. This knowledge will not only benefit you in your training but also in everyday life. Exercise is like taking a supplement that improves the quality (physically, emotionally, spiritually) of a person’s life. For example, learning how to pick something up off the ground is important. We should all know how to do this correctly! I’ll teach you how to do this using the Deadlift and the Squat. These 2 exercises will become the blueprint for all of your other movements, whether you’re picking up groceries, mulching your garden or playing with your kids.  I  like to refer to my training as a practice. I promise you will never hurt yourself again lifting something if you practice how to do it correctly.

Whether you are a professional athlete or someone trying to  learn one on one, these principles will allow you to optimize your workout time while ensuring you maintain proper form.  If you need someone to make sure you stay accountable and keep your workouts personalized, then hire a professional such as myself and I’ll motivate you towards success.

The gym is a great place to workout but probably my least favorite. That being said, it is a great place to train the body for the type of workouts I do prefer like climbing, running, slack-lining, hiking, biking, paddling and swimming. Other daily activities such as cleaning and cooking may not be as enjoyable, but they are necessary and can also be addressed through exercise in the gym. I group these ideas together because they all have one thing in common – they use the same body for movement! Just like any structure, the body can be stable or unstable, strong or weak, big or small, relaxed or tense, injured or able, etc… Better posture will not only look better, it will affect your mood and how well you can relax, which effects recovery.  When you train in the gym,  good posture keeps you safe and allows you to be strong. It is the foundation that creates the potential for your ability.

How do I implement these changes?

We are all at different stages of physical development and control. Because of that, we need a starting point relative to that development and control. Your initial assessment with me will help determine where that is and how we should proceed. For example, when doing a pushup, you should always prioritize your spine for safety, creating torque at the shoulders and hips.  You also need to learn the fundamental basics of breathing to sustain movement and core stability. There are many ways to push, but there is only one stable shoulder position. This is easily learned and should be practiced as a skill. Doing pushups without this knowledge will actually do much more harm than good.

The body – an evolved system

The body is made up of multiple systems, each of which has evolved over time for optimal health. We mimic our human evolution by participating in movements that resemble past environmental experiences such as lifting, running, jumping, walking, carrying etc… We find ways, such as yoga, to anthropomorphize our movements to imitate nature. Because our environment no longer necessitates the past activities that caused us to adapt and evolve, we are going backwards from an evolutionary standpoint.  Thousands of years ago, moving less and sitting more would have gotten us killed. Today we have to compensate for our sedentary lifestyle in order for the physical body to continue its purpose and move forward in health.  We now call it exercise.

Running, for example, is something that many people do, whether by necessity or as a sport.  Is efficiency in your running something you’ve ever considered? Unless you’ve hired a running coach, then chances are no one has shown you how to run efficiently or talked with you about proper running techniques.  Efficiency is something we have studied extensively to improve performance in all aspects. Because language has evolved, we can now communicate these ideas of efficiency and performance better than ever. Unfortunately, our potential for expression through movement is restricted by certain physical limitations, which directly effects the output.  The body itself is made up of 13 systems, and they all have to work together correctly to be efficient.  For example, when you run, your heart beats faster, your arteries and veins increase their size, digestion is put on the back burner, certain hormones are released from their glands to help prolong the run, inflammation begins, thermoregulation through the skin occurs, the rate of fluid being detoxified increases, muscles contract, nervous tissue controls muscular contractions, the need for oxygen increases, fluids regulate and balance, and your bones absorb impact.  All of these factors are measurable. Some are voluntarily or involuntarily controlled, and some happen as a result of others; however, they all follow a well orchestrated sequence of events to allow running.

Exercising without the confidence that comes from a proper understanding is inefficient.  If you don’t know how to move safely and correctly by having a stable spinal position, creating torque at the shoulders and hips for stability, and applying proper breathing mechanics, you are an accident waiting to happen.  That would be like waiting for your car to break down before you realize it needs oil. You would never do that!

People that commonly refer to running and similar activities as “conditioning” or “cardio” have not considered the fact that the body is made up of 13 systems. These systems include the Cardiovascular, Circulatory, Digestive, Endocrine, Immune, Integumentary, Lymphatic, Muscular, Nervous, Reproductive, Respiratory, Urinary and Skeletal. All are affected by exercise and play a role in improving your exercise and health if you realize their roles in the body and how they are best utilized. If not, you might be running the oil out of your car. Is your workout just “Kicking your Butt,” or is it educating you on how to be a better human?

Wolly Wolcott, B.S., CSCS, FMS

Next Level Fitness


Tel: (615) 329-2747 | Mobile: (615) 977-0849

1917 Church St.

Nashville, TN  37203


One Comment to "How Are You Evolving?"

  • Aurelia Purvines says:

    April 22, 2016 at 4:33 pm - Reply

    Ha ha! That’s a very funny picture of evolution you got there. Hmm… This really got me thinking now on how I’ve been doing with myself lately. I know that I’ve always been confident about my exercising. Confidence has always been a part of my secret to be successful in whatever I do with my life. Reading this article is like a reality check for me. Right now, I think I’m doing a good evolution of myself.

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Copyright © Next Level Fitness - Nashville Personal Trainer
1917 Church Street Nashville, TN 37203 Phone: (615) 329-2747
Next Level Fitness, 1917 Church Street, Nashville, TN, 37203 Tel: 615-329-2747