Back to (Body) School Challenge

Friends, I’m a huge nerd. I love school, and back-to-school, and September. I get sad EVERY YEAR I don’t have a new Trapper Keeper and silver LA Gear high tops. There’s a lot about school I loved, most of all the new things to become aware of—and I love assignments. I LOVE ASSIGNMENTS! And, I also like measuring things. So, thinking on all of this—that it’s September, and I want to go back to school, and can someone please give me an assignment that allows me to learn something (about me and my body because that’s what I’m interested in right now), and measure something—I came up with the Back to Body School Challenge. This challenge will be running all September, and we’ll be evaluating our progress every week.

Your assignment, part one:

Open up your pencil box and take out your ruler. The wooden one, with the little metal edge on it. Or if you don’t have that, use your smartphone.

  • Map out a one-mile route (or use a local school track, like I did) and have someone start a timer for you while you walk (or run, if you’d like, but stick to your mode—no hybrids) one mile to see how fast you can do it. WRITE THAT TIME DOWN.
  • Pick one: How many pull-ups can I do or how long can I hang from two hands. Have someone count/measure for you. WRITE THAT NUMBER OR TIME DOWN (and go tell me about it on Instagram, Facebook or Twitter).
  • Take the sit-and-rise test and WRITE DOWN YOUR SCORE (see how to take and score it below).

Your assignment, part two:

Exercise with me every day for thirty days. There are a few ways you can do this.

  • Do the Daily Movement Multivitamin every day (available as a DVD or a download). This is the one I recommend most, because you’ll end up moving small parts all over your body that are often neglected. This is the program I’ll be following—it gives me a little head-to-toe action, and I can keep it on my device and do it anywhere (even if I’m camping where there’s no service, which is often).

  • Do a handful of moves from your WBB courses or books each day. This is for those of you who like variety and cringe at the thought of doing the same thing every day. Just pick whichever you’d like; the point is to do the correctives daily.
  • For you Virtual Studio Members, take a VSM class EVERY DAY.
  • Do some combination of the three; mix it up between 1, 2, and 3. The point is, EVERY DAY for 30 days. Dig?

Your assignment, part three:

Bone up your walking. Add 15 minutes of walking (about one mile) to your already-existing walking plan. This means everyone will be increasing their movement, regardless of how much they’re already doing (meaning we can all be challenged).

Your assignment, part four:

At the end of every week, repeat the movement tests from part one, making sure you’re using the same measures. Walk the same exact route, hang from the same bar or branch, etc. NOTE THE DATE, YOUR TIMES AND SCORE.

What’s with the tests?

I’ve picked these movement tests so we can observe how moving under-moved (aka sedentary) areas in your body can parlay into larger movement feats. Doing an exercise simply for the sake of doing it, or doing it just to do that one exercise better, makes it hard to see how corrective exercises can eventually facilitate larger, exercise and non-exercise movements. So, your plan doesn’t include daily fast walking/running, or lots of hanging practice, or tons of hip opening exercises, etc.—but you might find that you get better at these skills simply because you’re moving more parts of your body more often. Note: the Daily Movement Multivitamin will likely best prep the whole body for these tests, but I also think you’ll notice improvements no matter which correctives you do.


My intentions for the BTS Challenge

While on social media break, I heard someone speak about systems, and how, when creating an applied system, you need to make sure that the practice of the system consists of 30 hours to every one hour spent studying the system. Which got me thinking about “knowing.” Many of us, myself included, want to “know” movement, but at the end of the day, if I can explain everything about it, but not do what it is I’m explaining, how well do I actually know it at all? So, I thought I’d do a 30:1 experiment to see how I know movement after 30 hours. Maybe to know movement, all I have to do is MOVE what I’ve already learned. Dig?


Sit and Rise Test Directions

  1. Start on a flat and level floor, in bare feet, in flexible clothing. (Because the tighter the clothes, the less they allow you to move, which I’ve already told you many times, but if you want, you can listen to me talk about it more here, or read about it here.)
  2. Without worrying about the speed of the movement, try to sit and then to rise from the floor, using the minimum support you believe is needed.
  3. To score, start with 5 points for the getting down phase, and 5 points for the rising phase, deducting a point every time you touch down: a hand (touching the floor or your leg), forearm, knee, or shin. Deduct 0.5 points every time you lose balance, i.e. every time you start to fall and catch yourself by taking a step (or touching a wall or other support).
  4. Try this a few times and record your score as X/Y, where X is your score getting down and Y is your score getting up, and also as one total number X+Y. (This helps you break down where in the movement you’re getting better.)
Are you still interested in learning more on this?

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