January 30, 2018

Weight Training and Inner-Awareness Development

Happy Tuesday!

I hope you are enjoying life and getting time to be with yourself each day.

Today, I’ll take you to my rock circle to share some important concepts about inner-awareness during weight lifting. As you’ll see, what you learn in the gym should support you in any activity, whether it’s creating things out of rocks, moving your home or office or playing with your kids.

Piano Spine Diagram from How to Eat, Move and Be Healthy!


This diagram from my book, How To Eat, Move and Be Healthy!, shows the sensory distribution of your internal organs. If you have inflammation in any of your organs or glands, it causes reflex changes in the muscles that share innervation with those same glands or organs.

Since most of our organs are within the spinal distribution of the core muscles, anyone performing weight lifting exercises who experiences inhibition of their core muscles coming from their organs is putting themselves at a significantly higher risk of spinal and extremity injuries.

All of us have nerves feeding our inner-body called intro-ception, the ability to feel within ourselves. Also, we have specific nerves for sensing where we are in space, which are called proprioceptive nerves. By using the kind of awareness exercises I’m describing in this week’s vlog, you can greatly enhance the performance of your musculoskeletal system while exercising so you’ll minimize your risk of injury.

Sitting on a BOSU ball

You can start at a lower level of intensity with your feet on the ground or you can use a BOSU ball or Swiss ball, depending on your level of readiness.

As you move any load away from your body in any direction, your center of gravity will move in the direction the weight is moving. When you are standing on an unstable surface, you can quickly feel the effects of your center of gravity moving and respond to balance yourself.

If your core is working properly, you’ll respond by sharing the load throughout your body. This way, there is minimal risk of overloading any muscle-joint complex.


In these photos, you’ll notice a progression from the simpler exercise shown previously on the BOSU ball. The photo of Penny and I working together below shows her holding an eight-pound medicine ball. She’s moving it in a variety of planes of movement while maintaining optimal core control and balance.

Penny working with Paul on a Swiss ball


These exercises can be progressed (very carefully!) to be challenging enough for even the most advanced level athletes.

Paul squatting on a Swiss ball


There are far too many people engaged in advanced level functional training programs such as Russian Kettlebell training and CrossFit who do not have adequate inner-awareness or motor skills development and are full of visceral (organ) inflammation. Sadly, the result is a huge number of injuries that can end an athletic career and cause permanent damage. However, both scenarios can be avoided with the methods I share in:

  1. How to Eat, Move and Be Healthy!
  2. Swiss Ball Exercises For Better Abs, Buns and Backs
  3. Swiss Ball Exercises For Athletes
  4. Strong ‘N’ Stable: Weight Training Using The Swiss Ball

Those of you who are trainers, coaches and therapists would gain a lot by studying and applying the methods I share in my course, Advanced Swiss Ball Training For Rehabilitation. The CHEK Exercise Coach training program also teaches you many critical assessments and gives you the skills to design exercise programs scientifically and safely.

If you couple CHEK Holistic Lifestyle Coach Level 1 training (also available online) with the CHEK Exercise Coach course, you have all the essentials covered and can really enjoy a wide variety of exercise applications and programs safely, be they Kettlebell lifting, CrossFit, forms of exotic dance, martial arts and more.

I know these methods work very well because I’ve used them to rehabilitate and enhance the performance of many of the world’s greatest athletes, and have taught them to elite sports teams around the world with great success.

In fact, it was the Chicago Bulls and Coach Al Vermeil who hired me to teach them how to enhance core function and use Swiss balls way back in 1989. From there, the Los Angeles Lakers and many other sports teams jumped on the bandwagon and began applying such methods.

In this week’s vlog, I’ll show you how I use awareness training and weight lifting skills to work with stones, where things can be both unstable and challenging to hold onto, as well as having to work at odd angles. The point is, when you are well conditioned, your performance goes up, and your risk of injury goes down.


I hope you enjoy my vlog!

Love and chi,