I am reading Gray Cook’s latest book Movement and in it he has some very profound statements. This morning I came across this one:

Isolated normalcy has little realistic implications.

What this means is that any measurement taken in isolation of the whole is extremely limited. In the book Gray is using it to describe the traps set by the current reductionist mindset used in training and rehab.

For example, knowing that the ankle joint has adequate range of motion and strength after an injury means little unless you also know how that same ankle works with all the other joints in the body to create movement. How many people have been cleared from ankle rehab but still walk with a limp? Isolated normalcy of the ankle means little unless the reality of how it actually works is taken into account.

There are countless examples of this in training as well. Isolating specific training components like cardio and strength has lead to training programs that overemphasize certain things while minimizing or forgetting others. This is the mindset that has lead to so many riders trying to simply ride their way into shape when the reality is all that does is build isolated cardio capacity that has limited application to the realities of the trail.

Thinking that increasing VO2Max without also working on mobility and maximal strength is that thought process in action. Not recognizing that there are times that building maximal strength or mobility will actually be more important than simply concentrating on things that will let you score higher on a VO2Max test is the pitfall of the isolationist mindset.

Everything works together and can not be viewed by itself. Ankle joints affect shoulder joints, strength levels affect cardio capacity, mobility levels affect skills proficiency and the list goes on and on. Being able to look above the ground level and see things from a global perspective should be your goal.

-James Wilson-

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