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Random Friday Thoughts: Minimum Standards and Being a Useful Human Animal

Minimum Standards

Pr’s are cool and all, but what can you do now? Right now?

This, in my opinion is fitness. It’s defined by what you can do any time of any day, not following a peaking cycle. My first thoughts on this were back in my very early 20’s when I spent every minute that I wasn’t working/sleeping/getting drunk out on the Lake District fells. My thought process went:

We are animals Animals move daily Animals need to be able to “go” at the drop of a hat Why can’t humans?

Why do humans need a half hour of foam rolling, stretching, visualisation etc etc before they can tie their shoe laces?

That’s bullshit in my mind.

So, set minimal standards, train to be achieve way higher then those standards, but never lose the ability to carry said standard, at anytime or any day.

I’ll admit this post is a little inspired by yesterdays antics (which Seb only caught the end of on video) where without warming up I managed a turkich get up holding 2 x 24kg bells. I don’t recommend anyone try this, but as I know I have a minimum standard of the 48kg Bell on my Get up, I figured what the hell……

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A post shared by Dave Hedges (@dave_hedges) on Apr 11, 2019 at 7:15am PDT

A few good ones to consider:

  1. Touching your toes

  2. A resting squat held comfortably for time (2-10 mins)

  1. Minimum of 1 pull up

  2. A sub 60min 10k run time

  3. Standing on one leg with eyes closed for 30 sec+

I could expand that list a lot more, but there’s a very non specific start point. Maintaining these minimum standards gives your training some direction outside of the “lift heavier, get bigger” and takes being a well rounded Human Animal into account. Some kind of daily maintenance routine will go a long way towards this.

Daily Maintenance

You know the way your dog gets up after a kip and stretches back, stretches forward, shakes a leg and then carries on about it’s business? That Up Dog/Down Dog stretch is daily maintenance.

Doggy Yoga (as opposed to dodgy yoga…)

It stretches the muscles, moves the joints, and pumps the blood. It’s not exercise, it’s just natural, and no one taught them.

Now, what do humans do? Sit all day at a desk and then put our backs out.

Add in some Routine  Daily Maintenance to your day. Helen Hall in her book “Even With Your Shoes On” calls them “WUJWUMS” which stands for “Waking Up Joints and Waking Up Muscles” She has instructions and video links in the book, I’ve still 4 copies left if you can drop in and collect:

Other resources would be something like Gary Wards Wake Up Your Body (both Helen and I study under Gary) which you can see on his Finding Centre site:

Or simply copy your Dog and do something like Quick Yoga, here’s a few versions sped up slightly to fit into a minute:

A post shared by Dave Hedges (@dave_hedges) on Nov 30, 2018 at 3:32am PST

Being a useful Human Animal isn’t hard.

Being an athlete is hard, but it’s easier if you’re already a useful Human Animal.


Dave Hedges

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