Product Review: Maximum Mobility
I wanted to write a post this morning for a couple of reasons. First, I think something broke on the site last night, someone please let me know if the homepage images are loading for you. For me they just show up as broken links – I e-mailed my hosting service about it, hopefully they know what’s going on cause I have no fricken clue! (I have it confirmed now that it’s broken for everyone…wish me luck.) The good news is that I can still type whatever I want, and images within posts still work, so for now, it’s not totally a lost cause. Second, I started this blog with a pretty clear purpose of bringing something positive back to the community from which I’ve gained so much – I feel that I may have fallen short yesterday, I really shouldn’t write posts immediately after bad workouts, it’s a recipe for disaster, or in my case, a lot of complaining. In any case, apologies. Third, I buy a lot of products in some way related to health, human performance, crossfit, weightlifting, and paleo/cooking and rarely ever “review” any of them – so I thought I’d start a new series of reviews of shit I’ve tried and liked or maybe didn’t like.
I talk about the Fitr.tv // Barbell Shrugged guys quite a bit, maybe too much, but there’s good reason, I tend to gravitate towards these kind of resources, well informed, easy to absorb and quickly applied. The “About” page on their site sums up their goals pretty simply;
Fitr.tv is an online resource for many of the tools we use to train our actual athletes at the first, and now largest, CrossFit gym in Memphis, TN called Faction Strength and Conditioning – The Home of CrossFit Memphis.
Fitr.tv hosts our weekly Barbell Shrugged Strength and Conditioning Podcast, the TechniqueWOD video blog as well as our shop where we post products and seminar videos that we use with our clients to speed up their results.
Let me be clear before I dive in here – I don’t sell anything, I don’t workout at Faction, they didn’t give me any free copy to review, and you won’t get a discount code from reading this; it’s simply my honest opinion. Last Friday I signed up for remote coaching with Mike, as part of their remote coaching they give you Maximum Mobility which is their mobility seminar that they pretty much give everyone who walks through the door. For good reason, mobility restrictions turn functional movements into dangerous injury machines, it’s important to know whose going to put themselves at risk and how to avoid that. I respect this approach, rather than waiting for people to hurt themselves to tell them not to OHS, why not address it from the get go? In any case, I sat down Saturday afternoon and took the whole seminar.
- Completeness – Easily the most complete, top to bottom, start to finish mobility product I’ve seen to date. I want to emphasize this point, there are great free resources out there like MobilityWOD but it’s free, and you get what you pay for. MobilityWOD likely has all the same information but it’s in about 45 different youtube videos, scattered and out of order. To get the same experience you would have to devote some serious time even just arranging them. What I love about Maximum Mobility is that it’s setup to be used, as a tool, from start to finish to assess any possible restriction you could possibly have.
- Easily Understood – to the untrained, or disinterested ear there’s a lot of jargon involved with natural human movement, lots of tiny muscles, oddly named ligaments and the like that can easily get overwhelming if you’re just trying to figure out why your hips don’t go wider. Nothing is left to the imagination in Maximum Mobility, not only does Doug explain why a restriction is dangerous, but also, how to tell if you are restricted, how to fix it, how to work around it, and why it’s important. For an analytical knowledge sponge like me, this was huge and incredibly valuable.
- Assessment – this is the biggest “pro” I can think of in the whole course. It’s one thing to learn about mobility, figure out how to fix lacking hip flexion, or shoulder internal rotation; you can just go to mobilityWod and search by body part or muscle group and find a solution. That’s not the issue though, the real question is how do you know if you have a problem? Lacking ankle dorsiflexion could manifest in wrist or shoulder pain as movement restrictions often travel up and down chain. No body overhead squats and actually feels their ankle hurt. This adaptation by our bodies makes it hard to accurately diagnose your own issues, if your shoulder hurts you want to fix your shoulder, not necessarily the problem in your hip that’s leading to that pain. Knowing accurately and concretely where you are lacking mobility and where you are not is a HUGE part of Maximum Mobility – I can’t stress this aspect enough.
- Assessments – I know I just finished harping on how great this is, it’s great that they offer it, but it’s setup a little funny. Being a recorded seminar, you miss a lot of the actual “what this assessment should look like” bit, and though they include videos of how to conduct these on yourself, a lot of them seem pretty subjective, or hard to perform on yourself. Especially those requiring another person to measure – if you have a super-friend around or maybe even a spouse/significant other this is diminished. I struggled to perform a lot of the assessments and I’m actually probably going to have Doug re-do them when I get there this weekend
- Availability – The seminar slides and bonus posters are fully downloadable to PDF and are now loaded 100% on my phone for good. The rest of the seminar though, which is about 2 hours worth of video footage, is sadly only available through the protected website. Obviously, this is a product, and they’re trying to protect their work – I get that. From a consumer point of view however, its kind of like digital rights management, I bought it, I should be able to do what I want with it. I want this seminar on every device I own to watch at my liesure. This is a minor point, but one that I could see improving the product if they could find a way to protect it.
- Visibility – This is a super minor “con” – one that I even questioned including. They obviously did their best editing this seminar into a usable product, and 98% of the time they did an excellent job. There are a few points, I think during the ankle dorsiflexion and maybe during shoulder internal rotation, where between the slides, the camera, and Doug walking around – you miss what he’s demonstrating. Obviously not a lot to be done, but it should be noted. Easily looked passed.
If you can do 98% of crossfit or weightlifting movements pain free, totally optimized mechanics, at the weight and speed you would like – don’t buy Maximum Mobility, you’ll likely wonder what you were supposed to get out of it. You are also probably about 1% of the general fitness population, and/or a regional level competitor. If you land yourself in the 99% – Maximum Mobility is a great product for optimizing the human condition. Fitness should hurt because your muscles are burning, not because your joints are cracking, pinching, and sliding incorrectly. I think people look passed this point and convince themselves it’s part of getting better – I know I did for awhile. Maximum Mobility is a complete tool chest with everything you need, start to finish, to improve. You have to have the discipline and drive to improve, but if those pieces are in place then this is the most complete implement I’ve seen to get you there.
Grade: 93% A