Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Designing an Exercise Program for Whatever Condition You’re In

Having seen and worked with a lot of people in varying conditions, from “world’s greatest athletes” to people given “no hope” -- I particularly like the latter challenge in first inquiring, “What can you still do; what movement is possible?” -- and from that, we design an exercise program, and quite probably, in the doing of it, increase that proficiency and capability 100% immediately -- and continuing at that pace daily, we soon achieve a result that could not even be imagined a few days before.

But one has to begin with the possible -- and actual, and not just the theoretical and wishful thinking that if one could do the prescribed (ideal) routine, one could get into great condition. If one could do that ideal routine, one would already be in excellent condition -- but since one is in the worst, we have to begin there -- with movements that are possible, and within the realm of present capabilities.

For even most bedridden people, and even paralyzed people, there is still movement at one or more of the extremities at the head, hands and feet -- which is already an indication that there is some function, if not the fullest range possible to most (average) people. But every individual has their own full range -- which is the only reality that is relevant to address. It doesn’t matter what the most flexible person in the world can do -- if one can barely move. But within even this latter person’s universe, is a whole range of possibilities -- which first have to be explored (determined), before being increased, or any attempt made to do so -- not because there is danger of injury but because the "professionals" have already pronounced that there is no hope for recovery and improvement, and thus any change is inconceivable.

Many yardsticks for determining such mobility are totally ludicrous -- in asking a person to perform movements even in the best of conditions, they would have found difficult or problematical, yet based on that theoretical possibility for “acceptable” range of movement, the physical therapist pronounced that no hope for improvement was possible. At no time, was any attempt made to determine what such an individual could do -- in their present condition.

On the other hand, there are some people who despite all the great problems and pain they experience constantly, are adjudged to have nothing wrong with them -- because their range of movement far surpasses that of most normal people. But when one loses half one’s capability, it’s the other side of doubling one’s momentary capability -- and represents a significant change in state of health and capabilities that one will undoubtedly notice and be concerned about.

So one of the first things any instructor would do is first properly determine present capabilities -- and not just those he thinks everybody ought to be able to do -- as though he knew what that should be for everyone. The good teacher, will first find that out -- learning what the student’s present capability is -- and not merely what he unilaterally decides it should be. That is the chief failing of the institutional model of education -- with its well known failures, likely to grow worse continuing on that path.

Understanding Conditioning Channel 52 (OAHU) 1/18/2007 11:00:00 AM A revolutionary new way of looking at exercise. Environmental/Health


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