All weight bearing exercises are done over or under center body mass. No weights extended at arms length for example.

My first experience with the gym as an adult was probably pretty typical. I started out with some cardio and a little bit of weight lifting. And like most people saw some pretty cool results and thought hey, let’s step it up a little and started pushing around more weight until I started having minor injuries. Almost always related to joints and connective tissue. This was followed by years of trying to work around these weaknesses and still keep growing. Only to always end up in more pain.

I would suggest that I and probably most people are going about this the wrong way. That being said I reverse engineered the problem. And ironically the solution is to take the standard model and reverse it. Literally. Let me show you what that looks like.

  1. Strengthen joints and connective tissue.
  2. Build muscle/Strength training [OPTIONAL]
  3. Endurance training if desired or necessary for other work or sport.

First, start by strengthening the joints and connective tissues to the point where they will always be stronger than the force the associated muscles can produce. This should remain your core focus of strength training at all times. The stronger your joints and connective tissues are the larger your muscles will grow by default. They are the defining and limiting factor to muscle growth. They are the boss; the muscles are the servant.

My own journey following this path has not only been very fruitful but also very restful.

I am convinced that we are doing more harm than good if we don’t do this the right way. I am working toward a concept that could be called centerline calisthenics. I almost always use some weight for resistance which include things like 2.5, 5, and 10 pound barbell plates. All movements over center mass.