Polykinetics: Fitness Simplified, Results magnified!
Polykinetics, at first visual glance, looks to be too "easy" to be effective enough for most to benefit from, but as many quickly learn, the kinetic sequences become progressively challenging every moment all the while remaining simplistic and consistent!
For decades, the fitness industry has continued to get more and more complex, more complicated and more physically demanding and I took inspiration from an Einstein quote.
Any intelligent fool can make things bigger, more complex, and more violent. It takes a touch of genius — and a lot of courage — to move in the opposite direction.
How does Polykinetics work?
Polykinetics consists of three main components that are strategically interrelated: moves (physiology), music (neurology) and mentality/mindset (psychology);---And these three elements are harmoniously synchronized in such a way that it allows you to reap maximum benefits, physically and mentally, at the same time, in HALF the time.
Sessions can be done completely in private on your own or in a group setting. It's all up to you!
Sessions are composed of individual kinetics sequences called, sets.
Each kinetic sequence averages between 2-4 minutes and sets lasting no longer than 25-30 minutes each session to maintain safety and prevent overworking muscle groups. Remember to always include time for stretching before, during and after a workout.
It is recommended to do at least one (1) 30-minute set each day for beginners and adjust accordingly as your individual endurance and strength progress with time, and it will!
Sequences and sets are designed to generate energy, not destroy or completely deplete it. Most self-reporting participants state feeling energized and alert after a single Polykinetics session---fully able to carry on with their daily responsibilities and other activities without feeling worn out or drained.
After experiencing the very FIRST exercise sequence (3-5 minutes), you'll never look at exercising in the same way; and with proper training and practice, you'll progressively continue to build up a self-sustaining physical strength, endurance, balance, coordination, focus, cognitive incline and overall joy that will help fight back against life stresses we all face as humans.
Moves: The physiology of Polykinetics
You know how when your hands are cold you rub them back and forth really fast? Well Polykinetics works with the same principal. The moves work to convert kinetic energy into thermal energy, thus, working the body more effiecently than before or with more conventional type styles.
When it comes to physical fitness, there are four main areas of focus: aerobic (cardio/endurance), anaerobic (muscle strengthening), flexibility and balance.
Only a few activities cater to all four areas, and Polykinetics is one of them. Each workout infuses all four fitness areas into every single session, which saves a massive amount time, energy and frustration.
The exercise moves are multi-intensity (tempo speed) intervals of coordinated and controlled body-weight exercise segments known as "kinetic sequences". Different tempos will yield different intensity modes. As well the speed and duration of the piece of music a sequence is coordinated to.
The moves are then utilized in a technique of "repetitive micropulsation" that works like a microwave oven to body fat and muscle building
These rhythmic micro-pulsation maneuvers also allow the muscles to "warm up" quickly and safely without wasting limited energy or time doing a separate 10-minute warm-up workout.
In Polykinetics, these elements are intertwined directly into each and every workout since a lack of energy is usually the predominate physical symptom people experience with the onset of a mental illness or disorder.
This way, Polykinetics utilizes exercises performed in a specific way so that your body actually generates energy instead of exhausting it. Most participants reported feeling "energized" after a single 5-minute sequence.
An additional special feature of this method, there's no physical counting of repetitions.
That element has been removed completely in order allow the brain to focus on more vital tasks at hand, such as maintaining synchronized coordination, maintaining balance and all over endurance!
The Polykinetics vertical core crunch and bilateral forward punch exercises.
Polykinetics also utilizes two rarely known exercises that are particularly...unique.
These two exercise moves are known as the "vertical core crunch" (VCC) and the "bilateral forward punch" (BFP); and when these two unique moves are coordinated together, it allows you to incorporate all three major areas of the body: upper body (diaphragm to the top of your head), core (diaphragm to the hips) and lower body (hips to your feet) at the same time.
The VCC is also frequently called the "base" move since it is the most frequently used exercise movement within the entire Polykinetics method; simply due to the belief that the most important area of the physical body (not including the brain) is in fact the core---therefore---the core area of the body is continuously used within each and every kinetic sequence.
This is by far one of my favorite exercises personally for the sake that I am able to work the entire core from a standing position and without tugging and pulling on the back of my neck in unnatural ways; an unfortunate commonality and redundant risk to take with conventional on-the-floor core crunch exercises.
Remember: work smarter, not harder!
How do you do a VCC exercise?
