Training has certainly evolved over the years. We’ve gone from small bodybuilding subcultures to gyms opening to the public and becoming more mainstream, to underground athletic performance facilities to soccer moms flipping tires.
And although it’s great that fitness is bigger than ever (still a very small percentage of the population are training) it has come with its share of avoidable injuries for most. This is commonly due to poor technique and programming, overuse issues, minimal mobility work and lack of a thorough warm-up.
At Tutela Training Systems it is our goal to cut through all of the bullshit and to train with purpose. Everything we do is done for a reason. Our programming has specific progressions and regressions involved, we warm-up at the start of each session and our coaches are trained to make any modification based on the individual’s specific needs.
I believe that training in this way will keep you healthy and strong and lead to a lifetime of results and long term activity.
I want to help you incorporate the TTS system into your own training routine if you can’t train directly with us. In order to do that I want to give you what we call the 10 TTS Commandments so you can pack on more muscle and strength, lose fat and train for the long haul.
So without further ado, here are the 10 TTS Commandments.
- Thou shall apply at least 10 minutes of prehab work prior to their training session
Prehab is the work we do to prevent injuries, which essentially prevents having to undergo rehab. This commonly consists of static stretching and soft tissue work by using SMR techniques. I recommend picking out your most problematic areas and addressing them for these 10 minutes prior to your training session, rather than mindlessly running through every stretch in the book.
- Thou shall take a thorough dynamic warm-up at the start of each training session
Prehab typically addresses your soft tissue issues and flexibility. The TTS warm up however, will address your mobility. The difference is that flexibility refers to the range of motion of the muscle, whereas mobility refers to the range of motion of the joints. We also use this warm-up to activate your neuromuscular connection (CNS), lubricate the joints, increase the heart rate and core temperature, dynamically activate the musculature being trained and put us into a much stronger and safer state to train in. In the TTS warm-up we use a series of body weight exercises to address all of the above. This can be done in about 10 minutes or so.
- Thou shall warm-up on each heavy strength exercise you do
After your prehab and warm-up you’re still not ready to jump right into a heavy squat. You must warm-up specifically for the exercise to help your body gain even more range of motion and adapt to the working load. It’s never a good idea to just toss 300 lbs. on your back and go to work. Take your time and work up to the working load. The stronger you are the more warming up you’re going to need.
- Thou shall train with the intention to build muscle and strength
You’re lifting weights to build muscle and get strong. Losing body fat comes as a result to your diet, so don’t try to make your strength work into a cardio circuit. Otherwise, you’ll just end up losing muscle and getting weaker or worse, injured due to shitty technique from the fatigue. If your goal is to improve conditioning then we will prioritize that either after your strength work or on days off of the weight room.
- Thou shall modify your training based on your specific needs
If you have really tight, internally rotated shoulders than you probably shouldn’t be squatting with a barbell. If you have elbow pain when doing chin-ups then you probably shouldn’t be using a straight bar. There are tons of modifications you can make to your training where your workout isn’t going to make you worse. That’s the opposite of what you want. Make the modifications you need to continue to progress and avoid injury.
- Thou shall not sacrifice form for weight
Here’s the deal. If your form sucks you ain’t gettin’ better, you’re getting worse. Simply trying to push numbers with disregard to your mechanics is going to lead to an injury. Plus, you’re not taking full advantage of the actual exercise you’re training because the musculature is not being hit properly. When form breaks down you’re making some type of compensation. If you focus on quality technique you’ll build MORE muscle, MORE mobility, MORE strength and improve your mechanics. Be patient and train smart. The numbers will come.
- Thou shall pull twice as much as you push
Constant pressing and little focus on the upper back is going to lead to shoulder issues. A simple remedy to that is to pull twice as much as you push. So if you are doing a bench press for 3 sets of 5, you should row for 3 sets of 10. Vertical pulling like a chin-up is also important, but since it’s mainly targeting the lats you’re going to want to do twice as much horizontal pulling than vertical pulling, since the lats internally rotate the shoulders. Too much emphasis on lat development could make matters worse if the shoulders are already internally rotated.
- Thou shall do some type of sprint variation once per week
A sprint is a fundamental human movement pattern and is incredible for burning fat, building muscle and improving cardiorespiratory conditioning. You should incorporate one sprint session per week. Just be sure to hammer your prehab and TTS warm-up prior to your session. NOTE: Keep in mind that sprinting is stressful on the body. Sprinting on the flat ground has the greatest risk of injury, especially if you have not sprinted in a while. Instead of the flat ground, sprint up a hill or set of bleachers for the same effect with less risk of injury.
- Thou shall focus on eating earth grown nutrients and adequate hydration
There’s so much debate about nutrition these days it has become exhausting. Instead of wondering which diet works best, simply eat foods that are earth grown and avoid anything processed. Drink at least half of your bodyweight in ounces per day in water and cut out all juice, soda, etc. Coffee and tea are cool in addition but don’t add any sugar, sweeteners or other shit to it.
- Thou shall address flexibility, mobility and soft tissue health daily
Your goal is to get results, feel good and improve your quality of life. If you want that for the long haul then you’re going to need to work on these common issues daily. But it doesn’t have to take all day. Do a little bit for 10-15 minutes every day in addition to your prehab and training. That way you’ll ensure your ability to move freely and without pain.
I know that following these 10 TTS commandments will lead to a bigger, stronger, leaner and healthier you. Stay consistent with them and trust the process.
Remember that the goal is to remain healthy and train long term. Focus on what’s going to keep you strong and in the game.
Thanks for reading!