My good friend and EliteFTS teammate, Alwyn Cosgrove used to tell a story about the fitness pendulum.


He said something like:


  • In the 70’s everything was running.
  • In the 80’s it was aerobics.
  • In the 90’s it was bodybuilding.
  • In the 2000’s it was functional training or Crossfit.

The media told us that all you needed to do was the flavor of month and that was all you needed.
For example, in the 70’s they said running was all you had to do to be in the most phenomenal shape in the history of the world.
And nothing else.
This was an extreme end of a swinging pendulum.
Get it?

Cosgrove would add that now we also have niches people who say that their thing is all you need, for example, yoga, kettlebells and so forth.

Alwyn brilliantly explained that this is bullshit.

Don’t fall victim to the pendulum.

How about:


  • some days we run
  • some days we train strength
  • some days we do yoga
  • some days we do high intensity conditioning

What I gather he meant is that we need balance and one thing does not fit all. It is ok to do a whole bunch of different stuff to reap the benefits of all that fitness has to offer.
So how does this apply to us, the meathead lifters?


I'm about to blow stuff up

Well, what I see a lot of an adherence to the pendulum example and a reactionary attitude when you suggest that something new is tried.

For example, mobility and tissue work was a big deal, and possibly the main focus for many for a while in the near past.
People got so wrapped up in it that actual training took a back seat.

We had a kid here who was an experienced personal trainer who did about 45 minutes of mobility and movement prep and about the same for his strength work and another 45 minutes of cool down/post training mobility.
You couldn’t tell him a damn thing either. He read it on the internet and learned it at a seminar, so it was the thing to do.
He was in the pendulum, at the far end.
All mobility.
No results.

Another example:

The typical meathead lifter who like us, wants to be strong(er) and have a huge total.
They do tons of heavy singles, doubles and triples, some accessory work, zero mobility and zero GPP.
Sure, they can lift a decent amount, but they’ve torn everything, can’t tie their shoes and get out of breath getting off the toilet.

They are at the opposite end of the pendulum as the last guy.

Being at the far end of a pendulum is bad.

What about the reactionary person?

You know them.

They read a study, follow a guru, have their own system or are surrounded by acolytes. This is often either a newer coach (less than a few years) or an old veteran.
Something new comes around and it shows that it does have a ton of value, or may hold some value but needs to be tried to see, and you’ll get hit with the wall of defense.


They are in their own pendulum.

It could be for many reasons or only one.
They can range from a lack of confidence in what they do or in themselves, they have something to prove and their way is the only way, or I think that is stupid and won’t work, or whatever.
The point is that they are on the end of the pendulum, and they are unwilling to get away from their end.

They bandy about on their social media, they talk smack about everything else and how their way is superior, or they talk behind someone’s back.
This is no way to be.

Reactionary attitudes will not serve you as you go through life.
Being open to something new will.

So where should we be on the pendulum?

Well, it depends on what your goals are.
For most it should look like this:

Be in the middle of the pendulum, even if you are in an extreme sport like Powerlifting or Strongman.
What do I mean?


Yes, powerlifters have a singular and primary focus.
To lift as much as possible in the Squat, Bench Press and Deadlift to achieve the highest total.
But, they should include things from the whole pendulum.


  • How about they do the required amount of mobility-usually not a lot because we don’t need the flexibility/mobility of most other sports.
  • How about the do some GPP?
  • We don’t need to do cardio proper, but we do need to be able to carry groceries in without our hearts exploding, and having a high work capacity will allow us to do more work which allows us to have a bigger total.
  • How about we do some bodybuilding?
  • We need bigger and stronger muscles, right?
  • How about we are open to new modalities and techniques that may improve performance or resistance to injury?

RPR is a perfect example of this.
A lot of people look at it and say it is stupid and you look foolish doing it. They say it doesn’t work, or can’t work.
How do they know?
Have they given it a chance?

Mobility work falls in this area as well.

While I do not think we need as much as the “mobility guys” say, we need some.

Active Rest: The secret to gains?

Brad working the booth!

Using tools such as the Acumobility products are bashed by some because the studies say that you can’t do this or that with them.

I’ve learned a little in my time in this field and one thing is that a study is done to prove or disprove a theory and it is usually dependent on who funded it.
I look at studies, and take them with a grain of salt a lot.

I also don’t care if a study was done on something.

If I know that my upper back feels tight and I have to bench, and sticking an Acumobility ball in there for 60 seconds will open it up and allow me to move better now, why wouldn’t I do it?
If I were an extreme end of the pendulum guy, I would not do it and my training would suffer, or my clients training would suffer.
Don’t get stuck on one end of the pendulum with a reactionary attitude that keeps you stuck where you are.

My friend Tony Bonvechio put a post on the Instagrams with “What got you here, won’t get you there” in it yesterday.

That is simple, elegant and brilliant.

It harkens to a conversation JL and I had a while ago where we agreed that what works in a $100,000 gross revenue business doesn’t work in a $1.2 million gross revenue business.

You have to be open, you have to look at new things, you cannot be on the end of a pendulum.
Get to the middle.

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Vincere vel mori