Strength System

Before all the bookings, before all the planning and the emails and scheduling, Prashanti and I had a few hard questions to answer. A trip of this magnitude is no small undertaking. Thirteen cities over two and a half months in a country we weren’t familiar with. We had to know exactly what we were getting into, and more importantly, we had to know exactly what we wanted from it.

MovNat practice

MovNat practice

Figuring out what we were getting into was the easy part. Almost everyone we contacted was extremely nice and so helpful, that figuring out accommodation and logistics was a lot easier than we expected. It took some time, but all things considered, we were pretty happy with how things turned out.

Answering what we wanted was a lot harder. It made us aware of the enormity of the undertaking at hand, and helped bring home the commitment that the task would demand. We knew that figuring this out would give us the conviction that we needed to stand by this decision.

The answer was simple. Kind of.

Systems.

In the words of renowned strength coach Dan John, “A system.. is a set of parts.. that come together.. to form a whole.” Almost everything that we take for granted, every formal learning process, every organisation, every unit, every family is a system. To coach people, you need a system. And honestly, this is one of the most exciting things about being a teacher. Figuring out your own method. Through learning, researching and experience, you develop your own personal system that is an effective way for you to teach.

I believe that a good system has to be built on strong principles and values. In absence of principles and values, goals and methods mean nothing. They achieve nothing real.

For Prashanti and me, these core values were our starting point. I don’t think either of us are crystal clear about them as yet, but they stem from the same place. Honesty. Personal relationships. Hard work. But we hadn’t the slightest clue how to build around it. And this is what we needed to learn. To see. To feel. We needed to experience other successful systems that were making a change in people’s lives and doing more than just getting people fit. Systems that were truly making a difference.

So hopefully, that’s what we find.

– Sandeep

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The gym-hopping circuit

After much back and forth, budgeting, scheduling conflicts and coffee, we now have a final plan that looks more than awesome. While Sandeep and I have a similar outlook when it comes to training, nutrition and education, some of our interests are quite different. With some compromise and careful planning, after ensuring that our dates were planned around the certifications that we wanted to do, we are ready to roll with the itinerary below.

Post 1

1-2-stick!

We leave Chennai on January 30, 2015, in less than a week and land in Boston. Our first stop is at Mike Boyle Strength and Conditioning, where we attend their Certified Functional Strength Coach certification. From there, we spend a week at Cressey Sports Performance, where we will spend all day observing how their classes are coached and understanding their system. For me, its mostly because I get to see Tony Gentilcore and rub it in Chez’s face. If I keep going this way, I realise this could turn out to be a very long post. So below, I’ve categorised some of the other cool stuff we have planned out.

Certifications:

  • Onnit Academy Unconventional Training Certification Level 1 (Prashanti)
  • MovNat Level 1 and Level 2 Certification (Sandeep)
  • Catalyst Athletics Level 1 Weightlifting Coaching Certification (Prashanti)
  • Training for Warriors Level 1 Instructor Course (Sandeep and Prashanti)

Gym time:

Seminars/ Clinics:

  • Powerlifting Clinic with Chad Wesley Smith
  • Perform Better Learn By Doing Seminar (Dan John, Mike Boyle, Martin Rooney and Nick Winkelman will be presenting)
  • Private clinic with David Dellanave, Movement Minneapolis

Sandeep, the fancypants will stop by London for a week on our way back to celebrate his 25th birthday in style. During his week there, he will spend time at the Parkour Generations gym and Dax Moy Personal Training Studios.

It seems like we have a lot planned out for the next two months, and how much we learn from everything we’re going to be doing largely depends on how we manage to capture all the information and knowledge we gather. That is exactly the point of the blog, and we plan to put out everything we’ve learnt out there for not only us to come back and look back at, but also for folks out there who are interested in training.

Now, if Sandeep were to have written this blog post, I am pretty sure he would have liked to thank our parents for not having asked us too many questions through this process and for supporting us. Apart from friends and family who are willing to host us at various legs of the trip, I think we owe quite a bit to Alexander for not only effectively talking us out of renting a car in LA, but also always answering our questions and putting us in touch with a lot of cool people.

 See you all in two months!

– Prashanti