You’re a Fucking Athlete, Damnit! - Mark Fisher Fitness

You’re a Fucking Athlete, Damnit!

by Harold Gibbons, Trainer & Certified Fitness Nerd

We who frequent the Ninja Clubhouse of Glory and Dreams are united in our Belief that we can get 1% better every day.  Our journey is a relentless pursuit of personal truth, but sometimes the truth can be ugly. (TWEET THAT SHIT!)

One truth that may be particularly nerve-wracking or unsettling for you is that, contrary to what you may have been led to believe, you’re an athlete.  You are a fabulous fucking athlete.

When I first met The Franchise (Mark), The Beast (Kyle), and The Manimal (Brian), we were all suckling at the teat of excellence at the Perform Better Summit in Rhode Island.  One of our most majestic inspirations, Alwyn Cosgrove, provided us with a quote that shan’t be ignored:

Our cultural connection to “athletes” is to those who actually get paid to play with their balls, those who wear jerseys to work, and those who make appearances on Sports Center.  In reality, we each have our own events and desirable performance outcomes, and our own personal goals for health and hotness.

You are an athlete.  Act accordingly.

At MFF, we pride ourselves on our individuality, our exploration of ridiculousness, and on our serious forays into fitness.  We train like people who work day-in and day-out to create their best possible self, physically, emotionally, and socially.

As such, we don’t rely on fancy gizmos or gadgets in the Ninja Clubhouse (The fanciest items may very well be the a sequin jacket worn by a trainer). (TWEET THAT SHIT!)  Instead, we rely on quality movement.  As a movement-based facility, the focus isn’t on performing a specific exercise as much as it is including movement patterns that are the most appropriate for our goals.  That’s because we are all athletes.  

There are several benefits to recognizing that we are, in fact, athletic beings, and focusing on movement patterns rather than specific exercises or muscle groups.  This movement-based approach allows us to include healthy doses of variety in our training, modify exercises when appropriate and necessary, and promote structural balance so that we can work harder for longer periods of time.

Healthy Variety.

While many of our national health problems come from the lack of movement, we recognize that too much of a good thing can be problematic as well.  As such, there is a healthy dose of variety found in MFF’s programming.  This allows us to continually learn new techniques and refine old ones so that we don’t develop repetitive movement syndromes by relying on a particular piece of equipment.  A movement may remain the same, but with appropriate variety so that we continue to learn the nuances of our body while dominating our goals.  Let’s use an example that we all know and love, the hip hinge.

Hinges are a big deal here at MFF.  They make it easier to close the bathroom door, and they are our preferred method of gluteal domination (aka ass hotness).  A movement like the hinge allows us to move primarily through the hip, with a neutral spine and relatively straight legs, to use the muscles that run from the back of our head to the bottoms of our feet.  That’s a lot of real estate, so you’re right in thinking that this is an important movement.

MFF Ninjas gain exposure to the kettlebell swing in each and every class, but the list of hinge exercises that we implement is endless.  As we build proficiency, we learn the traditional deadlift, the Romanian Deadlift, the sumo deadlift, the “Bulgarian Douche Bag.”  Rather than counting sheep to fall asleep, you can instead count hinge variations.  This is because you are an athlete. 

Applicable Modification.

Modifying exercises is an essential part of what we do in The Ninja Clubhouse and Dragon Lair. It is pertinent that we’re on the Ninja’s Agenda. Rather than live or die by the program, the training lifestyle is about continuous assessment and adaptation.

In situations where an exercise may not be the best choice for that day’s session, or a particular piece of equipment is being utilized, we find that making modifications ain’t no thang, girl.  If for some reason that heavy kettlebell you want is unavailable, we’ll hook you up with a double kettlebell variation.  Can’t use a bar to bench press?  We have dumbbells waiting for you, love.  Hips holding up your deadlift?  We’ll elevate you to excellence.

By relying on movements rather than muscles or equipment, it’s much easier to provide effective, efficient workouts in every training session (be it a class or semi-private session), so that there is ass-kickery through and through.  MFF training emphasizes that you’re running your own race, that each of your workouts is your own personal competition. (TWEET THAT SHIT!)

While we’re training together, we remember that we’re athletes preparing for our own events, together as a big, happy family.

Structural Balance.

We take into account that while we may have differing health or hotness goals, very few of us desire to look like Quasimodo.  Our busy schedules and Facebook obsession have a lien towards his lean:

We ain’t ‘bout dat life, and we fight imbalances by providing training that is appropriate for each Ninja’s posture and abilities.  To promote this balance, we actually train in an imbalanced fashion.  Whaaattt?!  Mhmm, we have a preference for training the backside of our body more than the front side of our body, because we ain’t about that hunchback life.

We balance out postural habits in class by including extra rowing and hinges variations using resistance bands and kettlebells.  Ninjas who participate in semi-private training may also perform exercises with a TRX or barbell as a component of their training.  Our bodies and lives are unbalanced, so we train to provide the most appropriate experience for our individual athletic needs.

MFF Ninjas see incredible results because they train to provide structural balance, modify when necessary, and have mastered variations of the basic movements. (TWEET THAT SHIT!)  Combining these factors allows Ninjas to create their best self, and enhance their inner athletes.

You may not be stepping onto a field, or even onto a stage, but you’re still experiencing the power of movement.  It matters not if you’re competing; if you have a body, you’re an athlete.  Focus on basic movement patterns, variety when appropriate or necessary, pretty posture, and remember that you’re an athlete, damnit!

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