To expand on my post from yesterday - the Harbor Park Voyage is broken down into three distinct phases:
- Phase 1 - Foundation
- Phase 2 - Function
- Phase 3 - Fitness
If we think about these phases in terms of a pyramid structure, we'd flip them upside down - so that Foundation would be the bottom, Function would be the middle, and Fitness would be the top.
I think this is a great time to talk about a major misconception in the health and fitness world: the fact that everyone wants to focus on fitness, but in reality this misconception is making things a lot harder for a lot of people. You might think back to a time when you worked out regularly and felt amazing. Just focusing on your workouts was enough to make a difference in your life. If that is true, I'm willing to bet that you were a lot younger and had a lot less responsibilities.
The fact of the matter is that as we age and as our plate of responsibilities grow, the same routine that worked when you were younger just doesn't cut it anymore. Your body is dealing with a lot more stress, a lot more hormonal imbalance, and an ever changing body. When you were younger, you didn't have to worry about these things, and working out did everything you needed it to. But now, it could be working against you.
With this understanding, we look back at our phases.
- Phase 1 is Foundation, and as it's name implies, we start by understanding the basic set of habits that we all need to focus on to ensure our bodies are working properly on the inside. So what we want to look at are our eating habits, our stress-related habits, our sleeping habits, and our habits relating to daily movement (walking, stretching, etc.). These habits are our starting point because they all boil down to the same thing: They are the most influential habits on our body's internal processes. If you are not experiencing the progress you are expecting, whether that is weight loss or something else, I am willing to bet good money that it is because your body is not working properly internally.
- Phase 2 is Function, and as it's name implies, we are working to develop your body's ability to function as it was intended. As we age and as we advance through life, our bodies experience various amounts of wear and tear. From injuries, to lack of flexibility and mobility, to pain and other aches, and general limitation, our bodies tend to lose function over time. Phase 2 is when we figure out what limitations your body needs to work on, and we come up with the plan to reduce those limitations and improve it's overall functionality.
- Phase 3 is Fitness and it is where we come back full circle. Fitness is your friend when and only when you are taking care of your body internally (through your basic daily habits) and your body is capable enough to handle the demands of a training program. If you skip phase 1 and 2, you likely won't lose the weight you have been expecting to lose, and your chance of injury (or worse, reinjury) are high. Fitness is great and it is super important for a long, healthy, happy life, but we need to respect it as well and that means doing these things in order.
If you've been at it for a long time but you HAVEN'T been having the success you've been expecting, the answer is in one of these three phases. We need to step back and understand what is missing, and how we can fix it.