How He Used GMB
Have you ever had an injury that eventually healed okay but left you feeling kind of fragile? Like suddenly you had this nagging worry about getting hurt again, that kept you from trusting your body the way you used to?
Before his injury, Ammar was always neck deep in some sport or physical practice. He did Kung Fu, gymnastics, soccer, Brazilian jiu jitsu–and those are just the ones he took seriously. Being active was part of his life.
But his world turned upside down when he tore his ACL and damaged the cartilage in his knee. For almost a decade after, worries about getting hurt kept him pinned to the sidelines.
That’s a pretty tough thing to swallow for someone who’d always considered himself an athlete!
It wasn’t until he found our fundamental strength training program that he was finally able to stop feeling fragile and start feeling resilient, strong, and in control of his body again. And what he can do now is pretty damn impressive.
If you watched the video above, you probably heard and saw no hint of that broken, fragile Ammar we introduced this story with. And that’s because he’s come so far! (Spoiler alert! Ammar made such a remarkable recovery that he even went on to become a GMB Trainer!)
So how’d he do it?
The Journey to Building Real Strength
Ammar’s ACL tear was a pretty bad bump in the road, but it was a later injury to his hip that convinced him it was time to start working on strengthening his foundation.
So he started where many people do–with a bodybuilding approach to strength training. But the emphasis on building bigger muscles and cranking out a bunch of reps and sets didn’t do it for Ammar. He said, “I felt like I was heavier, but unable to move better.”After a 10-year break from his athletic life, Ammar started missing the freedom he felt from running, jumping, and other kinds of movement, and bodybuilding wasn’t the path to that.
He went through a couple of years of trial and error–first parkour and freerunning, then calisthenics. He got pretty far with these, but he kept getting injured, and he was sick and tired of feeling fragile. That’s when he expanded his search and found GMB and our Integral Strength program.
“Integral Strength has a combination of strength and mobility and stretches, and it improved my core a lot, which helped me to be more stable. The program helped me [overcome the cycle of injury I was in] by preparing my body gradually (the joints, tendons, and ligaments, along with the nervous system and muscles) through strength, flexibility, and motor control, and a gradual progression of difficulty and volume.”
Ammar worked diligently through Integral Strength (alongside our Elements course), and our skill-based approach to strength helped him build the foundation he needed to regain the confidence he’d lost.
How Integral Strength Made Ammar “Bulletproof”
Ammar had gone through lots of more conventional approaches to strength building before he found GMB. Why did Integral Strength work where other programs failed to build his body back up?
Unlike many programs that focus on strength in a vacuum, only emphasizing muscle size or increased reps/sets, Integral Strength is a skill-based program that builds strength systematically, while also emphasizing mobility and motor control.
Instead of pushing himself to get more and more reps, or do harder and harder variations of exercises, as he’d always done before, Ammar working on building his strength from the ground up, and finally succeeded in making his body resilient.
This restored his confidence in his body and he started taking on harder challenges–and achieving them!
Strength to Do What You LoveOnce he built this strong and resilient platform, and no longer had to fear sustaining injuries over and over again, Ammar’s world opened up, and he set his sights on much loftier goals.
After going through Integral Strength, Ammar went through our rigorous GMB Trainer Apprenticeship program and became a Certified GMB Trainer. He’s now taking what he learned on this journey and teaching it to others.
Ammar’s “biggest motivation to train is to build the strength and mobility to play with my kids, play football, practice BJJ, and do some skills.” And now that he’s got the foundation he needs, he can do all those things.
Check out how he gets his kids in on the action with his training these days:
Later on, Ammar also spent some time working on his handstand and has made good progress in training for a Handstand Push-Up (he plans to nail that skill this year!). He also went through most of our Floor One program once he completed the Apprenticeship program.
Ammar’s experience shows the critical importance of finding the approach that works for you and will give YOU the protection you need. Even if you’ve dealt with injuries in the past (whether minor sprains or more devastating injuries like Ammar’s), your story isn’t over.
Explore what will work best for you, and don’t give up.
Once you’ve been cleared by a doctor to get back to training, the key is to work on strength development that supports what you really need. This strength is then your foundation to do activities you want to do, so you can do them well.
“In many of the traditional programs they focus on strength training and resting–that’s it. No mobility, no stretching and no mindfulness of movement at all. And this is why people get injuries, because of the poor programming. In contrast, Integral Strength is designed to enable you and make you strong, not just in your muscles, but also in your joints, tendons, ligaments, and nervous system.”
Be Strong, Confident, and Ready for Anything
Integral Strength helped Ammar build a strong and resilient body, and it will help you get strong for the demanding physical skills and dynamic sports you love.