In the couple of years now I’ve known of StrongFit and movement master Julien Pineau, I’ve been privileged to sit front row to see the inspiring evolution of a culture. Certainly, StrongFit carries “more” in terms of knowledge and network than it started with or even from one year ago, but that’s just business. Julien hates business, so instead he defined a culture.
Culture provides us with a framework by which we learn to live and grow. It allows us to have perspective on the stimulus around us, defining roles and a measure of norms. Culture also allows us to carry stories and lessons that allow us to shape, reshape and transform so that we may survive and thrive in community with others. Culture, in its richness, is an art form of human nature to live in harmony with those around us.
If you run an internet search for StrongFit, you’ll find videos of big dudes pushing heavy sleds, forums and group discussions on sandbag carries and how-to’s to jimmy rig a makeshift yoke. You might take your interest for your fitness goals or maybe you were referred by someone who swears a barefoot French guy with a goatee can fix your chronic shoulder problem, but what you’ll eventually realize is that StrongFit is not defined by its capacity for grunt work or the tools of torture.
As a training method, the principles of StrongFit help coaches determine deficiencies, weaknesses or imbalances of an individual and provide a remedy through movement. A weakness may be caused by an existing or previous injury or it may be caused by years, if not a lifetime, of practicing poor or imbalanced posture or patterns. In sport athletes, imbalances may result from specialization. Prescriptions to fixing these “key logs” often come in the form of sled sprints, yoke carries and sandbag tosses - and it’s intense. It’s physical therapy on steroids.
But beyond the brutal beat down you’ll realize this: it’s not what you do, it’s how and why you do it. StrongFit principles draw on how to move better by understanding the
nature of movement and the natural flow of the human body (something we often seem to fight). Then given that we know how to move and the movement itself poses no real threat, the only limitations remaining exist only in our mind. Provided with a safe environment to perform at peak capacity, it becomes up to you to find your why.
The communities and families and multilayers of culture we come from do not define who we are, yet they provide a frame of reference for who we may become by putting value first in relationship. By mutuality we gain the space to face our weaknesses or recognize our shortcomings, by community we find others just like us, by sharing we learn from one another and by surrendering ourselves to be vulnerable and humbled, we find purpose.