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Systems & Movement Prep: The remix

Posted by tdifranc on October 4, 2010

A few weeks ago Brijesh Patel – the Head Strength & Conditioning Coach at Quinnipiac University ran a blog that I put together about “systems” and “warm-ups”.
I have taken that post and done some plastic surgery on it by adding some great videos….check it out:

According to the definition of a system is as follows:


–noun 1. an assemblage or combination of things or parts forming a complex or unitary whole.

Have you ever wondered how a good cook can take a good recipe and tweak it to make a GREAT recipe?  Take pizza for example:  We all like pizza but there is one person or one pizza place that just makes the BEST pizza you have ever had!  It is so good you would eat it if your dog licked it after licking it’s own tootsie roll maker!!!

Have you ever wondered why/how that pizza is so damn good?  Well the answer is simple they have a system and they plug the right things into the system to get an amazing result – the pizza you LOVE!  A recipe is a system and a great cook can take a basic system such as:

1. Dough

2. Sauce

3. Toppings…

and make it into the most complex whole pizza you have ever tasted by plugging an assemblage or combination of things or parts into each category.  If that didn’t make sense then go back to the top of the page…read the definition and now re-read that awkward sentence…tricky stuff eh?

Good cooks can take that basic system or recipe and plug in the ingredients they know will get them the results they are looking for.  The same goes for a good training program or more specifically a good movement prep portion of a workout program.  Movement prep is just a fancy name for warm-up.  I didn’t coin the term but it makes me feel cool when I call our warm-up “movement prep”.  Look at it this way – before pizza was called pizza they probably called it something boring like “doughy-sauce & cheese”.  Then some trailblazer came through and called it pizza – how cool did that guy feel???

We all know that a good workout or training session is only as good as it’s warm-up or movement prep!  You ever find yourself skimping on the warm-up and just jumping into your workout/training session?  If you don’t know what I am talking about then here’s what you have to do:  Go to the local community gym ONE TIME when it opens and you will see what I am talking about – you will see a collection of people who have already been awake for like 4 hours (gym opens at 6am – you do the math) sitting in their cars waiting for any sign of the poor 15 year old kid who is getting paid $2.00/hr to open up and work the front desk at 6am.  There will probably be about 3-5 of these die-hards waiting and when the 15 year old kid arrives the rest is classic:

1.  They all jump out of their cars as if the gym is only open this one day during the entire year and it is only going to be open for 10 minutes.

2.  They do this weird loping movement toward the gym doors because one leg is asleep from sitting in the car for so long and the other knee, hip or ankle is all busted up from the “killer” boot camp that they did at 5am the day before.

3.  The 15 year old kid starts to panic because he is still half asleep and can’t remember the alarm code but finally he remembers because the creepy janitor (already inside???) reminds him it is 1-2-3-4.

4.  They all throw their keys at the kid at once and lope (now faster) to the locker room.

5.  They get to the locker room, throw stuff in a locker and then for the next few minutes talk about odd personal issues and do some combination of the following weird stretches…

– Hug one arm across their chest

– Prop one heel up on the bench and step away from it as far/hard as they can

– Grab the corner of the lockers and then lean past the locker until they can’t breath

– Kick their heel up towards their butt 2-3 times until they catch it from behind and then hold it as they attempt to dislocate their own ankle

– Face the lockers, press both hands into them and push down through their heel as if they are trying to drive the lockers through the wall

– Then they do this funky jog in place thing for like 12 seconds and finally they are all warmed up and ready to go!!!???!!!

This is their warm-up/movement prep!!!  Now do you know why these people are all hurt, have had 2-3 surgeries, and can never do more than 2-3 resistance machine exercises followed by 5 minutes on the treadmill?

There is so much you can accomplish in a short time with a good quality movement prep session prior to your training session but only if you have a good system associated with it!

Here is the basic system that works for us with a few basic video options of what you can plug into the different categories:

1. FR (Foam Roll):

2. DS (Dynamic Stretch):

3. CA (Core Activation):

4. GA (Glute Activation):

5. RSP (Reactivity/Speed Prep):

6. PTP (Power/Training Prep):

It’s no different than 1. dough, 2. sauce and 3. toppings – we just plug whatever we see fit into each category based on the individual, on the training focus for that day, and on what we want for results and voila they are ready to train!  Keep in mind that some people require a more complex movement prep including table/manual work, correctives, and then floor/primitive work but a good cook/performance trainer knows when/how to improvise and how to tweak the recipe/system to get the desired result!


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