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Reinventing Fitness: Our 4 Philosophies

The Philly Phanatic. Best Mascot in pro sports? I think so!!

The Philly Phanatic. Best Mascot in pro sports? I think so!!

Reinventing Fitness: Our 4 Philosophies

By Shane Sauer

I don’t like the Patriots. 

There, as a New Englander (of over 11 years now), I said it. But there’s a good reason: my childhood.

Most of my family was from the Philadelphia area, and I grew up in Washington, DC. So, when it comes to professional sports, being a Philly Phanatic is in my blood.  

I’ve had a lot of years of rooting for teams that were really good but never good enough. The 2004 Eagles—a stellar team—lost to the Patriots in Super Bowl XXXIX. 

Since then, I moved to New England and have watched all the local teams win at least one title. Unlike most out-of-towners, I am willing to admit to how good the Boston-area teams are. In fact, I’ll even admit that I am jealous of them.  But that still doesn’t mean I’m going to like them.  Hopefully, you’ll understand that people from other parts of the country sometimes dislike them—a lot!

This Christmas, my in-laws were kind enough to gift me Tom Brady’s new book.  You can imagine my initial response; what a great gag gift!  That was only their intention in part, though.  They recognized that learning how Tom Brady has sustained his success could be useful to me, given my profession. 

Now, I’ve only had a chance to flip through the book, but I did stumble across the 12 principles of his program (ok, I went looking for them and they had their own chapter). This book really was a great gift because it matches many of the philosophies of my business, MATRIX Personalized Fitness.  TB-12 and MATRIX are all about helping people achieve a desired performance level, then sustain it.   

So, I’ve decided to share my four main philosophies with you here. (I figured that was more interesting than just copying Tom’s down.  Plus, I don’t think copyright laws would let me.  And if I had a whole book instead of a blog, I might shoot for twelve like Tom.) 

Minimal Effective Dose = Finding the sweet spot.

Minimal Effective Dose = Finding the sweet spot.

  1. Minimal Effective Dose – This is a big one that most people don’t recognize.  They think that if exercise or dieting is good for them, then more exercise or dieting is better. The truth is that diet and exercise are like medicine—the right dose can make your life a lot better; Too little and you don’t change; Too much and you can cause harm to your body. Unfortunately, this is what befalls most people who embark on a fitness program; they don’t get the dosing right and they get hurt or discouraged. The key to finding the right dose is philosophy #2…
  2. Assess & Reassess – Every person is different and needs a different “dose”.  Human physiology differs enough from person to person that there is no one right answer.  Not mention, we all have different starting points and end goals.  So certain fitness programs work for some and not for others.  To know what is working/not working for you, you need to assess and reassess frequently.  With brain-based training we do at MATRIX, you can easily assess and reassess every workout or even every exercise.  I’ve even explained how in this video!  At the least, you should track/assess things important to your goals to make sure you see progress.
  3. Great Habits – Nothing gets done in the long term without it turning into a habit.  21-day challenges and other quick fixes don’t build the routines needed for lifelong fitness. They’re just something you push through and move on from.  They might get those instant results because they take advantage of the body’s ability to change, but they lack the longevity of sustainable practice. If you want to be fit for life, identify small changes that can easily be worked into your life and build from them over time.
  4. Recovery & Sleep – Recovery might be the most important of all these philosophies, but it is also the most undervalued. In a society that promotes phrases like “sleep when you’re dead”, it’s no surprise many people are run down and exhausted.  Fortunately, you can use the three philosophies above to really nail this one. With effective dosing, cross training, and moderation you can effectively reduce the amount of recovery your body needs by not exhausting it in the first place.  Assessing and reassessing will let you know when you need to take it a little easier or when you can go harder. Lastly, forming good habits around sleep and nutrition will maximize your recovery processes.

With lifestyle diseases, like heart disease, obesity, and diabetes reaching epidemic proportions, it’s no surprise that the amount of information and variety programs are increasing as well. Unfortunately, with so many options and so much information out there, it is tough for people to figure out what is the right course of action. Even the good, sustainable ideas can be contradictory and won’t work for everyone.  Hopefully, you can apply my four principles to anything you come across and look at it with a subjective eye.  And don’t forget, you can always reach out if you need help!

Good luck!

You can find additional information about these blogs and other videos from MATRIX Personalized Fitness on YouTube.