Daily Dose of Coach #249: Old School Vanity Training


Leonardo Divinci (1452-1519), was known as one of the universal geniuses of our time. Before fitness programs and exercise became a thing, he was intrigued with strengthening his body.

He would do things like try to bending horseshoes to improve his strength, and he also loved horseback riding. Known for his vanity, he said that horseback riding was an effective way to exercise by making sure that you looked good on the horse.

Before any of the fitness gurus even thought of it, Divici connected strength with posture and or course looking your best.

I always tell people who'd like to be taller to improve their posture. At a certain point, that may be their last resort.

What exactly is good posture and why is it so important? Good posture "is a stable and energy-efficient alignment that requires the least amount of muscle contraction to support, reduces shear and compressive loads on the spine, provides the most optimal position for muscles to both support and move the spinal joints, and it establishes the ideal alignment for locomotion and other upright activities (Stuart McGill 2001)."

Training for and with good posture is the foundation for great movement, strength, and power.

Posture dictates all muscle function, including joints of the shoulders, scapulae, spine, hips and ankles. If posture is out of alignment in any of these joints, the ability to produce force and support joint position will be compromised.


There are many benefits to training for and with good posture and should be the first thing addressed in your training program.


Like Divinci pointed out, looking good on a horse meant sitting tall, shoulders back, chest out and probably letting the wind blow through your hair. It's the look of confidence of strength.


Good posture is the original old school vanity training. But, as we've discovered over the years, it's also needed to get the most out of our training while preventing injury.