Sunday, September 4, 2011

The Corrections Officer

I was working out at a globo-gym the other day and I am very used to seeing plenty of meatheads.  You got the grunters that sound like they are having an orgasm.  You have Super Benchman who only does 16 sets of 3 on the bench press and nothing else.  And you have the conversationalist who spends at least 90 minutes at the gym but 80 of those minutes are spent talking to his buddies about how hard he's hitting the weights recently.  You know exactly who I am talking about and you have seen these guys at every YMCA, Urban Active, Gold's, whatever.  Well this past week I ran into a guy I knew that is a corrections officer.  This dainty fellow is about 6'6" or more and right at about 400 lbs.  He's not a big fatty, although he does have quite a bit on him, he's just a double-extra large man.  While I was completing my 4th set at the squat rack for front squats I saw him get on the bench press.  I figured it was typical of people like him.  But then I saw him do something completely out of left field that made me make a double take.  He was doing single arm bench presses with the 45 lb bar.  To say my jaw hit the floor is a bit of an understatement.

If you have never done single arm bench press with a bar, or with dumbbells for that matter, then you probably don't know how much stability is involved with this.  This exercise takes tremendous wrist strength to simply hold the bar.  Again, it's 45 lbs.  This guy didn't even load the bar at all, he was simply doing the bar for sets of 12.  I walked over to him, being the nosy mobility/stability fiend I am, and asked him why he was doing that and where he learned it.  He said his department was trying to incorporate more mobility and stability training so that they could better handle their job.  Corrections officers frequently are in very tough situations, are often off balance when detaining an inmate, and have to move in many different directions.  He said since he started doing exercises like this he was able to do his job much much better.  He was still doing some basic power lifting exercises but he was throwing these type of movements in also.  He said he had done some research on movement based training and found he was able to carry himself so much better.  Keep in mind this guy is a flippin' mountain.

My point in all of this is that mobility and stability training is moving into more than just your college and professional strength programs.  It's hitting police departments, departments of corrections, fire departments, recreational athletes, and soccer moms that simply want to move better and thwart off that impending arthritis they think is genetic.  I've already hyped MobilityWod, Gray Cook, Mike Boyle, Eric Cressey so I'm not going to beat that horse.  But the word on this training is spreading.  I am still new to the mobility/stability world and after attending a seminar a couple of weeks ago, I feel I have a ton more to learn still.  If you aren't familiar with it, research those individuals and learn.  Or contact me and I'd love to fill you in on what I know.  The bottom line is I was very proud of this monster for incorporating this type of training and am very excited that the word is getting out on this.

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