Phylogenetic Hierarchy: Quick Crash Course
There are 4 states of the Nervous System: flow, fight, flight and freeze. Two are in the PNS: the ventral vagus (flow) and dorsal vagus (freeze) and two are in the SNS (fight or flight).
The newest system evolved last. It's the flow state. This is the PNS ventral vagus nerve. It allows us to socialize. The ventral vagus nerves controls heart rate, facial expression, internal torque (flow state), and the pump (vasodilation). This is the best time to digest "healthy" food.
The next state is the SNS fight. This is external torque. You lose the pump (vasoconstriction happens) and your heart rate goes up. This is where you express anger. It's more difficult to digest "healthy" food in the sympathetic state, so your best option is simple sugars.
The next state is SNS flight. This is also external torque. This manifests as anxiety and frustration.
The oldest system (evolved first): The PNS dorsal vagus. This is the "freeze" system.... i.e. the act of playing dead (it helps us preserve energy, it's a defence mechanism, i.e. fetal position). This can manifest as depression.
The hierarchy means we start with the most evolved nervous system first, the PNS ventral vagal nerve (so awareness first). When the PNS ventral vagus fails, then we switch to the sympathetic nervous system (fight and then flight). When that fails, then we switch to the freeze state (PNS dorsal vagal nerve). The freeze state is the least evolved, and therefore, the last to be used. This is based on neurological fact.
By performing workouts that correspond to the phylogenetic hierarchy, you will be able to find balance between the action of the sympathetic state and the awareness of the parasympathetic. You’ll notice that most training programs are dominated by the sympathetic state, which is why these programs fail to help you develop strength.
You cannot escape a state. You either win or lose it. So if you are anxious (SNS flight state), you cannot decrease anxiety by decreasing stress. So you have to move back a state and fight it out (get angry) in order to win and regain control to move forward. Watch the video to see how I approach this. This is a very personal/raw video I'm sharing with you, so please be respectful. You will see how I address frustration and low back spasm using the phylogenetic hierarchy.
Ditch The Rules:
I have noticed that many of you have turned the weekly StrongFit workouts into a SCORING SYSTEM for yourself: If you do them, you pass. If you don't do them, you fail. This approach has bad news written all over it. There is too much rule-making happening regarding your weekly workouts. Many of you have thrown in the StrongFit towel as a result.
Stop following rules you are making for yourself: It's creating unnecessary anxiety in your life. Start thinking INTENT. This creates order.
If you want to learn about the Phylogenetic Hierarchy, and how I apply it to my StrongFit home and gym workouts, then check out my ONLINE Strength Academy.
If you are new to StrongFit, and want to learn from me in person, then check out my Intro to StrongFit 2-Day Seminar (Sept 22/23, 2018, Toronto).