Article by Lachy Rowston - 10/7/14
It seems like every week something niggles or something hurts.
Ask yourself this, am I so hurt that I can’t get off the couch and go train?
Your gym is not just there to run you through the daily program like cows in a feed lot. If you need something different for any legitimate reason … speak! Don't ever feel bad that you are hassling the coach, they want you there, it is their job to help, if you stay home they can't do their job.
Here are a few examples from which I have many...
Raph Freedman, meniscus surgery July 2013, came in first day after surgery and trained, didn't miss a day. Again, found movemnts that were safe and rehabed himself back into training.
Vicki K - ACL surgery earlier this year, didn't miss a day of training. Attended every class until she was back to full health and became very friendly with the ski erg.
Ash MC - medial elbow tendonitis (golfers elbow), did rehab work religiously and showed up everyday to sub in squats for everything.
With my own self, chronic patellar tendonosis for 8 months, didn't miss a day of programming, found what movements didn't hurt my knee and trained them as hard as I could. Did rehab and got on top of my mobility until it was cured.
You get the point... you can always train, there is no real excuse.
Functional training has endless possibilities for stimulus. Stimulus results in adaptation. As long as we can keep making you sweat and breathing heavy we are inducing a stimulus, it is not that difficult. There are always effective ways to make progress, don’t ever feel like you CAN’T. You CAN, I see it happen everyday.
Let me give you two things to think about:
1. How well thought out is your gyms program.
Who writes it?
Find that person and ask them these things. The hypothesis. What results did they expect to get for the allocated block of time. Assuming they periodise programming into blocks (weeks at a time) ask them what the goal of this training block is. Listen for the specifics, the devil is in the detail.
Do you repeat movements and workouts with slight variations in reps and sets?
Too progress at something you must repeatedly work at it. We all know this. It applies to many things we do such as learning a language or an instrument. The same goes for movement. Repetition repetition. If you aren’t constantly repeating movements in a structured well coached format how will you ever make progress.
What amount of time and energy is put towards mobility and tissue health?
It may not be programmed but is there guidelines and general intuition provided for you to take care of your body through stretching and soft tissue work. If you answered no, to be frank, your coaches simply don't care.
2. Do the coaches coach?
How would you describe your coach?
Would you be able to sell them to your family and friends?
How big are you classes?
There is no issue with big classes, in fact I envy the success of large frequently attending membership bases, but ask yourself if you are getting coached. Are you receiving the attention you pay for, are your coaches keeping you safe? You wouldn't send your kid to a school or attend one where a single teacher is stretched across 50+ 'attention-needy’ students/peers so why would you step into a class where the coach is doing more crowd control than coaching. If you think you move fine, try a class at another gym that has smaller classes, see what the coach has to say to you about your movement, you may be pleasantly surprised.
Do your coaches understand basic anatomy?
Whilst you may not know basic anatomy it is important to understand if your coaches are actually telling you the right thing. Are they parroting false information? Its pretty simple, ask yourself the original question you’ve been looking to answer since making your way this far... what steps have been taken by my coaches to help me fix my niggle/injury/ouchy. New movements, safe substitutions, corrective exercises, mobility, physio/chiro referral advice should all be apart of that conversation.
Finally… Ask WHY!?
- Why do we Back squat twice per week?
- Why do we do band pull aparts every day?
- Why do we not do AMRAPs every day?
I hope your coach has a good answer cause they should, it's what you pay them for.
All I want from you, the reader, to take away from this is to show up to your gym when you are injured. Keep training, open up dialogue with your coaches and allow them to help you get better.
If they can’t, go some place else.
I’ll see you at the gym.
Head Coach and Programmer at CrossFit Creature