Today, we’re talking about building the base – of fitness, nutrition habits, lifestyle change, etc.
At Unity, we work with people through all types of goals. We have people who run, bike, swim, all three, compete in powerlifting and other strength-based competitions. We work with student athletes from basketball, track, volleyball, golf, and a variety of other sports. We have people who want to lose weight, who want to gain muscle and get strong, and everything in between.
But, not to spoil the surprise, they ALL start at the same place. Members who have been with Unity for the 6 years that it’s been open, come back to the same place roughly every 60 weeks. What is this place, you ask?
It’s the reset phase.
Do you prefer to listen? This aired as an episode of the Fuel Your Freedom podcast. You can check it out below, or on all major podcast platforms!
E032 | What is Your Pre-Workout Routine? – Fuel Your Freedom
Yep. Every single person does the same (or similar) first phase with us. Not a single person is exempt. Of course, with all programming, it’s going to be personalized to their goals and movement abilities. For example, if someone is coming in to lose weight, we’re not going to prioritize jumping as a movement in their program. But for our basketball athletes? You best believe that jumping (or prerequisites to jumping) will be in that first phase of programming.
But, for their first phase, all people start with a reset that includes the fundamentals. Every 60-ish weeks, current members come back to a more advanced version of this reset.
I would argue that this is the most important and transformative phases we have.
For new members, it builds confidence in movement, allows them to check in with their body, and introduces them to training in a way that meets them where they are.
First, we’ll talk about confidence. The gym can be an intimidating place. Starting slow and with exercises you can be successful at is HUGE. Social media can portray the idea that all exercises have to use at least three implements, involve the entire body, and multiple booty bands are a must…I digress. But the point is, the picture of fitness isn’t always what effective and efficient fitness looks like in practice. Peeling back the façade that the internet portrays can be empowering to a person, especially if they’re brand new to working out.
Second, the average person isn’t always in tune with how their body is feeling throughout the day and proprioception (awareness of where the body is in space) can be lacking. Starting with simple movements puts participants in positions where they can feel which muscles should work during said movement. It takes out the guess work that can come with adding multiple implements or combination movements.
Finally, most importantly, it meets them where they are at. Whatever the fitness level of the individual, this phase allows us to see what their movement capabilities truly are. Yes, we do some movement tests and screening before members even touch a weight, but seeing the body in action provides even more information. Meeting a person where they’re at, with variations of exercises that their body can perform, is crucial to their success in future goals. But more on that later!
These same three benefits are found in members who have been training for years with us. They should have already built the confidence, but a revisit to the basics is still never a bad idea. They can tune back in with their body and how it feels in more fundamental positions. They can lift more weight in those positions compared to those exercises that they may have seen previously. They can dial in on the form before progressing with that heavier weight. The reset phase, once again, meets them where they are at – 60 weeks following the initial phase – with tougher progressions and heavier weights.
But beyond these, there is one reason that stands out as equally important to the previous three: the reset phase continues to build a wider base.
When we’re looking at the training pyramid, this reset phase is the bottom level. It is the foundation on which we build the rest of our training for the subsequent training phases. For the new trainee, this is arguably more important than for someone who has been training for years. There is one exception to this rule: someone who did not take the time to build that base when they started training.
Because, when we’re building a pyramid, the top can only be as tall as the base allows. If the base is small, the pyramid will be short. But if the base is wide, the pyramid can grow to immense heights.
The reset phase builds or adds to this base. Without it, we’re not able to build a tall(er) pyramid. We’re not able to grow in our health and fitness journey without revisiting, and mastering, the fundamentals of our body and movement.
Take the time to master the basics and build a wide base. You may be surprised how tall you can build your pyramid.
Do you have the base you need to reach the goals you want to achieve? Even if you’re not there yet, have you taken the time to build the base you’ll need? If not, do you have a plan to add to your existing base before you need to utilize it?
If you’re brand new and never trained before, take the time to build your base. I know it’s tempting to rush into the flashy exercises and complex programs that are promoted by social media influencers. Don’t do it. Meet yourself where you’re at and start slow. Build the base from which you can grow for years to come. You will not regret it.