Ido Portal @ CrossFit Dublin: The Movement Experience

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Back in July we welcomed Ido Portal to CrossFit Dublin Blackrock, and I have to say it was an event that lived up to its billing. Ido did not disappoint. He imparted some real knowledge insights to the group that day, and I will share a few of the many that stuck out in my mind with you now.

Insight 1. – Most people are “Delusional”

Ido cuts straight to the bone – a real straight shooter. His take on why people weren’t gaining or progressing in fitness is because he said most people are Delusional. They convince themselves they are training, but in reality they are just working out. They don’t set goals, they don’t train consistently, they don’t train with integrity (see pregnancy principle below). They delude themselves into thinking they are putting in the effort required, but the reality is they are cutting corners on things, they don’t turn up, don’t do the work asked for, and don’t look after themselves outside the gym – yet expect to develop.

To illustrate this point, he got us all to squat deep, and hold for 10 minutes…. after the 10 minutes there was a lot of moaning and groaning, stiff knees and hips were giving out. He pointed out that we were all “delusional”, you want to load up the barbell, but you cant even squat….. what business have you controlling loads when you cant even control your own body weight…. It was Ido trying to prove a point, but it was an interesting point.

Insight 2. – The pregnancy principle to training.

Ido recommends the pregnancy principle in training – (a useful antidote to being delusional I might add).
The principle is like this. There is no nearly pregnant, no kinda pregnant, no half pregnant – your either pregnant, or your not! This applies to training prescription in the principle that a rep is only a rep if it hits a precise description of that rep. Without it there is no progression (only further delusion!)

An example of how this was applied, was we had to do a pull-up drill on the rings for 5 reps @ tempo 3010 (for those who sleep through the whiteboard every week, that means 3 sec negative, no pause at bottom, 1 second up, no pause at the top). With a false grip hold on the rings, full dead hang and turn out at the bottom, sternum to touch rings at the top.
2 mins into the drill we were all stopped, No one was observing the tempo, many were missing the dead hang, or the rings touching the sternum. “Its like this” he said, “the prescription is simple, chest to rings mean the chest touches rings, not nearly touches, it touches or it doesn’t. Pregnant or not pregnant.” I have to say, when I have applied this over the last few weeks to training, I have uncovered a lot about myself, my weaknesses, and the corners i might have once cut for that extra rep!

Insight 3. – “One more rep” has ruined the fitness profession.

Read above – “one more rep at all costs” causes abandonment of the pregnancy principle, and more delusional people in gyms. If your being called out by coaches for moving badly – do yourself a favour, accept it as help, and modify your approach accordingly.

Insight 4

30/30 squat challenge.
We went through this on the day also, I had tried it before, but my resolve faded after 4-5 days and I abandoned it. Since the course, I have hit 20+ mins in the squat every day – its made a phenomenal difference to my mobility. I would recommend it to all. See here on his facebook page for more details.

Insight 5

7 min hanging challenge
A week after starting the 30/30 challenge, I began the hanging challenge too – a fantastic way to build grip strength and rehab shoulders. I’ve been implementing it a lot in my shoulder rehab work recently to great effect. Check it out here – As with the squat challenge, begin gradually, and build up slowly over the month.

To sum it all up – the Ido portal movement workshop was top class, the best course I’ve been on in years. I hope some of these insights will help you as much as they have helped me.

Here’s to re-focussing your training!

Albert Kehoe

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