Why We Train

NTS_-_Mercury_-_Weight_training“We are meant to grow strong and age gracefully.” -Gray Cook, PT.

I have grown to hate the term “workout”. The word unearths a myriad of negative emotions: pain, self-loathing, intimidation, fear of failing, the yoke of commitment to something you know you should do but have no internal motivation to achieve.

Nearly as frustrating for me as a coach, is listening to the excuses people come up with for not taking care of themselves physically: the gym is too far away, the gym is too crowded when I go, I don’t have any equipment at home, or (my personal favorite) I don’t have enough time.

My approach to coaching and training has evolved significantly in the past 15-plus years. Team and individual sports, running, body building, power-lifting, Spinning (for those younger readers, “Spinning” is Soul Cycle without the candles), Olympic lifting, “functional” training, I have been involved with-either personally or in training clients-just about every form of fitness training.

What’s the point? What should be our motivation to train? Why should we devote our time and energy to maintaining our physical well-being and the skills required to be human?

I propose this idea should be our daily motivation:


Does this mean we eschew the desire to look good for our spouse/significant other? No! Does this mean we have to give up our dumbbell curls in the name of loyalty only to the things that make us functionally more useful? No!

What this does mean is that if you’re training with no idea of why you’re doing it beyond a vague commitment to be “more fit” or “to get in shape”, you’re wasting your time.

Physical training is similar to many other pursuits in life. If you don’t go in with a concrete idea of why you’re there and what you’re trying to accomplish, your ability to accomplish your goals (not to mention enjoy them), will be greatly diminished.

So what should we shoot for? How do we marry performance and longevity, form and function?

Here’s our list, broken down into two categories. “Human Movement” and “Human Skills”.



Overhead Flexion Running
Press Balancing
Hang Crawling
Front Rack Climbing
Squat Lifting & Carrying
Hip Hinge Throwing & Catching
Pistol Squat
Lunge Self-Defense

Learning, restoring, and refining these 16 movements and skills is our approach at Restore/Thrive. Training in this way allows us to follow a over-arching theme (becoming more skilled humans) with nearly limitless iterations of programming that can meet a variety of goals on a short and long-term basis.

Training should be fun, challenging, and empowering. When any of those elements are missing in your routine, it’s time to re-assess what you’re up to.

If you don’t have a reference for what one of these movements or skills is, you’ve found a hole in your physical capacity as a human being. What does that mean? Essentially, you are giving up a fundamental movement or skill that allows you to perform better and avoid injury.

As we dig deeper into performance and training we’ll unpack why each of these movements and skills are not only worth your time to train, but how they compose the foundation of what it means to be a skilled human in any physical or environmental context.

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