Home Newsletters Alwyn Cosgrove: Mobility Training

Alwyn Cosgrove: Mobility Training

Written on January 8, 2008 at 7:24 pm, by Eric Cressey

This week, we’ve got Part 2 of the Alwyn Cosgrove fat loss interview along with a few quick announcements.

Just a quick note, first: I had my first article published at Active.com just recently.  Check it out:

Must-Have Weight Room Movements for Cyclists: Part 1

EricCressey.com Exclusive Interview with Alwyn Cosgrove: Part 2

Last week, Alwyn tossed out a ton of great information with respect to fat loss programming, but he’s not done yet!  Without further ado, let’s get to it…

EC: As a mobility geek, I was intrigued when I heard you mention that you felt that corrective exercise – especially in the form of mobility and activation work – had merits with respect to utilizing compound movements to create a metabolic disturbance.  Could you elaborate?

AC: If you think about the fiber recruitment potential, the answer is pretty obvious.  Even if you’re using compound movements to create that metabolic disturbance, if your muscles were not activated like they should be, you still are not creating as big as a disturbance as you could.

For example, squats and deadlifts will give you more bang for your buck if your glutes are active than if they aren’t.  Many of the movements from your Magnificent Mobility DVD – supine bridges and birddogs, for example, with respect to the glutes – are great pairings for more of these compound lifts if you’re looking to create more of a metabolic disturbances.  In the upper body, you might pair chin-ups with scap pushups, or bench presses with scapular wall slides.

And, to add on the above points, you can ignore the value of that mobility and activation work when it comes to preventing injury.  Many times, form will start to break down with some of the longer time-under-tension prescriptions in more metabolically demanding resistance training protocols.  When you get things firing the way they should, you immediately make these complexes and circuits safer.

EC: Great points.  Now, you bust my chops for being a guy that reads the research on a regular basis, but we both know that you’re as much of a “research bloodhound” as I am.  As such, I know that you’ve got some ideas on the “next big thing” when it comes to fat loss.  Where do you feel the industry will be going along these lines in the years to come?  Here’s your chance to make a bold prediction, you cocky bastard.

AC: Ok – you’re putting me on the spot here.

If you don’t drink water – what happens? Your body immediately tries to maintain homeostasis by retaining water – doing the opposite.

Does weight training build muscle? No. It destroys muscle and the body adapts by growing new muscle. The body adapts by homeostasis – trying to regain balance by doing the opposite.

If we look at aerobic training – and look at fat oxidation – we can see that fat oxidation increases at 63% V02 max. We burn fat during the activity.  How does that EXACT SAME BODY respond? Hmmmm…

What cavemen survived the famine in the winters? The cavemen that stored bodyfat efficiently. We have evolved into a race of fat storing machines.

We are aerobic all day. If aerobic training worked – then we wouldn’t need to work harder would we? When we work harder we see a trend – we lose fat – but is it because we are moving towards anaerobics?

My prediction is that as we understand more and more about the science of losing fat (which in reality we haven’t really studied in any depth) I think we’ll find that  excessive aerobic training may retard fat loss in some way.

I’ve been saying for years that I don’t think it helps much. And the studies support that. I’m now starting to feel that it may hurt.

How many more studies have to come out that show NO effect of aerobic training to a fat loss program before we’ll recognize it?

DISCLAIMER – I work with endurance athletes. I work with fighters. I am recovering from an autologous stem cell transplant and high dose chemotherapy. I think aerobic training is extremely helpful. But not as a fat loss tool.

EC: Excellent stuff as always, Alwyn.  Thanks for taking the time.

I can’t say enough great things the fat loss resources Alwyn has pulled together; I would strongly encourage you all to check them out: Afterburn.

All the Best,


  • Avoid the most common deadlifting mistakes
  • 9 - minute instructional video
  • 3 part follow up series