Personal Evolution Start Up Guide
A basic starting guide for new Personal Evolution athletes
New to Personal Evolution and not sure where to begin? That’s understandable. Personal Evolution is constantly in a state of development and there is no way to define it into a system. There are many aspects that make it what it is.
This guide will address focal points for the beginner Personal Evolution athlete. What you will find are not instructions for each exercise, these are provided in the training section, it’s more about where to go to find certain information, how to structure your training, what to do first, how to progress and how to utilise all the resources provided.
There can no longer be promises of fast and easy results. We have all seen everything they have to throw at us. It doesn’t fool most of us anymore. We are all a little more educated than to believe we can achieve elite results by doing 7 minutes a day on some stupid machine.
The ones who excel with Personal Evolution are the ones who educate themselves and don’t take short cuts. They learn the movements, learn the methodologies and if there is something they don’t understand from just reading a single page they will look further and if they can’t find it they will ask either a fellow Personal Evolution practitioner or a coach.
Of course, the best way to begin with Personal Evolution is with an experienced coach who understands the movements and the philosophy behind why we do what we do. However, not everyone can get to a coach or utilise our correspondence coaching service. For those people, this guide will detail how to apply some of our core methodologies, what equipment is needed and what route to take to ensure you get the most out of your efforts with Personal Evolution.
The Personal Evolution Difference
Before beginning you need to understand what we are about. This cannot be covered in detail here, you should research and explore the full scope of what we are about by reading our site pages and interacting within the Personal Evolution universe.
The thing you need to understand first of all though is that we don’t exist to provide a new fitness fad. We are not some mainstream idea that is designed for easy results through gentle exercise. What we do is not just fitness training. We are not here as a weight loss clinic. What we do is a multi-dimensional concept. The deeper you get into our philosophy, the more you will understand that there is so much more than a bunch of workouts every week.
Training with Personal Evolution and becoming part of our community means developing the right mind-set, a valuable purpose for being here and total understanding of what is required to make the most of your efforts.
To put it as simply as possible; Personal Evolution is a concept aimed at coaching athletes, emergency services personnel and basically anyone committed to extreme levels of physical and psychological development. We use functional training methods such as gymnastics, Olympic weight lifting, Parkour skills, various athletic skills and psychological conditioning. All of this is applied to a highly varied schedule of training designed to prepare the individual for anything and everything. The primary goal is to make the person virtually unbreakable and able to undertake anything.
Three core components
Biomechanics, consistency and intensity
This is something covered by CrossFit. It involves the three starting points before doing anything with Personal Evolution. Never neglect the basics.
Biomechanics refers to the movements and the actual performance of techniques applied by Personal Evolution. You need to first and foremost understand how to perform all the movements effectively, efficiently and safely.
So to start with, you must learn the exercises you are going to use. This needs to happen before doing anything else.
Consistency means being consistent in your flawless performance of all movements. Never get lazy, constantly check that you are doing everything properly as demonstrated in the exercise section.
Secondly, consistency means being consistent in performing the actual workouts. If you do it only once in a while you will not get the desired results.
Intensity is the one variable that will make the difference between great results and poor results. Applying the right intensity to the task at hand will ensure that you get the intended physiological response to the training.
Everyone develops at a different rate. Everyone has a different tolerance for intensity. It can take time. For this reason you may need to scale workouts down to meet your needs in the beginning. Not everyone will be able to perform all the workouts as they are prescribed in the schedule. Be consistent and always perform to the best of your ability.
Put all these three components together and you will most certainly make progressive gains in fitness. Having proper mechanics allows you to perform exercises more efficiently and effectively. Performing exercises more effectively means you can be more consistent and have less injuries. If you are more consistent due to proper mechanics you will be able to do more work in less time. This translates into a higher output, which means higher intensity and higher intensity means better adaptations.
The primary Purpose
The primary purpose of Personal Evolution and of fitness in general is to become as indestructible as possible. This may sound a little extreme but this is exactly what it is about. Being indestructible means that you are not prone to the ailments of the general public. It means that your entire body is stronger, your ability to perform tasks is increased, it means being prepared for anything and everything, not just a single dimensional ability. Fitness is about basically being more functional in everything you do.
