Who is this Guy, What is the Product?
What does this product claim?Kelly Starrett – Becoming a Supple Leopard: The Ultimate Guide to Resolving Pain, Preventing Injury, and Optimizing Athletic Performance.
Coach Kelly Starrett received his Doctor of Physical Therapy in 2007 from Samuel Merritt College in Oakland, California. He currently runs his own physical therapy practice at San Francisco CrossFit"”one of the first 50 CrossFit affiliates"”and focuses on performance-based Orthopedic Sports Medicine with an emphasis on returning athletes to elite level sport and performance. His clients see exceptional results from his progressive blend of manual physical therapy and strength training. Since 2009, Kelly has been traveling the country teaching his "Movement, Mobility & Maintenance Course" in an effort to spread his message that good mobility and proper movement are the keys to good performance and that all humans should be able to perform this basic maintenance on themselves.
Kelly's clients have included Olympic gold-medalists, Tour de France cyclists, world-class extreme skiers and X-Games medalists, dancers with Smuin, San Francisco, and Sacramento Ballet Companies, military personnel, and competitive age-division athletes.
Improve your athletic performance, extend your athletic career, treat body stiffness and achy joints, and rehabilitate injuries"”all without having to seek out a coach, doctor, chiropractor, physical therapist, or masseur. In Becoming a Supple Leopard, Kelly Starrett"”founder of MobilityWod.com"”shares his revolutionary approach to mobility and maintenance of the human body and teaches you how to hack your own human movement, allowing you to live a healthy, happier, more fulfilling life.
Where can I get it and how much does it cost?
This is a solid hardcover. 400 pages glossed paper and crystal clear pictures. Most if not all of the book is color and is made of good quality.
The book is broken down into 4 main areas. The first is a prequel of sorts that describe Starrett's overarching philosophy and his recommendation on bracing. The second is an exercise breakdown describing most major crossfit exercises with proper instruction on completion and proper faults. The third is a how-to portion describing how to apply the final section is a catalog of mobility exercises as broken down by major muscle grouping.
The entire book is well laid out with each section presenting a logical progression building on the previous while standing on its own.
This book assumes that you are going to exercise regardless of what your current mobility limitations are so there's an element of danger inherent to the practice. That said if you're looking to perform evaluations on either yourself or a partner (recommended) the book lays out cues to help identify flaws in the movement patterns of the exerciser and gives a basic guideline on where to look to correct said flaw by either positional corrections or by referencing major muscle groups in the back of the book.
Today is Squat day. You set up a camera and\or have your buddy watching you perform your exercises. You brace yourself (every time regardless of movement) and perform what your squat. Using the second portion of the book you see that you're screwing something up and you attempt to use the motor pattern cues to correct. You repeat the sequence and you're either good to go or you have a lack of mobility"¦looking at where your basic flaws are you reference the back of the book to see what you need to work on that night.
Over all I'd say that most people could probably use this as is.
Does it do what it says\Review
When deciding if the book does what it says that it's supposed to do you have to decide which portion of what it says it's going to do are we looking at. If you're using the portion of the book description as described above I think that there's a reasonable chance that someone with a bit of background in exercise could almost certainly use this book to help loosen up some aches and likely gain some quality of life improvements. As mentioned above the book is fairly well laid out and assuming that you're applying the prescriptions as suggested and limiting exercises to ones you can perform safely (as also described). I'd say a moderate thumbs up
There is a bit of a learning curve on this sort of activity though and I'm not sure that this book would be appropriate for those with a history of injury or those who have very little exercise background. The concern that I have is that this sort of activity if done incorrectly could do very real damage. That's not to say that a novice is going to hurt themselves if they try to apply Starrett's advice or that the book itself is faulty, but any time that you're modifying tissue length\quality"¦you're modifying the way your body works. If you apply incorrectly then there's consequences that you may never fully recover from.
This is a book targeted at cross-fitters and regardless of how you feel about the movements described or the culture on a whole, cross-fit is a very real thing and it's bringing a different look to the fitness industry on a whole. I'm curious as to how the industry will react to this book and in turn how much Starrett will modify his recommendations in ten years when his second or third edition will come out.
In my mind this is a modest investment into the insight of a collaboration of experts across a variety of disciplines of fitness. Most people will likely read it once, think it's super awesome cool, try it twice, and never do anything with it ever again. I think it's worth a pickup for the ideas. I picked up a couple of things and it's too early to say if I've made strides to unlocking my athletic potential or reversed the aging process, I'm feeling pretty enthusiastic about working out a kink or two.
Notes: Tony Sayers M.S., NASM PES is an amateur fitness enthusiast. He is not a professional and does not review fitness theory, only products per their description. His reviews are personal opinion and all members are encouraged to seek medical clearance prior to the implantation of any fitness program.