Does your training lack context?

Last week I wrote about starting my Jiu Jitsu journey, and two sessions in I’m already finding it awesome.

I started doing it for a challenge and also for a bit of extra cardio work.

After my second session I’d noticed that my hip mobility and leg strength/endurance were limiting my ability to find and hold some of the positions we had to get into.

Being brand new to this, those limitations aren’t going to cause any huge problems at the moment, but going forward they are things I’m going to need to improve if I want to get the most out of the training and see some real progression.

And that was the extra bonus thing I got out of starting Jiu Jitsu.

It’s given the rest of my training some context, as now I have a real applicable reason for wanting to improve a bunch of different areas of my athleticism.

Strength in what context?

Quite often when people come to see me, they have little to no interest in getting stronger or improving mobility, yet they generally do care about improving their cardio fitness.

Why do they feel that cardio fitness is important and the other two don’t matter?

As a population, we for the large part live very sedentary lifestyles.

This means that we’re not moving around a lot day to day.

The reality is though that most of us will have to move around at some point, whether it’s to simply walk twenty metres to get to the car, or to walk up a couple of flights of stairs to get to a doctors appointment.

And when you’ve reached a sufficiently low level of cardio fitness, you’ll feel that stuff having a big effect on you during even these short periods of movement.

That right there is where people find the context to start doing training to improve their cardio fitness, because if they do this training program they are going to see an improvement in the inevitable movement involved in daily living.

Without any context, strength and mobility are harder to sell to someone because they are likely unaware of how a lack of either of those things can impact their quality of life, now and into the furture.

The sad reality is that through living a very sedentary lifestyle, you’ll potentially not feel the effects of being too weak for a potentially long period of time, due to never exposing yourself to anything that pushes you physically during day to day life.

Sure enough though at some stage down the track when things with your body get bad enough through lack of use, injuries and niggles will develop which require the rebuilding of strength and an improvement in mobility to overcome.

Those injuries and niggles would likely never have happened if you’d developed and maintained sufficient levels of strength and mobility in the first place.

These people who start working on strength and mobility after those injuries and niggles occur have finally found the context for which these types of training are necessary, and although it’s better late than never to start, a prevention always beats a cure.

The preventative angle is of course a hard sell when dealing with someone who doesn’t have any problems right now though.

How do we find that context to make strength and mobility make sense?

It may be that you simply need to start moving around, or even try to do a movement that you used to be able to and now can’t.

Can you jump and land without your knees clanging together?

Can you touch your toes?

If you answered no to either of those questions, and your still thinking that these things don’t apply to you, then answer these next two.

If you trip while walking, could you save yourself from falling over?

Do you ever put shoes on?

There’s some context for you.

Anyway, those were just some thoughts I had during the week, and to be honest I don’t have an answer about how to find that context for everyone, but it’s definitely something to think about for yourself.


Thanks again for reading, and I hope you’re able to pull some useful information out of this one.


I’ll catch you next week.

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