One area we tend to put great emphasis on is freedom. The freedom to move the way you need and want. For this reason we emphasise a wide range of functional movement patterns and utilisation of every energy system in every imaginable way.
First you need to get your head around our way of thinking. It is separate from the modern fitness or personal development ideal. Start by learning all the basic, primal movements.
The goal is to develop functional capacity in all major movement patterns, energy systems and creating a broad foundational ability in every area. The reason our movements are complex and difficult to master for many people is due to the fact that they are based in the most applicable movements and stimuli. As mentioned many times, we coach foundational conditioning. This means conditioning fundamental movement patterns that can be applied universally to anything and everything.
So learn the movements and constantly keep yourself up to speed with why we do what we do. This will help keep you in the right mindset. You can do this by reading our methodologies section, following our developments, doing the workouts, attending training camps and interacting with others within the Personal Evolution universe. We have a purpose that is our own. Combine your reasons for participating with our methods and you will get a much greater result than if you simply perform the workouts in a half-arsed manner. It’s not for everyone, some cannot apply the effort, others simply don’t understand the value. Pity for them, but such is life.
So where to start. What movements to start with. The fundamentals of Personal Evolution
First and foremost you need to know how to properly squat. This is the most fundamental movement you can do. Follow our instructions, research it on the internet, get instruction from professionals. Do not perform any Personal Evolution workouts until you can perform a perfect deep squat.
Next learn the progressions of the squat and all their variations. This includes overhead squat, front squat, back squat, single leg squat and various stances used during squatting.
Once you have learned to squat you can start to learn other basic exercises. The following is a list of mechanics that are essential to your success with Personal Evolution.
Overhead press, push-ups, pull-ups, bent over row, running technique, basic jumping, climbing and controlling your own body through space by way of basic gymnastic movements. This is not all that we use but it covers a wide range and means you can do most things we prescribe.
Once you have mastered these you may begin on learning some of the more complex movements such as Olympic lifts and dynamic gymnastics movements.
My advice is to practice these with low weight and in isolation as opposed to being in the context of a workout. Once your technique is virtually flawless you can start applying them to workouts.
More important than going all-out and throwing yourself into doing Personal Evolution workouts is working on your weak links first. If you cannot do any of the following then you need to work on these areas. These are base proficiency levels required to perform the workouts.
10 air squats with arse to grass, hands overhead
5 push-presses with bar equal to half your bodyweight
5 push-ups (correct push-ups)
1 full sit-up without anchoring feet
Ability to touch toes while standing with straight legs for at least 3 seconds
Run 11 minutes continuously at any pace without needing to stop
Work capacity and fitness benchmarks
Once you have learned the movements you need to set some work capacity benchmarks. This will give you an idea of where you are starting. You need to establish a base level of proficiency so that you know how and when to scale a workout to your own capacity.
Before understanding where you are starting from you must understand some of the basic protocols we use for stimulation of metabolism in various ways. By understanding your strong points and your deficiencies you can better understand where you need more work and then take necessary steps to strengthen your weak links.
Begin with Tabata. A Tabata is 20 seconds of effort followed by 10 seconds of rest repeated 8 times in succession. This protocol is very versatile and can be used to test any number of things.
Anaerobic capacity. This is your ability to work at near maximal effort until exhaustion.
Anaerobic power is your ability to simply reach maximal intensity. This is not dependent on time, it simply means how much you can exert at your maximum effort.
Specific output. This refers to how much output you are capable of for one specific movement pattern.
Overall output refers to how much volume is achieved over a given period of time.
In order to get an idea of your base level of conditioning, it is important to test yourself for best results. The following tests are relatively generic and cover a wide range of fitness aspects in their rawest sense.
Use the Tabata protocol of 20 seconds of effort followed by 10 seconds of rest repeated 8 times to perform as many squats as possible.
Record the total number of squats performed.
Mark out a distance of 10 metres. Set a count down timer for 3 minutes. Sprint from one end to the other and touch the ground. Do as many sprints as possible in 3 minutes.
