GMB Integral Strength: Week Eight Review

Week eight marked the end of Integral Strength (IS).

As expected, it offered no surprises, being a continuation of the previous week. The emphasis remained on efficiency and building work capacity.

Over the past two months I have gathered many lessons from the team at GMB. Take a look back at the summaries from the previous weeks…

The message which resonated with me most strongly was the shift in mindset which IS elicited and that is, place less emphasis on reps and sets (though they have their place) and more focus on quality, mindful practice. This, I will carry with me for the rest of my training days.

Why is this so fundamental? Adopting this mindset helps to…

  • Facilitate progression – Rather than compromising form to get through the allocated number of sets and reps, mindfulness encourages perfect practice. Over time, the most efficient and effective motor patterns are laid down rather than haphazard ones.
  • Reduce frustration – Plateaus are part of the game. By focusing solely on the quantifiable it is difficult to gauge progress when you can no longer add that extra rep. In contrast, by being mindful with your training, even though your session might look identical to the last on paper, you’ll be able to recognise progress courtesy of an improvement in quality.
  • Increased body awareness – Although it may sound wishy-washy, a conscious awareness of what your body is doing becomes invaluable. Like a thermostat, you develop an understanding of each body part, and are able to make fine adjustments on the fly, improving your movement quality.

Understandably, this program isn’t for everyone. In my opinion, it is suitable for those new to bodyweight training, looking to build a base. IS is not goal oriented though helps to develop the mindset mentioned above, as well as a reasonable work capacity.

Individuals coming from a traditional strength training background will find this program underwhelming, primarily due to the low volume. Also, people with some experience in bodyweight training, will likely feel the same way.

Good bye for now IS! Along with the lessons gathered over the course of the program, I have developed a better understanding of how to create a minimalistic program for traveling. GMB’s targeted programs, like floor skills, interest me and I may embark on such a program in the future.

What has your experience been with IS, or any of GMB’s programs for that matter? I’d love to hear about it. Leave a comment below.

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6 thoughts on “GMB Integral Strength: Week Eight Review

  1. I’m running IS now too. I’m now on week 3. That I have left weight training for months after hip impingement and pulled hamstring led me to this program. Before, I would have treated IS like a GPP drill rather than the actual training due to its low volume, but now it’s quite challenging to do some of the moves like shrimp squats and L-sit. The program does indeed focus on quality over quantity like you mentioned, and I do agree. I’ll keep doing IS till week 8 and see if it betters my general fitness level.

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    • Hi Xyrirx,

      Implementing IS as you’ve done is clever a it permits enough of a challenge to be worthwhile, though the load is low enough to avoid aggravation (I suspect).

      Would you consider training IS and a conventional weight training program simultaneously?

      Thanks,
      Andrew

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      • I’d use definitely use this as a cardio (as it resembles circuit training) for active recovery day, or even a warm-up before weight training session. What kind of training program are you working on right now? I miss reading your training logs/reviews.

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      • Good plan, I like the idea of using it on active recovery days.

        Currently I’m in China at a Kung Fu academy, learning a little about the East! The training is relatively full on so the only extras I’m doing are a few bodyweight goals.

        Do you have any training program suggestions for when I return? I was planning on beginning to squat everyday.

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      • I just google’d a bit about Kung Fu academy in China. Fascinating. You know, often times, I do think about putting myself in great stimulation for self-development, and training in isolated academy has crossed my mind along with being in military services and navy. That you have an opportunity to attend to such school is such a privilege for one-of-a-kind experience for you, so cherish it as much as you could. I know you definitely will.

        As for what you’d like to train after you return, I think you already know the answer to that, based on the guideline you wrote on another post, How to Build a Skill on September 7. You’d only have to set a goal, then either choose, create or hire a professional to make an appropriate program for you.

        By the way, I’d be very interested to read what you’re going through in the academy right now. It sounds very exciting. 🙂

        Xyirx

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      • It has been a great experience thus far. Not only have a learnt a lot but have grown as an individual too.

        Haha, good point Xyrix, I need to heed my own advice!

        I’ll certainly provide an update on academy life in the near future.

        Thanks for your interest in my blog,
        Andrew

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