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In this discussion BioSho will share their perspective as to whether a mechanism can or should play any role in the domain of “functional training”?  Contrary to current popular opinion BioSho asserts the answer is yes, and the following will provide the reader with a science-based rationale that validates their claim. Wherein, they’ll discuss the inherent challenges associated with the introduction of new ideas, and how a machine’s design features determine its functional value. They’ll also cover how their developmental process began with the intention of improving proximal stability protocols. How accomplishing that, directed them to optimized center body biomechanics. Which then guided them toward implementing specific functional design principles.  Providing the framework for demonstrating how an intelligently designed mechanism allows humans to finally begin extracting the most favorable constituents from both the horizontal and vertical vectors. Which naturally evolves the entire landscape of improving athletic performance, spine related dysfunctions, optimizing core function (along with the four major subsystems), in addition to a more sustainable progressive resistance training modality. Lastly, these key features evolve the practice of functionally sustainable human optimization to the next logical progression.  


BioSho acknowledges that shifting the lens with which elite professionals (who influence public opinion) view this subject matter has its inherent challenges. Regrettably, the overturning of a professional paradigm is a political act, as disruptive innovation challenges reputations / publications / and even tenure in some instances. Many of whom have spent their entire professional careers benefiting from propagating a particular point of view. Thus, one can readily see how the introduction of a new idea (however scientifically valid) might be met with some inherent challenges. Especially when the innovations are manifested from a source outside of the recognized “professional club”, who lack the conventionally sanctioned academic credentials / professional pedigree necessary to gain entrance into this elite influencing apparatus. Which is naturally orchestrated to support and perpetuate “business as usual”. Therefore, moving beyond this requires an objective openness to new ideas, and the courage to evolve one’s thinking when exposed to next level sound scientific principles. This underscores the critical importance of industry influencers in every sector who recognize the responsibility associated with being fortunate enough to have traversed the necessary levels of acquiring a public platform. This means displaying the moral integrity to do the right thing when the welfare of humanity will be the beneficiary. For example, spine related dysfunctions have reached epidemic proportions, and amongst other things this proven technology represents today’s most effective non-surgical method to ameliorate them.   


While the reasons for the current narrative are multifactorial, they’re largely based on the evaluation of traditional equipment industry design standards. The problem with this is that it represents a limited perspective. Because doing so, incorrectly eliminates the possibility that any mechanistic design innovation could assist humans in functionally achieving a technologically advanced physiological upgrade. Which is the real question we should be asking ourselves. Especially when technology (as an extension of human beings) enhances virtually every other aspect of our lives. To be fair, BioSho would submit that even a cursory examination of traditional gym equipment reveals their non-functional nature. In fact, one could intelligently argue that artificially stabilizing the pelvis / spine – promoting largely single joint movements – repetitive pushing and pulling in a predetermined (primarily sagittal plane) range of motion is more harmful than beneficial to overall human function. But we must remember not to throw the baby out with the bathwater, and that there is an exception to every rule. Here, it’s that an intelligently designed mechanism ipso facto does assist humans in creating more functional – physiologically adaptive environmental conditions, than is otherwise possible without it. Which in BioSho’s view is the standard criteria by which any mechanism’s value should be judged.


An examination of the protocols that have influenced industry thinking for more than two decades is useful. They provide a foundational starting point upon which we can all agree. Beyond that, they will also allow BioSho to demonstrate their flaws. This contextualizes their innovations as next level core strengthening protocols. Which clearly requires a mechanism to effectively facilitate. 


What’s important to point out here is the horizontal orientation of these protocols. It’s assumed that researchers recognized the increased proximal activity in this vector, but it’s not clear whether they entirely understood why. BioSho would submit that the answer is twofold. First, that they partially removed the center body biomechanical advantage typically taken for granted when our bodies are vertical. Secondly, that it alters the body’s relationship with gravity. Each of these elements relate to outer unit dominance. Which directly overshadows the inner unit’s ability to optimally participate in the moment.

Appreciating outer unit dominance is crucial, when attempting to maximize deep structural center body activation. Essentially, because it’s much more difficult to elicit inner unit activation, relative to simultaneous outer unit activity. Not surprisingly, given that the outer unit structures are much larger, thus should contribute the lion share of center body capacity. An understanding of this relationship leads one to consider the ratios of co-contraction, what constitutes an optimal ratio, and which environmental conditions innately mandate them?  Only after over ten years of empirically researching this topic (with clients of every age range and fitness level), BioSho would submit that they have the answers.

Bridging and bracing protocols represent a step in the right direction, having associated core stabilization with the horizontal vector. From there, opening the kinetic chain via the upper extremities and creating unsupported 3rd class biomechanics takes us the rest of the way. These two additional steps are vital in achieving the optimization of center body function. It’s just that doing so requires a specific support strategy for the lower extremities. When all three elements are correctly applied, human physiology innately reciprocates to the environmental conditions with which it finds itself. The following will illustrate these innovative features.

Face Down
Face Up

Each of these examples demonstrate the unsupported hips fulcrum – 3rd class lever and open kinetic chain environmental conditions. We don’t support anything above the inferior border of the greater trochanter proximally. The distal support relates to upper extremity force production and protecting the posterior structures of the knee. Of which BioSho maintains are the ideal EC’s for optimizing center body function. Moreover, that the desired ratios of co-contraction remain consistent, irrespective of the level of progressive resistance. So that now you can train the center body consistent with any other hypertrophy strategy.

Coupling that with the synergistic activation the body’s 4 major sub-systems, further demonstrates the efficiency of this approach. So that in a very real way, you’re effectively activating more systems per unit of time. Especially when you begin generating force with the upper extremities. All of which are facilitated in an entirely therapeutic non-compressive environment. 

Now you’re mirroring real life biomechanics, which yields maximum functional transfer. Placing the center body in a mechanically disadvantageous moment (i.e., 3rd class lever) prevents outer unit domination, thereby allowing the deep stabilizers to optimally participate. This creates what BioSho would suggest is the ideal ratio of co-contraction. Which they suspect is closer to the golden ratio of (1 to 1.618), evident in other aspects of human design and virtually ubiquitous throughout the universe. This would mean that ideal co-participation would be roughly 38% to 62%. Much more than the maximum 20% resulting from bridging and bracing protocols. Candidly, these are educated approximations, and precise numbers require EMG testing to ascertain. But what is absolutely clear, is that these environmentally adaptive conditions are unmatched in generating proximal stability and functional transfer. The progressive adaptation of which will improve the full spectrum of human movement. In an entirely rejuvenate manner, with the removal of excessive compressive loading. All that is required is the understanding of the principles and a mechanism that makes them possible!

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