Just Fly Performance Podcast

Just Fly Performance Podcast

379: Clifton Harski on Athleticism and Adaptability in the Human Performance Model

October 05, 2023

Today’s podcast features Clifton Harski. Cliff has been in human performance for two decades and is highly active in movement education, leading over 450 workshops and certifications since 2011. Cliff is the COO for the Pain Free Performance Specialist Certification while developing and running the Functional Kettlebell Training Certification. Cliff developed a small group training fitness franchise, Fitwall, which had 7 locations across 5 states prior to Covid. He has over 15 certifications in movement training, strength and conditioning, and a masterful and inter-connected thought process on all things human movement, strength and performance.

What is interesting with the human performance, strength and conditioning model is that it hinges heavily on things that a number can be tied to. Physical strength is very easy to track through various gym maxes, and conditioning is just as simple, based on whatever key test a coach decides to use with their group. At the same time, “movement” requires a greater intuition of the entire process of athleticism.

For today’s podcast, Clifton discusses how he looks at the human performance industry in light of movement + strength + conditioning, and not just the latter two. He gives his model of the 3A’s (be able, be athletic, be adaptable, talks about the role of movement variability in training, speaks on rotational kettlebell training concepts, movement coaching, and much more. This episode puts the entirety of human performance coaching into perspective from an individual who has seen a massive range of training methods and philosophies.

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Timestamps and Main Points
3:01 – Clifton’s journey to dunk on his birthday each year at 6’1”, now being 41 years old

9:27 – How to solve problems, using intuition, rather than memorizing exercise sequences

11:25 – Some of the big pillars of training that Cliff has compiled, throughout all of his movement certifications

18:55 – Approaching the “movement” aspect of training, for a general population athlete, versus a sport athlete

25:52 – Thoughts on how to technically coach “form” in exercises that are not an athlete’s actual sport movement

33:33 – The role of rhythmic and reflexive movement in training

36:00 – Cliff’s “BA” Progression: Be Able, Be Athletic, Be Adaptable

46:42 – Thoughts on working with high level athletes who are already “athletic”, in the gym, versus more general population type individuals who are getting very little, if any sort of athletic movement stimulus in their daily routine

53:34 – How Clifton approaches variability in training for clients

57:57 – How to coach movement based on variability, and working with errors, instead of a “universal perfect form”

1:01:15 – How Clifton fills gaps in training and performance in utilization of the kettlebell, particularly rotational pieces that can be adaptable to more athletic qualities

1:12:51 – How Clifton would look to approach training athletes, as opposed to general population type individuals

Clifton Harski Quotes
“Once a week I practiced dunking on a 9’ foot,