In this video Matt Brindle our functional strength coach discusses Body Slings, fascia, the myofascial system upregulation and Matt’s Gym – This is the eighth part of eight videos on the subject of functional strength training..

Video Transcript:

Matt:    Body slings. I think body slings has probably gone out of vogue.

David:    Lets talk about that.

Matt:    They are still there. Still, I’m going to give you what we now understand.

David:    Give us the Readers Digest version of body slings.

Matt:    I was talking about fascia or the myofascial system. There is a guy called Thomas Myers. He came from a Rolfing background, which is a hands-on practitioner sort of thing. Thomas started to look at the body in a longitudinal way rather than a dissected way, so from head to toe as opposed to lets cross section and cut out muscles and have a look at these muscles. He actually got in and started looking at cadavers. Rather than cutting across this way, he cut up that way. He has found about 11 continual lines of myofascia, so connective tissue and muscle that will run from the foot all the way up. Some of them have specific roles in terms of mitigating force in sort of backward and forward motions, some in side-to-side motions, some in rotational motions.

I spoke about body slings and some of the body slings we understood back then have a bit of carryover to what Thomas has actually physically removed from the body. He has removed what we called the superficial back line, so the muscles of the back of the body from the big toe through the plantar fascia, all the way through the calves, the hamstrings, the sacrotuberous ligament, the erector spinae, all the way over to just above the forehead is one continual line of fascia with pockets of muscle that is there to mitigate stress from one end to the other; be it from top down or bottom up.

We now understand that they had developed to enable us to maintain positions and create movement, anticipate stress and all that sort of stuff. Speaking and communicating because it is progressively reached tissue. We now into this as myofascial lines as opposed to body slings. There is a carryover. The research is little bit different but Thomas work is leading anybody in the world at the moment is doing as to how the body uses these what we thought to be inactive tissue as part of its dynamic nature. It is pretty powerful in what it does. It can be subtle, but that subtlety level, which we spoken of before, is powerful in the end result.

David:     All right, upregulation. These were some of terms that we talked about in the [Debut Day00:03:28]

Matt:    Yeah, we have spoken about them in the Debut Day. Upregulation is like Sam talking about doing a leg extension. It is a very downregulated exercise because it is one joint, maybe a couple of muscle groups. Little of bit or proprioception there. We can upregulate from that by bringing in more motions to facilitate greater extensibility through the whole body.

David:    Upregulation is really using more of the body in the motion.

Matt:    Yeah, in the motion. In the motion [what we want to achieve] is using more of the body. It is pretty simple. It is just another word for I suppose proprioception in reaching an integrated movement like bringing it all together. It is just a basic word.

David:    Multi-jointed?

Matt:    Multi-jointed, full extension, full integration of everything. Getting the stimulation through the proprioceptors.

David:    Kind of getting back to that natural movement.

Matt:    Yeah.

David:    I shared this joke with you like the wood chop.  You should just get trucks drying of water at the gym and people were doing wood chop all day and then yourself forward upfront.

Matt:    We could do that. Wed probably make more money. I will buy, wood is so cheap.

David:    The thing is that the wood chop is actually a variation of one of the exercises we do in the Debut Day. It is a multi-faceted exercise.

Matt:    It is integrated and again you can downregulate that exercise if there is some reason or need to, by maybe switching off the pelvis, not using the pelvis and just using the trunk, but again we know that body works better.

David:    Why would you want to do that?

Matt:    Yeah, why isolate something it doesn’t ever work on its own. Lets integrate or lets upregulate it or lets get the whole system going as it is designed. We can stick to the use of development.

David:    This was the same when we talked about ground force. It is like we neurologically, and this is what I was explaining, basically we are neurologically prone to work against gravity. When our body understands the movement working against gravity, it fires itself up a lot better than if we lock ourselves into a machine and then just hammer away. It is not very natural and it is not the way that our body has evolved from when we were cells to fish swimming in the sea or whatever was transition from then to where we are.

Matt:    We’ve always been a reaction to the environment. Gravity, ground force, momentum, all these forces, even the forces within the body itself through breathing and pressures and create the development and the structure that the body needs. Machines take a lid away. They isolate everything. They put you into a dumb state of motion. We call it dumb because not much is going on. Nothing wrong with the exercise if it is there and that is what you want to do.

David:    If you want to make your muscles big. I have never seen a bodybuilder ride a bike very well. Actually I’ve got a little bit of story around that and that was, one of my friends used to be a bodybuilder. He got into cycling, largely built guy, and I used to be able to beat him sprinting. He couldn’t understand how he could push a lot more weight. I’m not a big guy and my sprint is not that amazing. I could beat him in a sprint on the bike.

Matt:    He has all these muscles?

David:    He has all the muscles and strength.

Matt:    He doesn’t really have the strength. He has slow strength, but he doesn’t have power. He doesn’t have efficiency in motion.

David:    I just said to him one day, I said to you just got to get off the machines. The interesting thing was that he then was able to develop strength. He was beating me in sprints.

Matt:    Functional strength they get carried over to

David:    Carried over, yeah. Unloading and loading.

