_ Already falling off with the posting every day, but it’s all good, I had no internet yesterday! I’m down in Naples, Florida for another Outlaw Training Camp and our Friday night lift has inspired this post. How well do you know yourself in the gym? Do you know when to stop, when to push for a little bit more? This is something I have constantly been working on for myself, and of course, is always a huge focus for me with all my athletes who come to workout. Sure working out hard is extremely important, but working out smart is WAY more important.
This came about yesterday when we were doing out huge Olympic lifting session. About 40 or so of us were packed into a hot as hell Florida gym, throwing weights around and having an all around good time. I felt good, strong, pretty quick, great energy, but for some reason the second the weight got close to my max, I just had nothing. I missed a PR on the snatch by 20#, and on the clean and jerk by 20# as well! Normally, if I am feeling good and healthy and start to miss lifts I would sit there for WAY too long and just keep trying and trying. But there comes a time when the smartest thing is to tone back the weights, work on perfecting that form and walking away from the session with something positive. Last night was a big day for me in really listening to my body and not over-doing things. The desire to lift a big weight in front of everyone, to not fail, to show that my training has paid off, and all that fun stuff is there. But the fact is, choosing to stop after I found my maxes for that particular day was probably the best choice I could have made. I walked away knowing exactly where I went wrong on the lifts and what I need to work on next time. Also, being able to watch some dude pull 400# off the ground and come so close to standing with it (he cleaned it) was one of the most motivating things I have seen in a while!
The conversation of knowing yourself while lifting comes up a good bit in my gym because of the amount of younger athletes that come in. Generally, there’s a lot more “need to impress” mentality with the younger crowd, and it’s incredible to watch how quickly these guys make gains when they get rid of that mentality. One of the most common things I see is guys missing a lift because of some mechanical flaw, not because it was too heavy and then going to throw more weight on the bar. While there is a time and place for doing that (when you are proficient as hell and your miss was because of a minor mistake) if your sucking it up form-wise, you should NOT be adding weight to the bar! I totally understand the desire to lift a ton of weight. It feels good, it looks good, it’s motivating as hell and it generally make s your day that much better. But in the end, you always have to keep your end goals in mind every single time you do something in the gym. If it’s maintenance and avoiding injury, well, that should be pretty self explanatory that you don’t push your luck with overly heavy weights and become WAY more proficient in the lifts. If you’re an athlete, you are using the barbell to learn athleticism, coordination and then strength and power. In the end, it’s about learning how to lift for most people. If it’s not perfect, if you don’t know what muscles to engage and when, you are leaking so much strength and in the end just wasting your time!
The gym should be about learning about YOU. Once you become a pro lifter, or “pro” CrossFitter, then you can spend way more time maxing out. But if that’s not who you are, the time and energy should be spent learning how to do things correctly, how to approach things, pushing your limits in a safe and controlled manner and having fun!
Alright, in about 2 hours I’ll be doing the CrossFit Open Workout number 1 and I am excited! 7 minutes to do as many burpees with a target touch as you can! It’s gonna suck, but being around so many top level athletes is going make it awesome!
Never Stop, GET FIT.
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