If you’ve been in the world of human performance for a while you’ve likely been lucky enough to witness some amazing achievements in life and sport.
If you’re still young and developing a practice, you will indeed begin to see some incredible things.
Training and repairing people who want to achieve new heights has been a part of my professional life, and throughout my experiences, I’ve used every possible tool and approach in my repertoire in order to create the right solutions for the clients I serve.
Through your own experience, you might have noticed the following habit many practitioners apply that limits the possibility of creating unique solutions or opportunities for their clients.
People like to put things in boxes.
People like to categorize and constrain.
In the health and fitness industry today you see so much categorization, so many labeled trends or systems, and the approach or solution to any one person’s objectives is defined through a particular trend, fad, or system rather than a unique combination of approaches.
This is something humanity has done forever, each time a new concept, service, or material item has been created, we’ve established where it fits, what it feels like, sounds like, is perceived like and then we put it in that box.
Music is a classic example of this desire to categorize: Classic, Jazz, Blues, Folk, Rhythm and Blues, Country, Hip-hop, Rap, Rock, Metal, Alternative, Disco….and the list goes on and on.
The ability to categorize gives rise to the ability to compare and contrast and establish leaders and followers, those that are on the rise and those that are on the fall.
A music category allows the listener to associate an identity with the sound or the genre to which they connect. You can “feel” others that listen to that type of music, and be connected to a tribe or group of fans or followers of that type of music or artist.
It gives it meaning in our lives and gives us meaning.
However, it’s in that dogmatic definition or label that we create all the pain and suffering we see today in our society.
We establish the category or label, we define what it means, and in some instances, we even define what the person who would do, use, or like that item or element would look, be, or behave like.
This leads us down the slippery slope of judgment.
You listen to this type of music, therefore you are this type of person, therefore you will have this set of morals or values, therefore we will judge you and place you in a box called “X” and sometimes that box is judged good, and sometimes it is judged bad, again, a way of categorizing something!
In the health and wellness world today (in and of itself a category) we do that as well.
Types of training, bodybuilding, Cross-fitting, HIIT training, aerobics classes, powerlifting, yoga, Pilates, Olympic lifting. These are all examples of trends or systems in training and they all are born of various concepts and fundamentals.
Ultimately it’s the fundamental properties of these things that you need to understand so that you can create the results you are trying to achieve.
The same goes for the sports medicine and therapy industry; soft tissue work, manual therapy, stretching, mobility work, modalities, ART, MAT, FRC, FST, FMS, DNS, and the list goes on, many of which are sold as THE solution to ALL problems.
The truth is, no one system of practice, technique, or protocol fits every problem.
Just like in music, you need to understand the fundamentals of music, how sound behaves, and is produced, and how you can manipulate it, then you can make sound behave so it creates what your ears perceive as music.
When you train people or treat people, you need to understand the varying methods of practice in varying combinations that suit your “listening style” and allow you to flourish most effectively and create the most effective outcomes for your clients.
You don’t need dogmatic application of trends or systems, you need to establish what combination of ingredients will create your unique success or the success of those with whom you work.
Don’t box yourself into one method or one way; explore all the possible combinations and permutations to create a unique solution!
Be open to the possibilities.