THE SECRET TO LONG TERM SUCCESS
I have no idea how this blog post will be. I’m just going to wing it… This post is about something that has been on my mind for a while and something I felt I needed to share.
Injuries are without a doubt the number one reason top tier athletes fall behind in the competitive season, and with each added injury comes a new hurdle or roadblock to overcome. Each injury also possibly adds an imbalance which can result in further injuries if training is not successfully modified to suit.
Rule Number 1) Don’t get injured…
All top athletes, bar a very few have had some sort of setback or injury in their career, it come with the fact that they push themselves so hard so often. Injuries can make or break an athlete. Young and enthusiastic athletes will normally work their ass off to overcome the hurdle and remaining focused on their primary goal. The thing that happens is that after one, two, three or four major injuries, sometimes the amount of time you end up putting in to rehab and maintenance outweighs the rewards.
Chad McKay is a hero of mine, and that man has had his fair share of injuries. I don’t know all of them but I am sure the list is long because every season he is doing some form of modified training. He has been in the game a long time and is a wise athlete and the reason he gets so far despite shoulder surgeries and broken bones is because he is smart. Taking six months off to fix a small issue saved him many months of future pain. I even heard a rumour he takes a mobility ball to the cinemas when he goes to roll out his back, glutes and hamstrings while we watches the latest chick flick because he knows the importance of staying injury free.
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Injuries can definitely knock an athlete of their peak, take Matt Healey for example, finishing in fourth place at Regionals in 2013, one spot from going to the Games and then never being able to compete again since all due to a dodgy patellar tendon. Just imagine if he had looked after his knee in the long run, there is little doubt that his goal of competing at the Games would have manifested in the next few years.
Rule Number 2) The fitness game is a turtle race
Well, it’s actually a balancing act between training your balls off and being smart. Training super hard all day everyday will only get you so far if it isn’t done correctly, visa versa training smart but not hard will mean you remain a nobody.
Injuries in CrossFit happen because people are stupid. They do ‘too much’ too soon and they do ‘too much’ all the time. So how do you get to the top? How do you find that balance between working hard and knowing when to rest?
Unless you have amazing intuition then you need to monitor your training load. The words ‘too much’ are the reason for all the injuries. When a smart athlete will do ‘just enough’. It’s no secret that to get to the top you need to work harder than the person beside you, but unless you are recovering faster than them you will not be able to do more work. So the name of the game becomes about recovery.
Intensity is the ONLY way to get better at something, and I will never forget a quote from Chris Spealler. “To get results you need intensity, to get intensity you need recovery”
Rule Number 3) Recovery is the secret to long term success
If you can train 365 days a year at high intensity then you will dominate. If you can only train 150 days a year at high intensity then you will be left for dust. If you want to be able to train 365 days at high intensity then you better be recovering like a boss. So many people just train everyday and wonder why they don’t get better. It’s because they have moderate intensity. To those people that just “go in and grind it out”, you’re doing it wrong. Yes grind out hard workouts, but don’t grind when you could be at home eating ice cream and rolling out, then coming in the next day and smashing it!
Ok, it’s late and I’m tired… Not sure if this blog even makes sense and I’m not going back to proof read it… Let me know your thoughts.