Had a great conversation with one of my mentors (Logan Schwartz) which I would like to share with you. He asked me to define function. I responded “function is based on each individual’s tasks and goals”. His response was much more global and was based on anything a person needs and or wants.
When you really start to think about it in our profession we are always focused on what our athletes and clients “WANT”. They come to us wanting to run faster or overcome an injury so we immediately start analyzing biomechanics and focus on that “WANT”. But where we should start is focusing on that individual’s “NEEDS”. But what are an individual’s “NEEDS”? Everyone on this planet must THINK, EAT, SLEEP, DRINK, BREATHE, and MOVE. That seems simple enough, let’s break it down.
Eating: What we put into our bodies is our fuel and we want our machine to run on the best fuel possible. Are most of your food sources from natural sources or processed? Do you eat vegetables every day? It is not always about the quantity of food but the quality of your food.
Water: Do you really drink half your bodyweight in ounces? Do you drink soda or caffeine that dehydrates you? Fatigue, Headache, Constipation, and Muscle Cramps are all effects of mild dehydration.
Sleep: Do you get eight hours or more of sleep every day? If you don’t then your body cannot recover from not just training, but life.
Breathe: Ever thought about how your breathing affects you? Are you a diaphragmatic or thoracic breather? Is it continuous or interrupted? Rhythmical or irregular? All are affected by either our physical or emotional state, and with practice our breathing can be honed.
Thinking: Do you take time every day to read or study your craft or passion? How are you developing yourself in a positive way every day? Do you take time for stress relief?
Move: Our bodies are built to move three dimensionally. Do you move and train in 3D every day? How often do you sit compared to move on your feet?
So if I want my athletes to reach their highest potential and they are lacking in one or more of these fundamental NEEDS we will never be able to optimize their WANTS. Let’s say your the greatest trainer in the world and have a client who wants to lose weight, so you focus on creating the best workout plan in the world. But, she eats processed foods, gets five hours of sleep a night, and is constantly dehydrating her body. How successful do you think she will be? In general if a person puts his or her focus on creating an environment where their NEEDS are met their WANTS will be met with greater success.