This week, let’s take a little trip. Destination? Your goals.
So, what’s the best way to reach your goals? The safest? The most efficient? That’s where your Bodysmith team comes in. Think of us as your fitness travel agent. You come to us with a destination in mind and we will map your journey by the safest, most efficient route possible.
For example, many of our members want to lose body fat. Using our Hierarchy of Fat Loss, we can break down where our time together should be spent each week. The Hierarchy’s systematic, scientific and results-driven design is one of the key resources we use to lead our members successfully on a journey to fitness. But there is so much value in the Hierarchy, that I think it is useful to discuss it in depth. That’s why, today, I want to dissect number three on the hierarchy, resistance training. More specifically I want to discuss the most important part of it: RAMP (Range of motion Activation and Movement Preparation…don’t worry, we’ll talk about what that means later.)
Ok stay with me on this one. Our resistance training programs (no matter what your goal) are comprised of a series of two workouts (A and B days) organized into 4-6 week blocks. We use a 10-phase system and the workouts in each phase fluctuate variables such as sets, reps and tempo to stimulate and continually challenge the body. Each workout is further divided into 4-5 sections arranged by priority (RAMP, Core, Power, Resistance Training, Metabolic Training). All exercises are selected based on member goals, ability level and injury history. I think its safe to say there is a method to our madness.
The first portion of every workout we design consists of RAMP. As a warm up, it is the most important part of your workout and must NEVER be skipped. In other words ‘Take it Seriously.’
Think of it this way: you need to get to the other side of town and the fastest way to get there is to use the Interstate. You take the on-ramp gradually picking up speed until you merge with oncoming traffic at 60 or 70 mph. Using the on-ramp allows you to safely join the other traffic because it allows your car to increase its performance to meet the demands of high-speed traffic.
But what would happen if there were no on-ramp? There are two possibilities.
- First, you might enter the high-speed traffic lane at 20 – 30 mph and get in the way of other traffic.
- Or, you would need to accelerate so quickly that you would be risking damage to your car or loss of control.
- The result? Frustration, chaos, tire screeching, and quite possibly a wreck.
The RAMP in your workout serves the same function as the Interstate on-ramp. Your workout or group coaching session should be intense and test your abilities each and every time. Your body needs to be running at ‘Interstate’ speeds to work to its potential and reap full benefits while avoiding injuries. Jumping in your car, starting it up and gunning the engine is not going to do much for the longevity of your vehicle. Likewise, going through the motions without focus and a high level of effort will yield minimal results. Your body is a much more complicated and delicate machine than your car so care must be taken when we want it to perform at as high a level as possible…and RAMP is the key.
Without delving too deeply into the science behind RAMP, you can think of it as a way to stretch tight muscles, turn on sleepy muscles, stimulate the nervous system and increase the temperature of body tissues. Typically, we begin with the member on the ground performing isolated stretches and activations. They progress through different movements of increasing complexity, typically so you end in a standing position with a body that is ‘ready for action.’ It also gives you time to shake off the stress of the day and align your body and mind for the workout ahead.
When we design a customized program for our members we begin by gathering information on their goals and movement quality. Remember our road trip? Where are you starting and where do you want to go? The results of our screens and assessments are the starting point and the goal is the destination. If a person’s movement quality doesn’t require any special considerations, we allow them to perform our generalized RAMP that changes every month. If we identify there are things to improve upon we customize a RAMP that focuses on these areas.
Why do we RAMP? To put it plainly: Better workouts, less injury, improved results. Isn’t that what we all want?
– Coach Brad