Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Trying to be number one and trying to do a task well are two different things.

"I whuan to whiiiiin!"
The longer I am blessed to work in the industry of strength and conditioning, the more I revel at raw, God-given, uncoached, athletic ability. I mean, the athlete that is just naturally big, fast, strong, agile- and seemingly good at everything. What is most interesting though, is when you take the raw talented athlete, and put them into an unfamiliar athletic scenerio where skill, technique and finess' is also required. Oftentimes we see the athlete get by (if at all) purely based on their drive to succeed and raw ability- but these situations expose those areas which might need to be worked on if the athlete were to want to become more proficient at performing the task.

After being out of training for a week, the dumbest thing I could do would be to "gut" through a bunch of workouts and focus only on my WOD time, without rebuilding- or at least shoring up- my squat technique, my overall conditioning, and all of the basic movements that we hit on a weekly basis as crossfitters: running, rowing, pushing, swinging, pulling, pressing, lunging, snatching, cleaning, and jumping. My goal this week has been to reintroduce all of these modalities to myself in small doses and without the pressure of performing them for time- more like performing them for perfection. I always say to new crossfitters, "If your bodyweight squat sucks right now, why would I think that strapping a weighted bar to your back and having you do as many reps as possible in 3 minutes would be a good idea?" Obviously, it wouldn't be because you're not ready for that next step. It's all about progression- whether it be progression back to fitness from illness or injury or progression back to athleticicm from sedentarism- you can't throw too much at your client/member/athlete/yourself too fast and expect any success to be accompanied by competence. Which brings me full circle back to my original idea (Which is actually Greg Glassman's original idea- but I agree:): "Start with the basics and master them...then add the more dynamic and complex modalities and master them...then go back...begin anew, start again with the basics, only this time pay much closer attention."

So that's what I did today. I payed closer attention. I kept it simple. I was more purposeful and mindful of my movement. Was I slower? Absolutely. But did I get better? You bet your ipalopicusindabadangdang I did. As I practiced squat clean this afternoon I allowed myself time to repeat submaximal attempts of up to 250lb until my technique was solid and consistent. Main page WOD is Fran for tomorrow- Uh, Oh...there may have to be some gutting through the pain if I decide to give that one a go! We'll see. I might have to make it a gameday decision.

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