Functional decline and linear strength training

January 2013 I wrote my first blog post that entailed the purpose and scope of this blog. I wanted a place where I could discuss and organize my thoughts around all things under the fitness lifestyle umbrella. The reason I wanted to write so broadly was because at the time I had spent the last 6 years coaching and competing in CrossFit at a fairly high level and was getting the itch to explore other aspects of fitness and conquer new areas. This blog provided me with an outlet to rediscover my fitness – which unfortunatelyy I was beginning to lose sight of because of my preoccupation with competition and the growing demands on the amount of training needed to be a CrossFit athlete. This last year of training for myself and not for rank has been the best year of training and lifestyle balance I’ve had in many years and has reinvigorated me to delve deeper into developing my own body and thoughts in the fitness space.

How is it relevant? Well it means that I have reevaluated the scope of this my blog and that I will be refocusing my writing to be more niche. Despite trying to be broad most view this site as a CrossFit blog. In retrospect, it makes sense. I’m a former CrossFit games athlete and about 1/3 of the articles here are for people do CrossFit. From here-on-out the scope of this blog will primarily be directed towards the Funct topic of functional longevity, fitness culture, and linear strength training.

For those who have followed closely, this won’t be a surprise for you. In the last six months I have increasingly talked about functional longevity – which is the use of longterm exercise and nutrition habits that aim to promote the ability to be highly functioning physically and mentally as we age. I think this is a fascinating topic and will be increasingly important as the developed world transitions into a new type of retirement. The classical view on retirement is that you retire at age 65 and then spend the next 10-20 years relaxing, letting your body and mind atrophy as you sit down on a couch or beach somewhere and eventually a relative or retirement home will take care of you because you no longer have the ability. The growing trend coming from societally necessity and a growing health conscious population is that more people will want to keep growing and contributing in their sunset years of their life. This is encouraging on multiple levels. On a worldly level one of our most under used resources is the the wisdom of the elderly population. On a personal level, I deplore the idea that when i’m in my traditional retirement years i’ll be unappreciated, inactive, immobile, and not contributing to my family, friends, and society.

With this growing trend of functional capacity and lifespan becoming closer in years we need to start thinking about how this future will look and how the professionals in the fitness field can contribute as ambassadors, stakeholders, and stewards in this transition.

Interestingly, this was the my main draw to CrossFit back when I started in 2007. In the early days Coach Glassman’s philosophy was to have an exercise prescription focused around a longevity bias. In the years that followed this message has slowly evolved away from that longevity bias and towards a sport bias. In a serendipitous way I have circled back around to what initially attracted me to CrossFit. I still believe the core of CrossFit has a lot of potential in helping a lot of people but I think this has been overshadowed by competition and the fundamental idea that more is better.

I’m truly excited about having a dedicated focus here and I hope you are as well. I know the talk of of using exercise as a means of a decrease in functional decline is not sexy or trendy as most of the fitness information you consume but I believe having a long-term outlook in your fitness journey is an important component to that will pay dividends for many decades to come.