The topic today is how to be better. Mainly better in the gym, but as we know from my preaching, there’s carry-over in everything we do.
In order to become better in the gym an emphasis must be placed on perfecting technique. We work against the clock on a daily basis – AMRAP this, EMOM that – and that’s all well and good, but if you are struggling with improving your WOD times, or improving your 1RM the problem may lie in your technique.
Unfortunately, to get better at something you some times have to take a step back or two. And that’s hard when you’re in the middle of a WOD…the old “will vs. skill” saying – you may have the will to do it with “X” amount of weight, but do you have the skill to do it without getting crushed (in a bad way)?
We talk an awful lot about bar path, stacking the joints, staying tight, keeping the bar close…mostly verbal cues that we use to put you in the proper positions. We want you in those positions so that you can maximize your power and remain efficient with your movement. And not get injured. Everything we do at OCCF is by “feel” – we don’t have mirrors to watch ourselves. So if you’re struggling with a lift, or a position you need to ask yourself – “self, how does this feel?” Do you feel tight? Do you feel solid when you are in the extended position? Does the movement/position feel good? If it doesn’t feel good, then you shouldn’t be doing it, or at least doing it with a load that will compromise your technique. Compromising your technique is a sure fire path to injury.
There are times when a heavier load will “feel better” – when the weight will put you into the proper position (think barbell vs. PVC in the front rack position). However, more often than not a heavier load will lead to poor technique and improper positioning. In order to make progress we need to be able to “feel” the proper positions and then maintain them throughout the entire range of motion, over multiple repetitions. Sure, we may be able to move a heavier load with poor technique, but over time that will lead to poor technique in other movements (think carry-over), failed lifts, and eventually injury.
Just like death and taxes, injury is guaranteed if your technique sucks and it’s a matter of when…not if.
So, some take-aways to become better in the gym:
1. Listen to your coaches. We love you…we really do.
2. Work on your positions.
3. “FEEL” the movement.
4. Leave your ego at the door and scale the load.
5. Know when to stop.
6. Don’t work to failure.
And never, EVER be afraid to ask a question.