In Andreo's words, FRC is "a system of training which applies scientific methods to the acquisition and maintenance of:
1. Functional mobility
2. Articular resilience
3. Articular health & longevity"
Functional mobility is defined as "the ability to actively achieve a range of motion". This differentiates it from flexibility which is "useless range", or a range of motion that one has no control over.
The FRC seminar couldn't come at a better time: I've been doing a lot of reading recently on training for health (as opposed to training for performance) driven mostly by my personal interests, but also because most of my clients just want to live happy, healthy lives. They couldn't care less about lifting the world in the gym. So finding a system that can "make your shit work nice" was just what I needed.
Below are the 4 main lessons I took away from this great weekend of learning.
Lesson 1: The body is much more complex than we think
On a neurological level, things get even more complex. We have more than 100 billions neurons interacting with each other at any given instant, in turn controlling trillions of muscle cells, each made of around a hundred thousand sarcomeres (basic contractile unit).
And if you think that you're reinforcing the same muscle patterns when you practice a given movement, you're dead wrong. Let's take the squat for example. If you were to check for muscle activation on a set, each repetition would give you a different result as to what muscle fires first, what part of that muscle fires more intensely than the others, for how long, etc...
In short, there's a lot of things going on and we're still very far from understanding exactly how everything works and interacts. Trying to break it down into simple biomechanics is a failed attempt at representing the complexity of human movement.
Focus on the joints and just "make your shit work nice".
Lesson 2: Force is the language of cells
So when we stop applying force to a cell or a give area of our body, our system adapts by discarding the receptors in that area to avoid wasting energy on inactive cells. That's why astronauts' bones get weaker (no gravity to fight against), why bones density increases with weight training and why your leg in a cast just goes to waste after a while.
If we want to maintain healthy living joints/muscles/tissues/cells, we need to apply force to them daily. In other words, "use it or lose it".
Lesson 3: Mobility training isn't sexy
Mobility training might not be as "fun" as doing squats, pull ups or other such exercises. But the FRC system is based on the very principles that are used to get you strong in the gym. Progressive overload through specific exercises will lead to increased usable range of motion in your joint while increasing their health and longevity. All you need is consistent work over long periods of time.
Lesson 4: It's not only for elite athletes
If I can reduce my risk of injuries and live the rest of my life pain-free, I'm willing to put in the work. Are you?
If you're interested in learning more about mobility training and how to apply it to your own body, leave a comment or contact me for a free consultation today!