Thursday, April 3, 2008
The Maxercist--Is This the Ultimate Fitness Move?
The Maxercist is a kinetic chain of body weight movements linked together in a continuous flow. Much like the yogic conditioning systems, the moves are linked via the breath. All the elements of physical conditioning are developed by the Maxercist: strength, endurance, cardio, mobility, co-ordination, balance, flexibility and grace. All five pillars of human movement are represented: two level changes--one thigh-dominant and one hamstring-dominant--a push; a pull; rotation and locomotion. This chain stresses systemic fatigue as opposed to muscular fatigue. In this regard, it would be classified as inefficient. The idea is to "smoke" the system, not the muscle. In this way, the activity can be prolonged in order to increase cardio endurance and work capacity. Unless there is a significant, pre-existing imbalance in the trainee, the work and fatigue are evenly distributed throughout the body. For most, the weak link lies in the pulling muscles. What are the advantages of such an exercise? Why not just separate each movement and work more efficiently? There are several advantages. One is the pronounced cardio effect while simultaneously working the lower and upper body musculature through a full range of movement all while enhancing mobility and flexibility. How many cardio exercises can make that claim? Motor skills, balance, agility, flow and grace are also refined. I personally find the usual modes of cardio conditioning, such as the step mill, elliptical or treadmill utterly mind-numbing, but you all knew that. The Maxercist allows you to develop other athletic attributes while still reaping all the benefits of so-called cardio exercise. I originally came upon the Maxercist concept while attempting to figure out exercise combinations to simulate the stresses of a prolonged grappling or MMA fight. I have many variations of the Maxercist. It's decidedly more sophisticated than the traditional burpee, yes, even more than a burpee with an added pull-up. Each component blends into the next. The form is very important, as is full-range motor control. The temptation is to reduce range of motion in order to buy more speed--this is a mistake. Much of the benefit comes from the fullfull flexion of each component. The speed can increase, but don't cut any corners. Study the photos carefully and start out slowly. When you can do 100 reps, non-stop, you'll have acquired the stamina, strength, flexibility, agility and endurance to handle almost anything! Steve Maxwell extension and