In the past few weeks, I learned (or had them smacked in my face!) a few things about myself and my training life.
The first one occurred on a Wednesday morning, when after 2 good days of Oly lifts and sprinting, I was really tight, all over! Now as mobility guy, I knew how the approach this issue. Easy warmup run, lacrosse ball work, movement drills, some improvement. I thought to myself, “I’ll just ease into my back squat warmup sets.”. First rep at 135#, I felt some thing give in my back. Dumb. Turned out it was a tight Quadratus limborum (QL). A couple of extra mobility work and some active made realize I need to listen to my body more.
First realization: Work hard then let my body recover on my schedule.
This rest break allowed me to set or equal 3 PRs in 2 days this past Friday & Saturday: 245# Clean(=), 275# Front Squat (PR), & 185# Snatch(=). All without great training leading up to it.
But I felt great! This leads me to #2. The goal of feeling good more often than feeling worn out. Let me explain.
During my competitive rugby days, I was always sore or had some niggling pain. 10 months a year. For 8 years. It was always something: sore shoulder, sore knee, broken finger, head trauma. Sometimes I was out for a season, PCL tear in 2000 & 2002, deep knee bruising in 2004 (which lead to my retirement in 2006). it wasn’t until after leaving week-in-week-out competition, that I realized one could feel really good all the time!
I know: silly fitness specialist! But I was a gluten for punishment, always the smallest guy on the field, blah blah blah. Always pushing!
Now to my second point. I had returned to that state of constant soreness and fatigue. Pushing each training session to the max without taking a true measure of results. So after my back decided it was time to take a break, I hit 3 PRs in 2 days. This woke me up and this week I adjusted my plan to be more mindful of technique and speed, less on crushing workload and better planned rest.
I realize it is only 4 days into this new training cycle, but yesterday’s rest day after a heavy Tuesday training day has me feeling great! Better than I have felt on a Thursday in months. Not tired!
Armed with this new outlook on feeling good most of the time and letting my body recover the way it wants not the program, I am excited to train and compete this fall. Both events this fall, September 15 at the Cloudy Town Throwdown, a CrossFit-style event against all ages(which I am on the older end) and October 6th’s Old Boy Rugby Game (which I am on the younger end) will present physical challenges.
Combine both of these with the daily work of fatherhood and running a small business, I must more focused on the whole package.
This way I train so hard. This is way I must train smart. When we forget, the training life has a way of helping you remember the way forward.