The VCC is executed from a standing position with feet typically at shoulder-width apart. By turning the dynamics of the crunch exercise from horizontal to vertical you're now getting a 360-degree range of potential motion which allows for several different sub-variations (VCC 1, VCC 2, etc) to the original in order to target certain areas or to increase the overall intensity of the core workout.
The base VCC (VCC 1) is as simple to do as breathing in and out. Participants lift up on the upper body (similar to taking in a deep breath of air), pulling the shoulder blades together, and then while exhaling, drops the upper body down onto the upper core muscles closest to the diaphragm. ---Since this is also where your stomach organ is, the VCC will cause building muscles to push back inward gently against the stomach, creating an all natural appetite suppressor.
Furthermore, when the VCC is done properly over time, it will also act as a natural decongestant due to the force of air being pushed out of the lungs when doing the VCC. Many participants (especially those who smoke) reported a decrease of phlegm in their chest and improvement in overall breathing within weeks of continuous use of the VCC exercise.
Other variations of the VCC exercise include either leaning slightly backwards or forwards, side to side contractions, and various positions of the arms which can greatly alter the intensity or focus point of the workout.
For example, if you extend your arms out in front of you, placing one hand flat on top of the other (think of your arms making a letter "V") and reach forward as you do the VCC exercise, it will GREATLY increase the difficulty of that exercise. Same if you place your arms straight out to your sides (like a big letter "T"), hold them above your head, or in any other position, it will intensify the effects of the vertical core crunch, all without ever missing a single beat!
How do you do a BFP exercise?
The bilateral forward punch is much more basic, yet just as vital as the VCC. It has the ability to work the arms, shoulders, upper and middle back, neck, and chest simultaneously in a simple back and forth (oscillating) motion. Just like the VCC, the BFP is typically done from a standing position (although you absolutely can do this from a sitting position too!) with arms bent at a 90-degree angle while the hands are tightly together in a fist (think of holding onto a cup by a handle) By doing this, instructors are able to gauge the "strength" of your bilateral coordination between the left and right cerebral hemispheres of your brain and insure they are communicating effectively.
Variations of this exercise all depends whether you're keeping your fists parallel to the ground or punching at an upward angle, or downward angle---both of which intensifies the effects of the vertical core crunch when used in tandem.
Other fundamental body-weight exercises used within Polykinetics:
Forward-facing right angle leg lifts
Side to side leg lifts.
Various arm exercises with or without the use of dumbbells (completely optional)
And additionally, several change up variation exercise moves to keep the body in a continuous state of muscle confusion, theoretically, preventing fitness plateaus.
Polykinetics also utilizes a self-regulating intensity scale (J1-J3) during sessions to allow for the freedom to quickly increase or decrease the overall intensity of a particular sequence whenever you need or want to. That control is completely yours.
J1 - minimal intensity - This is used mostly to help "warm up" or "cool down" the body during sequences in order to prevent hyperventilation or risk of injury.
J2 - moderate intensity
J3 - max intensity - Full effort, give it all you've got within reason -Remember: This is a fitness method where if you overestimate your physical threshold it could straining or even an injury. So never get so lost in the mental effort that you can forget to pay attention to the applied action and responses from your body.
The intensity indicators will normally follow the flow of which ever song is being used, but at others, instructors can use these to throw in some surprise twists into a workout to keep both bodies and brains continuously engaged and challenged throughout the entire workout. This also helps to prevent the common problem of plateauing. Due to no two songs being identical,
The best part about Polykinetics is that you can infuse this technique into ANY physical exercise of your choice, not just the exercise moves used in kinetic sequences. They key is to ditch the repetition counting and let the flow of the music and its intensities lead your efforts. All you have to do is keep your movements consistent with the beat of which ever music (song) you're using and in less than one minute, you'll feel a very different kind of workout.
Music: The neurology of Polykinetics
Melodic effects on brain activation
The use of music within Polykinetics does much more than simply providing entertaining and a source of enjoyment during workouts. Music is also responsible for setting the speed/pace of the moves used and motivation on which moves would be best used to a particular song. Some songs are better for upper body, some are best for lower, some songs are universal and can work for any area of the body. Always remember the golden rule no matter what song or move used.....STAY ON THE BEAT!
