Tim was featured on the Just Fly Performance Podcast with Joel Smith.
Tim has been a personal trainer for over 20 years. He has written and co-written many books on the subject of primal bodyweight movements, including The Becoming Bulletproof Project, Habitual Strength, Pressing RESET, and Original Strength Performance. When it comes down to it, his message is simple yet powerful: We were created to feel good and be strong throughout life.
Several years ago, I bought one of Tim’s books on Kindle, and was totally floored with the simple, but powerful concept of crawling as an essential athletic, and human performance tool. As an athlete who has lost a significant amount of my innate speed and power ability through my late 20’s and early 30’s, despite lifting more weights than ever, I have always been on the search for ways to reclaim the inner power and movement ability of my youth. One thing that I’ve found to be a cornerstone in this reflexive or innate strength has been taking on the training methods of Tim Anderson and Original Strength.
Today’s podcast is about just that: helping athletes to reclaim their reflexive strength. Tim gives his take on how he first got interested in crawling and acquiring reflexive strength, the basics of crawl-based training, guidelines on breathing and rolling, and how learning “Original Strength” has changed Tim’s view of corrective exercise and addressing movement dysfunction (and why we should shy away from those terms).
Today’s episode is brought to you by SimpliFaster, supplier of high-end athletic development tools, such as the Freelap timing system, kBox, Sprint 1080, and more.
- How Tim got into crawl training
- The basics of “reflexive strength”
- How Tim’s relationship with traditional barbell oriented training has changed as he has gone through reflexive and crawl based training methods
- How Tim starts his clients in their training program
- Tim’s take on common crawl variations and add-ons
- Ideas on working with athletes who have a lot of lateral “sway” while crawling
- Tim’s take on the learning process in athletic movement
- Basic guidelines in Tim’s process for getting athlete’s breathing back on track
- Ideas on using crawling as a preferential mode of conditioning
- Rolling as the foundation of our gait pattern
- How original strength means have changed Tim’s view of “corrective” exercise
“(Crawling) was almost like an elixir”
“What I noticed that (after crawling) I was so much stronger at all the other stuff I was doing (weight training)”
“Reflexive strength is the strength we are all designed to have that is supposed to be our foundation, it is both reactive strength and proactive strength; where your body is able to respond when something happens to it, but it is also able to anticipate the need to move before something happens to it… it is supposed to be extremely fast and without thought”
“Crawling ties the body together in such a way, that it connects everything about you and gives you a great foundation of reflexive strength”
“To me, strength is the ability to live your life the way you want to and do what you want to do, without strength you don’t have health”
“There are huge gaps in traditional strength training (in terms of transfer to movement quality on the field)”
“Probably 90% of what I do is original strength, pressing reset through crawling and the other resets”
“So when I’m talking about looking to see if they have their reflexive strength, it is about how beautifully, and how easily and how pretty they can move”
“I don’t even worry about how long they can crawl, it’s more about can they crawl pretty, does it look good? does it look like poetry? If it looks anything less than that, we got some work to do”
“The core is instinctual, and intuitive and reactive, and it knows what to do. A child knows how to brace, and it’s reflexive”
“If you have to have a cognitive method for always being able to lift, or move or perform, it’s only so long before something doesn’t go right”
“If someone is trying to start at crawling, but they don’t have the pieces under that (such as breathing and rolling), then we may need to move to another piece of the foundation”
“When kids learn how to do anything, the first time if often looks like an accident”
“We don’t have to act to clean something up as much as we need to shut up and show up, at times”
“Athletes have no business learning to move with a 300lb bar on their back (they need to be coached in that scenario), but if they are just trying to move their own body, we can afford to let them learn how to move”
“I ask that they put their tongue on the roof of their mouth, they close their lips, they breathe through their nose, and they try to relax their belly enough to fill it up with air as they breathe in… how we get there, that all depends on the individual”
“I am a bit overly simplistic and boring when it comes to (crawl variations). Hands and knees crawling with the head up to the horizon and the back like a silverback gorilla, hands and knees moving together is all you need to do”
“If you want to add load to it, pull a sled while you are crawling”
“If you really want to make a tremendously resilient athlete who does not stop or has no limits, you crawl with their lips shut, breathing in and out through their nose, for time… you are introducing them to gentle reflexive training and cardiovascular training”
“Performance is never about “strength” it’s about the nervous system. It’s always about the nervous system and there is no strength without the nervous system being healthy and efficient and feeling safe, so it’s always about the nervous system and how the body’s designed more than how you build strength in the weightroom and what your modality is”
“Rolling is truly a foundation of your gait pattern… if you imagine your body as an “X” rolling connects your “X”.”
“My biggest litmus test is how well can they roll… because if they can roll and look like a dancer, then they’ll look like a dancer on two feet”
“If you go through your designed movement sequence, everything learns to do what it’s supposed to do… the body dances together as one whole piece, it’s not parts and pieces”
“If you can crawl forward for 10 minutes with your lips shut, nasal breathing without breaking stride, that would be fantastic…. crawl with your lips shut. If you can’t get there yet, crawl with your lips shut, when you mouth pops open rest, and then start with your lips shut again and let’s accumulate 10 minutes of nasal breathing crawling time”
“It is ridiculous just how effective just hands and knees crawling is”