Matt:    I spoke about it already; unloading, deceleration, eccentric lengthening. We call it loading because what happens is, we know that muscle and fascia have elastic component to it.

David:    Like a rubber band?

Matt:    Like a rubber band. It builds kinetic energy. It can then use that kinetic energy through that concentric phase which is the unloading, so you load kinetic energy into the system and then you unload it. Then it switches off. That is what loading it and unloading is. It is the lengthening of muscles first, so stimulates not only the progress of it but builds kinetic energy, and then the body will use it in an unloading phase, which is the acceleration. It is pretty basic mechanics but that is how we work as a human body.

David:    I would cut it off. I think we have really, really gotten into the depths of functional strength training and mobilizing I think really, really hammered it out here. That was just being fascinating, but lets talk a little about the gym here. You’ve got a gym here, whats the unique thing about your gym? I know you’ve named it Integrated Training, you got into this gym because I know you were working in another gym for a while doing your apprenticeship.

Matt:    For 12 years.

David:    For 12 years?

Matt:    More like entrepreneurship.

David:    You used to train trainers and you still do that today don’t you? You do train functional strength training to trainers. You train the trainer?

Matt:    Yeah.

David:    You obviously do little bit of you’ve got a few clients and Ive been one of your clients as well. You got into this gym in when did you

Matt:    2009 so that’s four and half years.

David:    Four and half years?

Matt:    Yes.

David:    Wow.

Matt:    See lot of lost hair when growing this company.

David:    Whats your philosophy around the gym that you’ve got here and what sort of stuff that people, what are they doing?

Matt:    Okay.  Just so you can understand, I’m going to compare what I know about another gym which is located a few meters down the road from us. That gym has all fixed machines. The single axis, single joint machines. They do have a bit of dead lifting equipment and bar bells and they are full of treadmills and rovers and that sort of stuff. As you know, we have got a fair bit of space here. I would say at least 50% of it is just space. Because for us to get the result we want from our clients, be it weight loss, reconditioning, rehab, whatever you want to call it, we need to get motion occurring within our clients. That requires space. It doesn’t necessarily require equipment because we’ve already got load, which is gravity and it is ground force and it is momentum and the body itself. There are loads that we can use. We can add to them but we don’t need them for certain things.

If we want to develop power stuff here, we change the variables and add some stuff to it. Our gym revolves around a philosophy where movement is what we need. Movement is what is lacking in society today. Lifestyle is far more convenient than what we need it to be. We don’t need to lift a finger to do anything these days. Everything’s on our phones. Music, photos, the internet, we can sit there and just tap away with our thumb. This little thumb here gets most of the work all day long. We don’t even talk to people now because we can just text them on Facebook or whatever. We are so removed from how we evolved to getting here and it is accelerating in such a huge pace. We got it. We said that is going to happen. That is part of our evolution, but what we do here is try to bring back what we came from and that we are designed around multidirectional motion, the body is designed for. We have some machines because there still is a need for some people that they want to build muscle, so we have some traditional equipment. I think we got three pieces of equipment, which I would consider traditional.

David:    You’ve got a leg press down there.

Matt:    I have got a leg press. Ive had it for four years. Ive never used it. That doesn’t mean I cant use it. If a client comes and says My goal is this. I want to do leg press. We will do some leg press then well move. There will always be a progression from going from something that’s isolated into an integrated place, and that’s why you use the name integrated, because I believe in motion it is got to be integrated and with everything that we do, from our health, our diet and emotional well being is all linked to integrated system. You impact on one and we can do that by giving the body good motion. As I said before really if you feel better emotionally, you will be better.

David:    If you feel better, you are going to feel better.

Matt:    There is this link between good movement and good feelings. You don’t have pain. You don’t have aches. You don’t feel stiff, so therefore you are going to be in a more positive mind. You are going to be more encouraged to get out and do stuff. Move a bit more, experience life a bit more. That to me is the key. I can give my clients the comfort or the confidence, I should say, in their body to do what they want to do.

David:    I understand. You do mainly one-on-one sessions or you do like two people together, and you’ve got personnel. It is not just yourself down there.

Matt:    No.

David:    You’ve got…

Matt:    Eleven other trainers down there.

David:    We are in a big room up here on top of your joint, that’s what we’ve been hearing.

Matt:    Its got synthetic grass.

David:    It has got synthetic grass. The downstairs is where you’ve got your main gym and this area here is really I thought Id see a lot of machines up here, but I don’t see any.

Matt:    No, there’s no machines and we are in the process of developing this area into a group fitness room, and we don’t want machines because they don’t allow us to move.

David:    You are just getting like you pump into them.

Matt:    We use up here what we call functional training tool. The tools that allow you to move around everywhere, add little bit of resistance and little bit of momentum through whatever it is you’re doing. Get the heart rate up, burn the calories you need, hydrate the system through good motion, have a bit of interaction with people, have a bit of fun and enjoy activity again.

Matt Brindle can be contacted at his personal gym:

Integrate Personal Training
709-711 Glenhuntly Road
Caulfield South Vic 3162
T: 03 9528 4779
F: 03 9528 6779