Sitting in an office all day, or programming computer games all day, takes a huge toll on the human body. We are not meant to "sit". We are meant to move.

In "Convict Conditioning 2", Paul Wade describes an easy, yet highly effective training program to strengthen joints, thus overall flexibility and mobility. Since his training routine consists of three main ideas, Wade calls this program the "Trifecta":

The Functional Triad

The human body mainly consists of three big muscular chains, the anterior (chest, front, biceps, abs, ...), the posterior (upper back, rear shoulders, triceps, spine, hamstrings, calves, ...) and the lateral chain (side tensors, obliques, ...).

The muscles in the anterior chain are often called the "beach muscles", or the "physique" muscles, as those are the muscles that most blue-pilled men train heavily, simply to impress girls on the beach.

The muscles in the posterior chain are the real strength muscles, the muscles which get involved when we try to lift huge weights.

The lateral chain, you can guess now, compromises the muscles of the side of the body.

Those three chains together form the "functional triad", they all have to work together in perfect harmony for the human body to reach its full physical potential.


Unfortunately many training programs focus only on the one (or two) chain(s) that are essential for the given purpose, i.e. bodybuilders mostly focus on the anterior chain, while weightlifters have their focus on the posterior chain. Such a strength asymmetry is very dysfunctional, however, and invites injuries.

Wade's "Trifecta" is a functional joint training program which restores harmony and balance to the body by training all three chains equally.

The Oiling of the Joints

Hard work outs are great to gain muscles and strength, unfortunately this only strengthens and thickens the muscles around the joints, not the joints themselves.

There is only a very limited blood flow inside joints, thus whereas muscles and tendons get their nutrition from the blood, there is no express delivery towards joints. Cartilage, for example, is fed by a thick solution called "synovial fluid", which carries everything joints need to thrive and to grow stronger, as well as acting as a lubricant (important!).

Sounds easy enough, the drawback is that while blood is being pumped throughout the body by the heart, synovial fluid is only circulated around by "movement" - this fluid is only refreshed when joints are opened and closed. That is the reason why strength training alone is not enough for perfect body health. Thus, during non-training days, mobility exercises should be done to nourish the joints.

The best way to oil the joints is by using calisthenic "holds" or "stretches", which basically is also the secret of why Yoga helps so many people become pain free. Maneuvering into a stretch and then holding the position at the "top" opens the cartilage to the maximum degree, allowing for an optimal amount of synovial fluid to be circulated around.

Active Stretching

For strong joints, the surrounding muscles must be flexible, yet tense. Coach Wade uses a very simple analogy to explain this third principle of the "Trifecta": Car shocks - spongy rubber or hard steel springs? Thus the "Trifecta" uses antagonistic muscle-power for an active stretching, instead of blue-pilled and pussified loose and relaxed passive stretching.

Active stretching is rather simple: one half of the body is stretched out by contracting the opposite half.

The Power of the Trifecta

The Trifecta "invented" by Coach Paul Wade mainly consists of only three exercises: the bridge, the L-hold and twisting.

Doing those on a daily basis, I saw a major improvement in my mobility and overall strength, as well as the ability to move much smoother, in a very short time.

Wade's "Trifecta" has rejuvenating benefits as well, as the exercises go beyond simple strength and mobility training. The "holds" don't build up waste products, nor do they fatigue the muscles as much as regular calisthenics. This means one can practice the "Trifecta" each and every day - so get to it!


In the next "tutorial" we will learn how to master the first level of each of the three exercises of the Trifecta.


References

  • Convict Conditioning 2, by Coach Paul Wade
  • Convict Conditioning on YouTube