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What is the “Core”?

Core…. Everyone says it, but do you fully understand what it is suppose to do?

Core, what is it and why is there so much buzz about it? Let’s take a look at the “core”. Without going into an anatomy lesson on the musculature of the core, suffice it to say that the muscles that surround the vitals from the pelvic floor to the ribs and wrap around the body from the spine to the front make up the “core”. These include and are not limited to: Tranverse Abdominus, Internal and External Obliques, muscles of the pelvic floor, multifidi, Spinal Erectorae, Rectus Abdominus, and Diaphragm.

What is the job of the core? Really, it is all about power transfer. The core is the link between the lower and the upper body. The bulk of our activities, whether they are normal daily or sport, require us to transfer power from the lower body to the upper body, or provide a base of support to reach an extremity out. What we would like to have ideally is that the musculature of the “core” provide the most efficient contraction to hold the torso (meaning spine and ribs in their most secure position) in the most optimal position to safely and effectively transfer power between the two extremities. Since the safest position for the spine and the discs between the vertebrae is the S curve, the primary function of the core musculature is to maintain this curve regardless of the activity performed. So, really the core should not be thought of the muscles in the front or side but all the way around. Strengthening the low back should be as important if not more important when considering strengthening the core.

That is the main reason we work in class on maintaining a straight spine while performing all of the basic movements (squats, Deadlifts, split squats, pushups, pull-ups, etc.) By addressing the correct spinal position during these movements we are training the musculature of the “core” allowing for the optimal transfer of power from the ground to whatever resistance there may be.

So, don’t get pigeoned holed into think core training is all planks and ball work – get your feet on the ground and teach your body how to take the strength of the legs and transfer it to your arms via the “core”.

The Myth Behind “Bulking Up”!

The Myth Behind “Bulking Up”!

We have fielded the question – “I don’t want to bulk up, will As One make me put on muscle?” Love this question! Here is the “skinny” on “bulking up”. It is all about the hormones! Men have large amounts of testosterone in comparison to women. Women have very small amounts but do have some level of testosterone in their system. Testosterone is the primary reason that men tend to put on muscle to a greater extent than women. But do men and women become “bulky” from training and in particular As One training? NO! In order to build significant amounts of muscle, the training and nutritional habits must be designed to promote muscle gains. Typically these are large volume, long rest workouts with nutritional habits that consume large amounts of protein. The primary focus of the As One training is to improve Strength (primarily strength endurance) and Work Capacity via the anaerobic and aerobic energy systems. Now, if you have not been training intensely like in our programs, there will be some adaptation (meaning muscular development) that takes place, but this attenuates within 6-8 weeks and then muscular adaptation will slow to an undetectable rate. This adaptation is necessary so that the body can work at the requisite work loads to achieve the metabolic changes desired and needed to achieve true fitness.

So, for those of you worried about bulking up, do not fear! Get as fit as you can, be proud of your hard work and new ability and the rest will take care of itself and look fantastic!