"Music therapy is a flexible treatment modality, able to promote wellness, facilitate symptom management, and improve the quality of life of those with mental illnesses." Data suggest that music therapy intervention results in clinical improvement in individuals with a range of mental health needs, and these benefits are seen among individuals with varying diagnoses, ages, and ethnicity. The data also suggest that music therapy is cost effective, has little adverse effects, and is well received by those with mental illnesses."
-Lori F. Gooding PhD (2018)
Polykinetics works with virtually any music genre and virtually any song you choose. Songs are organized based on overall affective impact and melodic intensity, duration, speed (measured by BPM), overall composition, lyrical content (if any) and even down to the popularity. Polykinetics has been tried and tested using the following music styles:
This is a method that is just as inclusive with the music, as it is with the people who use Polykinetics. Melodic diversity is found all throughout the Polykinetics method---not just this type of music or that type, but ALL TYPES---because in reality, we ALL have our own unique mixed-genre soundtracks that are significant to our lives, and I believe a truly effective fitness method that utilizes music should actively acknowledge and support that.
The most important aspect when choosing music (a song) other than it being enjoyable to you; is that it needs to reflect and equal the intensity of your current emotional state as you start the session.
This is a critical component to the overall process mentally and physically.
Example: If you're upset, choose a song that reflects the kind of upset you're experiencing. If you're hyper and overly excited, pick a song that reflects that. By doing so, it allows your emotions to become validated, and helps you zone in on particular thoughts and memories that are causing duress. Many times sessions will mix different types of affective styles depending on the session goals of the group or individual.
Choosing the music: When it comes to scouting new music to sequence, there are certain elements I look for particularly.
Duration: How long the song is. Most sequenced songs are typically between 3-5 mins each. Which is ideal if your biggest struggle with getting fit is a lack of time. Five (5) kinetic sequences equals one (1) full Polykinetics set/workout.
Speed: How fast/slow the song is---This is also measured using a beats per minute (BPM) counter, which can make picking a sequence easier and quicker depending on how fast or slow you want to go.
Melodic composition: Bass drops, speed changes, lines that rise, fall, arches, undulates, and/or overall mood.
Song styles: Instrumental and lyrical
Only about 25% of the kinetic sequences I have designed involve songs with lyrics. And there's a key reason as to why that is.
Sometimes the lyrics are ideal.
They can be fun, empowering and match perfectly with a given mental state, however, songs with lyrics may also inhibit certain guided thought processes since lyrics are a profoundly influential element within music. I recommend when choosing songs with lyrics to be aware of the content and choose responsibly.
The biggest benefit of utilizing instrumental-type songs is that it allows your mind and thoughts to wonder freely without being distracted by language. I greatly encourage participants to use both types, lyrical and instrumental, when doing their own sessions due to the unique benefits you experience with each style.
Sessions by music genre
In the past, it always seemed to be a method built around ONE style of music. Which was fine, but never succeeded in sustaining interest or motivation for very long because the reality is most have a mixed collection of many different types of music, therefore, Polykinetics offers participants the freedom self-expression and freedom of music choice by being compatible with virtually any song or genre---allowing for instructors and participants to use either specific or mixed genre sequences within sessions. The key is to ensure the music is reflecting your current emotional state, not your desired state, when starting the sequence.
As most know, how we perceive ourselves and of the world, greatly weighs in on our state-of-mind on a daily basis. This is not your typical, "Go team go! or "just think happy thoughts" kind of lip-service. No, In Polykinetics, the applied strategies are used to identify potential struggles, as well as, promote clarity and wellness in all forms: physically, mentally, and emotionally. This area is also where you will face some potentially difficult internal feelings and/or thoughts. Various different types of psychology are used within this method to invoke emotional or physical responses during sessions. Some times they are pleasant and fun, others, not so much. Just as it is in life.
We ALL have a spectrum of mental health as we do physical health and these two areas of health are strongly interrelated, but we often focus so critically on the physical that we neglect our mental, which can have devastating consequences. Therefore, Polykinetics works to align your life to be in a "dualistic balance" between physical and mental, your positives and negatives or strengths and weaknesses.
Our #1 goal with Polykinetics is to educate the importance of mental health, as much as physical health, instill vital life-optimizing strategies, and to inspire a completely new perspective on utilizing fitness as an adaptive personal growth and stress-fighting tool for health related struggles. Polykinetics instills various principles and disciplines that will help you reach your highest potential by removing fear and doubt and replacing them with determination and empowerment.