Shades and I recently received our Original Strength certification.  Hopefully HeeHee and Jet who also attended the course will get certified soon as well.

Original Strength is an effective, principles-driven system.  It’s been around for awhile and was recommended to me years ago by a trusted source but it was hearing legendary strength coach Dan John praise its effectiveness that really caught my attention.  As a thrower and Olympic lifter in his 60’s who holds several US national records and is still competing (with a 315lb+ clean & jerk) Dan is a no nonsense type of guy.  If it isn’t effective, he is not interested.  He has been a high level coach almost as long as I’ve been alive and has used Original Strength to recover from hip replacement surgery and return to competition.

During the shutdown I started to look more seriously into Original Strength and have had only good results so far.  I’m happy to share it with members confident that it will benefit you as well.

3 Pillars

The 3 Pillars of Original Strength are as follows:

1) Diaphragmatic Breathing: Breath is life.  Many of us have poor breathing habits in our daily life and are inefficient breathers when we train.  The Iceman Wim Hoff has astounded medical science with the effectiveness of breathing control.  He works with Laird Hamilton’s XPT team.  We recently hosted XPT coach Brooke Siems for a breathing workshop. Original Strength uses the same techniques to help build robust health (tune down the sympathetic nervous system – fight or flight – and help engage your parasympathetic nervous system – rest and recover).  Training in a perpetually panicked state does not produce best results, imagine if we could train you to control and optimize your breathing during training?

2) Vestibular Activation: Every nerve and muscle is connected to your vestibular system, the system that tells you where you are in space and helps you navigate the world.  My coach, Andy Swartz, visited us last year to demonstrate how so many of us need a system reset to optimize performance and how simple eye exercises can improve something like a squat.  Original Strength uses techniques found in Z-Health to restore and correct vestibular function helping you better map your world and thereby improving your athletic performance.

3) Cross-Lateral Movements – Neurology drives physiology.  Cross-body movements help us program our body to move as intended with the brain’s right hemisphere controlling the left side of your body and the left hemisphere controlling the right side.  So many of us have forgotten how to coordinate the left and right side and upper and lower half of the body.  Original Strength uses a simple, scalable approach for reconnecting you with your natural, reflexive strength.

The program consists of breathing, head nods, rolling, rocking and crawling, the same movements infants use when originally developing their strength and coordination (Original Strength – get it?).  But just because babies do it, doesn’t mean it’s easy.  Yes, anyone, at any level can engage in and benefit from Original Strength movements but they can be quite challenging even for advanced athletes.

HeeHee offers an Original Strength Zoom WOD every Saturday morning at 9am.  I’ve been working some of the Original Strength programming into warm ups and cool downs for group classes.  On Monday’s Make Up Day I programmed Original Strength reset#1, Friday I’ll be following up with reset#2.

Friday Make Up Day: Work on skills, catch up on WODs you missed like HeroWOD Zeus, Hero WOD DG or Hero WOD Jerry or try:

Original Strength Reset #2
1 min Belly Breathing Lying On Back

30 sec Head Nods On Forearms
30 sec Head Rotations On Forearms1 min Upper-Body Rolls
1 min Lower-Body Rolls

5 mins
20 Gait Bugs
20 Egg Rolls

5 mins
20 Rocks On Forearms
20 Speed Skaters

5 mins
Forward/Backwards Crawls