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Image by Fritz Benning

Decision Tree

One of the principles of training long-term is to make better decisions. One of the problems we see is there is so much information but not a clear hierarchy of how to use it. ​

Enter the system of "DRIVE, NEUTRAL, & DOWNSHIFT"

  • DRIVE: Adhere to the stimulus of the workout as close as possible. There is an expectation of performance for the day and you accept the possibility of soreness or fatigue later in the day or tomorrow. Ballistic and dynamic (i.e. fast and explosive) movements are on the table.

  • NEUTRAL: Thoughtfully consider how today's workout will affect the rest of your week and make adjustments where necessary. You are wanting to physically and mentally feel better leaving the gym today than when you came in. Ballistic movements should be 'taken under advisement' and considered more dynamic or isometric holds if needed.

  • DOWNSHIFT: Address and avoid a painful range of motion, focusing on recovery so you can get back to neutral and drive. The goal is to leave the gym with decreased pathology by increasing range of motion or improving muscle soreness; not aggravating an injury. Isometric holds are often suggested.


[Note: The Drive, Neutral, and Downshift guidelines below are just that - guidelines.]


  • Take into consideration how you answered the assessment and what your goals for the day/week are.

  • After a thorough warmup and physical assessment, you may decide to customize and individual movement or the entire workout. Both can be smart options.

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