“Why aren’t I sweating or lifting heavy yet?”

Remember that question when your first started your periodization plan with your trainer at EPIC?

When we create your periodization plan after your assessment, we strategize a plan for you that ensures optimal function, optimal lifestyle habit evolution and optimal injury-prevention and fixing. We give you what one year looks like, and yes, the first 4-6 weeks of that are pretty BASIC.

Nobody ever assumes that the beginning of their training journey will be easy. And we can all agree that the first step of practically anything worth doing is often the hardest.

But to your surprise, when you first started with EPIC Personal Training, it seemed a little bit too basic and easy… at first, at least in the traditional sense. 

That’s because the first phase we put you through in your training is the Functional Anatomical Adaptation (FAA) phase.

This is where it’s okay to be basic. We love basics because we can build on them. So, hike up those metaphorical Ugg boots, take a sip of that metaphorical grande-no-foam-blah-blah-blah and settle in. We’re going to get back to the basic building blocks of your anatomical structure, how it should function, how North American life doesn’t support it and why it is the secret to our client success.





What is the Functional Anatomical Adaptation (FAA) phase?

This is starting at the beginning. This phase considers specialized use of the joint-by-joint approach to bring your joints back to health and your body back to it’s true anatomical position. This means that when you are standing still you have a neutral spine, external rotation of the shoulders, heel to ear alignment, and ribs tucked, among other things. If we asked you to stand in that position now it would probably feel uncomfortable but this is how your body will perform at it’s best and can become its’ strongest. We want to get to a point where this position feels natural.

We first take into consideration what needs improvement from your Functional Movement Assessment, any weak or unstable joints, planes of motion or injuries and work on building strength there. This means you’re going to have to slow down. Counter-intuitive? The best way to recognize where we’re being inefficient is to slow down. The best way to correct these inefficiencies? Also to slow down. We’re going to reconnect your brain to your muscles and build patterns so that using your muscles properly becomes second-nature. Proper neuro-muscular patterning is crucial and in order to do it right, we have to take our time.

Sometimes this means doing “easy” movements. But to execute these movements correctly, you might not find it so easy.

This phase is comprised of 12 hour-long sessions with us. This usually lasts us 4-6 weeks. Although, we must say, sometimes we keep clients in the FAA phase much longer if there are outstanding injuries that have been neglected, major imbalance issues or if the nervous system is just too jacked up. Don’t worry though, regardless of how long you stay in this phase, we always change it up the programming after 4-6 weeks. It’s ok to have a FAA 1 and a FAA 2 phase.

We understand that you’re very self-aware when it comes to your own thought process and psychology but the thing is, we typically see very intelligent people that are a little clueless about how they move. It’s not our fault - it’s just not emphasized in our culture. We are here to educate you on this and get you tuned into your body forever. Do you know where you feel tension when you’re stressed, what is your “holding pattern” is, what muscles are sleepy, what joints are under-expressed or overused? You will after the FAA!





WHY FAA?

It’s like starting with a clean slate. The FAA phase builds a solid foundation for your success. Instead of diving into training head-first, we’re going to work from the ground up. When you build a proper foundation and then start conditioning, losing fat, adding muscle, the results come 10x faster! It’s all about efficiency baby! You know this in your own field right? Taking time to plan and strategize and investigate properly always leads to a better final product.

Our bodies are smart. They conserve energy any way they can but this often results in “sleepy” muscles as the body will essentially “turn off” any muscles that aren’t being used. But this is dangerous. For example, we see people who sit for long stretches of time often suffering from lower back pain. This is usually caused by inactive medial glutes that have been “turned off” to save energy. FAA allows us to engage all our muscles. We’re turning them all back on so you can move in ways you didn’t know were even possible.





HOW WE DO FAA? 

We like to describe FAA as a “transition phase.” It gets your body prepared for the next stages of training. That’s why we pay so much more attending to recovery tools like foam rolling and using tools like RAD rollers in this phase time. Because it’s especially important to really help your muscles relax and recover before transitioning into the next periodization cycle.

We also work on the mobility and stability of your joints, and open your body up to the full three planes of motion, not just the one most people are strong in. A lot of exercises are focused on mobility and proper functional technique with the use of bands and body weight movements.


Whether you’re just starting with your training with us or you have been doing it for a couple years, we always start with and come back to FAA. 

It’s like climbing a mountain. You start slowly ascending, it gets more intense with each step you take, you push through tough terrain and finally power up to get to the top. From there, you slow down and descend, only to come back to the bottom to rest, dream about the next adventure and prepare for the next peak.

FAA allows us to hit the reset button. It gives your body a bit of a break, (sometimes for the first time!) and returns to the foundations of the true anatomical structure to prepare for the next steps in your fitness journey. 

The FAA phase is so important to your training because it sets you up for success. We are all about doing things properly and right by science, by the laws of physics and biomechanics - this includes your body-mind connection. When we take the time to dive in and learn about our bodies and our minds, especially when we are guided by a professional, it is time well invested in the long run.


Interested in learning more? We’re offering 50 complimentary EPIC Life Assessments right now (first come first served) where we will take you through our assessment process and chat with you about the FAA Phase. Book yours now!