Grunt Work isn’t always pretty. In fact, it can be pretty awkward. It forces you to become uncomfortable in movements and workouts. But there are huge benefits to this.
When your body is being forced to deal with that awkwardness in training that Grunt Work provides, you are recruiting muscles in new ways and forcing your body to work synergistically.
Your brain tends to think in terms of movement, not specific muscles. So when we train with odd objects and movements, this helps us get strong in powerful ways that are more primal.
Weight training is great and shouldn’t be ignored, but it’s extremely controlled. The weights are premeditated, evenly loaded and perfectly balanced. And when we lift them, we move through a very thoughtful, strategic range of motion. However, the demands imposed on life, sports, competition, etc., are totally unpredictable. By training with objects that are imbalanced, awkward or unstable, we improve our ability to control the unpredictability stressors and demands we face in competition or in life.
Grunt Work training not only helps you build functional strength but improves neurological connects, making you stronger and more efficient. By throwing around a 100-pound sandbag or dragging a sled around the block, you recruit a lot more muscles and develop a lot more neurological efficiency than performing some of the more controlled, traditional lifts we see with a perfectly weighted barbell. By improving neurological efficiency, you are increasing the strength of the stabilizing muscles, bringing them up to match the strength of the prime movers. Suddenly your prime movers have the potential to start to push a lot more weight around.
And even though it might seem counterintuitive, training in an off-balance manner can actually bring you into balance. That same neurological conditioning that builds strength can help correct imbalances between your dominant and non-dominant sides, which can ultimately help prevent injury.
Grunt Work is hard work but it’s also smart work by helping improve strength, neurological efficiency, and joint health. And it’s not a fad rather necessary for life.