Functionality and Movement

The July/August issue of Mens Health magazine is the Body Issue, which confused me because I thought that every issue was a body issue. Issue theme aside, it was a welcome surprise to see that when choosing which men to feature in the “body issue” they opted for ability and functionality, instead of aesthetics. Rather than cover model bodies and hollywood stars, Men’s Health have put together a list of Olympic rowers, strong men, cyclists, runners and ballerinos.  To be fair, all the men featured look good aesthetically, but all in their own way, and all very different from one another.

The men, and their training habits, featured in the current issue Mens Health seems to be part of a larger trend in mens fitness, away from free weights and bulk for the sake of bulk, and towards functionality, ability and movement. This trend has been quietly gaining momentum for years. While Conor McGregor has helped bring bodyweight and movement training more into the spotlight, fellow UFC competitor Nate Diaz commented;

“Everybody nowadays is like there is this new movement setup that Conor is bringing to the table but that was already around. That’s what inspired us to begin with…….all that movement stuff they’re trying to preach, we already got.”

A few years ago I went to my first movement based exercise seminar. At the seminar my free-weight built muscles were exposed as largely useless. It turns out my free-weight build muscles were only good for lifting more free-weights. I quit the gym and replaced it with running, Rushfit, boxing, barre, olympic rings, crawling, parallettes and more. I do still own a set of 7.5kg dumbbells, but I incorporate them into full body movements. I drop elements of my training and bring in new pieces all the time, which keeps it interesting. In the Summer months, like now, I can train outside in the sun and fresh air. Below is a video of me doing some free movement, its far from perfect and I have a long way to go, but I feel fitter and even though Im getting older, I’m becoming MORE mobile, long may that continue!

 

 

Mo Run

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Its the month of November, which is also the month of Movember. I decided to grow a moustache and run the MoRun 10K in the Phoenix Park with my fiancée. My weekly running routine consists of three runs. Two 30 minute runs during the week, and a distance run at the weekend, and I stuck to this routine for the MoRun. The MoRun is about raising awareness and having some fun so I wasn’t looking to break any records so I was pleased with my 10K time of 52 mins and 52 seconds.

The MoRun is a very enjoyable race. The course isn’t flat, but the ups and downs are not all that steep so its manageable for most. The race organisation is done well, with the 5K runners starting first and doing one lap of the course, and the 10K runners starting 15 minutes later doing 2 laps.

There is a very fun atmosphere at this race. Lots of people were dressed up in fancy dress, there was a fun warm up consisting of dance moves such as the chainsaw, and the medal is in the shape of a moustache.

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While I’ve no reason to believe Movember is anything but a great charity, I’ve not done any research into where the money raised goes, so this year I’m raising awareness, not money. I’m no doctor, but check out Men’s Health UK’s article on prostate cancer, which is most common cancer found in men, its an informative read.

Happy running and stay healthy.

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