Disciplined Training VS Creative Expression

posted in: Podcast, Uncategorized | 7

Today, while on the phone with my friend and colleague, Shane Heins, we got talking about creativity in physical training. We were in the midst of a really engaging conversation when the thought to turn the recorder on popped into our heads. Yes, we acknowledged how dangerous that could be, but we decided to go through with it and see what happens.

This is NOT a professionally executed audio interview that was prepared ahead of time and edited to perfection (like any of my stuff is like that anyways!). This is the raw, unedited audio that transpired approximately two hours ago when two fitness coaches got on the phone together to talk training.

We figured that we would just put it out there and see if this type of thing is well-received.

We’re mostly interested in hearing what you think about the format (ie simple, unscripted conversation via audio mp3 – kindof like a short podcast).

Regardless of how it is received, this IS what happens when two fitness pros get onto the phone and begin blabbing semi-coherent thoughts about complex subjects.

Listener discretion is advised.

John and Shane Pow-Wow

*Mp3 audio file, approximate length is 21 minutes

Now It’s Your Turn

Thoughts? Comments? Please post them below! Or, if you’re not feeling nearly as blabby as we are, simply select an option from the survey below.

Which of the following statements most accurately describes your exercise program, physical practice, recreation, etc.?

View Results

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7 Responses

  1. John,

    I’ve tried to follow programs to the letter, but have ended up having to adapt / modify them (with minimal success, i had probs with level 1 intuflow). I’d really like a program I could follow to the letter, one that was immediately accessible to me, one that started simply enough, but such a beast doesn’t seem to exist (in my limited experience). So,
    I don’t know how to respond to the poll.


  2. John – I’m a long time reader and really appreciate your solid content. The new format is definite interesting and you got quite a few concepts over in 20 mins (about the right length – a good balance of content vs. time available to me). I’d like to see more of this, but keep up the other work – especially the video content!

    I think creativity and spontaneity are not the same thing – you need a vocabulary of ‘moves’ and these need specific, structured and progressive practice. You spoke my thoughts EXACTLY – I want to move like Erwan le Corre, but the first time I tried I broke a rib! So I went to a workshop and identified weaknesses. Specifically, years of ultramarathon running wrecked my hip mobility, and it was through your site that I found Body Flow / TACGYM / Prasara. I think to be creative, you need to be very diligent, because a structured programme will expose weaknesses, whereas a purely creative practice will hide them (i.e. you’ll only do what you know how to do, and what is within your current skill set.)

    John – thanks – keep the good stuff coming!


  3. Madison

    I like to keep my workouts and strength and conditioning work structured and quantitatively scientific. but for my recovery sessions and yoga i do just the opposite, i like to be creative and qualitiavive, and base everything off how i feel, trying to explore and express myself with movement. i find this for me gives a great balance of both worlds, allowing me to control and measure my progress while also getting to just have fun.


    • I love this conversation! Thanks guys for starting it and for what has followed. You are hard core into both sides which is great. I think there is a lot of creativity in the structured stuff or at least you’ve explored and found new things to keep building the foundational skills. And I agree a good skill set makes for more vocabulary to express with for the freestyle side.

      I like the way you talk about your recovery sessions, Madison. Well articulate and describes a lot of what I do. I’m sure you agree that the recovery side sessions are more than just fun and are allowing you to be more flexible, agile, resilient for the conditioning workouts and ultimately improving your performance level. The movement work I teach is guided but there is space for each student to find/feel it in their body- so while taking direction they have to listen inside and move in a connected manner while including the direction. There are no specific steps but there are guidelines so it’s a whole different way of working, combining both sides of the spectrum that you are exploring here. So it’s both fun/creative and it expands your strength, cardio, flexibility. It includes 4 types of movement: flowing movement, fluid stretching movement, fluid resistance movement, and cardio random- pattern- breaking arhythmic movement. It’s all non-linear, multi-planar, no steps movement but repetition can be used to fluctuate between creative and repetitive.

      It does lack some deeper structural movements, but it is so integrative and includes muscles that never get used in more structured workouts. It is more holistic and you end up using parts of your body that get into nooks and crannies you’ve never experienced before. Part of the direction is keep all parts of the body moving and to keep including parts of you that aren’t being felt or moved, so it’s training your attention to keep moving throughout your body, increasing your mental agility as well.

      I thought it would be good to include this third category to your choices as it integrates both sides and i can’t seem to answer your poll as well. You guys are so into this, that I was compelled to add my 2 cents. I am not as hard core in the structured area, but this work that I teach and study on an ongoing basis can be very hard core depending on the intensity level the student is willing to take on. It teaches you to listen though and to avoid going too far and hurting yourself.

      I don’t have a video up of the work yet but I do describe the different kind of fluid movement forms that I work with at: http://www.movingfromtheinside.com/Moving_From_The_Inside/nitty_gritty_somatic_info.html

      And I know you are talking about people’s personal workouts adn this is a class experience, but I do practice it on my own and I have the guidelines in my head to keep expanding my skills while being creative.

      Keep up the awesome, body-based philosophic discussions!


  4. Love this topic and conversation. Thanks for sharing this guys!

  5. Scott Burden

    Great interview guys, John I love your site always great content.
    Its a great reminder for me to stay on track with the programs and not wander off too much.
    There is just so much this whole community has to offer ie, Tacfit and all the other great programs like Shanes Evolution series. Its hard because like you guys were talking about I find myself wanting to do it all.
    I started my Clubbell CST journey with CBHE then CBME with great results. Then I was given the honor of testing month two of CBFE. So I totaly get what your saying when it comes to progression.
    Its the same as Martial Arts, some people want to wear that black belt before mastering the basics.
    I’m entering my 3rd month of Tacfit Commando and can see how its making my foundtion even stronger! I’m sticking to the program and adding in some Clubbell work plus training for a Triathlon in July and a Tough Mudder in August.

    Thanks John and Shane for all the great info you publish.

    Scott Burden.

  6. A very interesting conversation there, thanks to you both. Have you heard the talk that Sir Ken Robertson gave to TED. A while ago about schools educating out creativity from children? He discussed some ideas which I think you might find interesting and pertinent, especially to the start of your conversation. Keep up the good work, Dan.

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