Standing Broad Jump
From a standing start, jump with two feet as far forward as possible. Measure the distance of the jump.
Perform as many push-ups as you can in one set without rest. Record the total.
Perform as many pull-ups as you can in one set without rest.
Where to start with nutrition
Nutrition is just as important as training for producing desired results. If someone is not getting results, it is most likely due to nutritional bad habits or lack of education.
Start by reading our nutritional guidelines and put it into practice. Research anything we refer to that isn’t covered in detail. We will be updating our nutritional information periodically.
Psychological preparation and development
Living the Personal Evolution philosophy is not simply about performing workouts and learning a bunch of movements and exercises. Anything with any real value in terms of development of yourself requires at least the following psychological and neurological pre-requisites.
The weak minded are not suited to the Personal Evolution approach if they are unwilling to commit to becoming strong willed.
In order to be best prepared and make use of the methodologies you must develop tolerance to pain, effort and sacrifice. You must prepare for discipline and to push well and truly beyond your comfort zone. If this is something you cannot do then maybe a gentle exercise class is more for you. It may sound harsh but it’s really not. What is harsh is letting you get off track and misunderstanding the full extent of what it means to train with the Personal Evolution philosophy.
This is a project, something that is in constant development. What we aim for is for people to commit to more than just a daily workout. It’s about living with a certain amount of freedom. Once you get deeper involved you will understand more about the psychology required.
Repetition is the mother of all skill. Only through effort and repetition can a person truly ingrain something into their unconscious and make it a real skill, accessible any time.
Physical training produces imprints like nothing else. When you engage your physiology in something you develop instinct. You must prepare for this by committing to continuous improvement. You need to be a perfectionist with an obsession for doing things at the highest possible standard. This is the only way you can teach your nervous system to install what you learn in the right way rather than being sloppy. Physical training produces physical memories and psychological imprints.
One mind-set that is hard to grasp for so many people is that function is more important than the fleeting goal of ego driven purposes such as appearance. You need to get it through your head that training for actual physical and psychological function is the primary goal, not impressing friends with your skills or simply looking good on the beach. Prepare by looking at everything from a viewpoint of how it can be used to actually do something. Don’t learn Parkour to impress friends, don’t gain incredible strength just so you can show off how strong you are, don’t train just to fit into a pair of jeans and attract the opposite sex with shallow views. It all needs to be useful.
Of course, all the above-mentioned things can be a nice little reward that is often much more highly developed when it is not the primary focus. It’s just a secondary goal. Bruce Lee didn’t train to look good, his impressive physique was a product of his training for better physical performance.
There are plenty of people willing to be average. You don’t have to follow the ideals and rules and be one of them. You don’t have to strive for the things your parents want or what you think society wants from you.
Living the Personal Evolution philosophy means being above average, ignoring the social rules, going beyond what is expected of you, possessing higher than average intelligence, fitness, physical senses, control over body processes etc. Create and design your character the way you want it. Design a skill-set, traits and attributes and work towards achieving them. Don’t make the same excuses as everyone else. Give up caring about trivial things that don’t matter. Simplify and minimalise. Explore freedom of movement and thought. Move in ways you have never moved, seek experiences you have never had but always wanted to. Express yourself emotionally in ways you have held back before. It’s all about freedom and being at the forefront, being a step ahead of everyone else. Remember though, never be driven by ego or arrogance. Being elite in the manner we are talking about is just about developing at a constant rate with the goal to perfect what you are doing.
Elitism is relative. It’s simply used to refer to a higher than average standard for relevant undertakings.
Where to now?
Once you have grasped the basic purpose behind what we do and gotten your head around how we do things, you can begin the workouts and start living the philosophy.
Because Personal Evolution is so comprehensive and involved, individuals need to understand that there is more learning involved than in other things most people have undertaken.
Personal Evolution is not just some fitness programme or fad. Our philosophy is something that permeates much more than just your 30 to 60 minute workout each day and the loss of a few pounds.
So where to now? Well the next step is to learn, learn and learn some more. Follow the workouts, track your progress. Read, watch and listen to tutorials. Read and understand our methodologies. Understand the reasons behind why we do what we do. Most important of all, be consistent.