Have you ever had one of those conversations, read one of those books, or watched one of those movies that completely changed the way you see the world? As we live our day-to-day life we move through our world inch by inch, steadily progressing toward the person we are destined to become. And then it happens – KA POW. Suddenly we have an experience that completely changes our lives and catapults us forward into a new paradigm changing the way we think, the way we view situations and the way we will forever live our lives – an explosion.
The ancient Greek philosopher Socrates is said to have written, “No man has the right to be an amateur in the matter of physical training. It is a shame for a man to grow old without seeing the beauty and strength of which his body is capable.” Mastery of our physical body in this lifetime is therefore not an option to pursue, but a necessity and an obligation to achieve. Every person, man and woman, should have the ability to seek out and find the strength to which his or her body is capable of.
The pursuit of this end happens in one of two ways. The first way is to go with the current flow. Our present paradigm for obtaining strength echoes our performance driven society. You push, you play, you grind and train – all in the pursuit to run faster, jump higher, lift more weight and set more records. But what happens when you can’t go anymore? What happens when the pursuit of physical accolades eventually capsizes an athlete’s potential? Our current paradigm tells you to go see the doctor, who will eventually give you a pill to numb the pain, give you a prescription to take time off, and give you a time table until your back at it again. Wash, rinse, repeat.
The second path is a road much less traveled. A journey down this road starts with taking a step back and addressing the foundation that supports our athletic pursuits of strength and skill – movement. More specifically we need to focus our attention to the cornerstone of this foundation that has long been devalued – the squat. It is not just an exercise and a training tool, it’s a fundamental pattern that when executed properly has the potential to have befits more far reaching than most can imagine.
The issues of athletic performance are the same issues of injury prevention. It’s the exact same conversation. It all comes down to movement. When we expand our understanding of the squat through a ‘movement first exercise second’ perspective we are able to truly illuminate the root of injury while at the same time increasing our ability to find our true physical potential in life. Without mastery of the most simple movement patterns everyone is capable of, there is no way to reach our physical potential Socrates was writing about. Until we change our perspective and become masters of our physical bodies, we will continue to fall short of the strength and athletic performance we are capable of. This all starts with the squat.
When Steve Jobs introduced the world to the Apple I personal computer, he did so with the desire to put the power of the personal computer in each individual’s hands. By empowering the individual in this technological way, he was able to change the world. The same empowerment can be found in relation to how we go about living our life from a physical standpoint through the teachings you will find within these lectures. If we can develop an environment where we prime athletes with the desire and understanding that we need to move first and perform second in order to maximize our physical potential in any avenue we can truly change the world.
Cue explosion – Welcome to Squat University