I have been traveling all over the state recently from LA to San Francisco and the bay area. I have been having a ton of discussions with affiliate owners, gym owners and even had phone conversations with athletes and coaches all over. The theme has been a very interesting topic of discussion, and that has been what has happened in the fitness industry due to the “measurable” progress in high intensity workouts.
Now I want to preface this post with the fact that I am a proponent of the CrossFit® methodology and believe that it is an effective methodology to train for higher levels of fitness. However in that same sentence I will also state that we at FTF are getting back to the basics of strength and conditioning and have evolved our program to another level.
The discussions I have had are regarding where to go next. we have now seen a huge shift towards high intensity fitness and people scoffing at other methodologies or believing that high intensity is the only way to train. This is where I am putting my foot down and making a statement that we need to focus on the basics of fitness again!
Fitness has so many different definitions. From one person to the next if you ask them what it means to be fit, you will get a different response. Fitness, much like success, is an individual definition. It depends on the person and what their goals are. We need to remember that each person steps into the gym with a different goal. No matter what your goal is, your program should reflect the ability to reach your goal. This means that for some people, high intensity training may not be the MOST effective but should probably still be a component of their fitness program.
When you hear the words “Strength and Conditioning”, you should think about two different and maybe even more components. Strength- mental, physical and emotional strength. This comes in the form of lifting objects and becoming mentally “tough”. It comes from the ability to move objects over and over. It comes from a structured strength program with the intent to make one stronger in muscular strength and muscular endurance. It is important to understand this component is huge in training our bodies to get the best out of our conditioning.
Conditioning- the training that is required to condition our mind, condition our body to handle the loads, stresses and activities of daily living. This is an important role in the development of our spirit and our body. Typically during a conditioning workout there is little room to think and the inane ability to get out of our head. We use these workouts to develop stamina, cardiovascular endurance and several other changes physiologically so we can enhance life.
Getting back to the basics of what strength and conditioning was all about we have to realize there are certain principles that must be adhered to. One of the latest popular methodologies has challenged the true science behind exercise, and pushed the envelope into new research studies to figure out why it works and how it works. there is no doubt the methodology works, but it also ignores some of the fundamental principles we understand not through the methodology itself, but through improper practice from the coaches and athletes for progressive overload and specific adaptation. These two things, are the two principles that have to be understood again and brought back to light with training. general physical preparedness program is great, but if we ignore taking care of our tendons prior to lifting heavier loads, then we will run into the risk of injury.
Our job as coaches and athletes is to reduce the risk of injury and maximize the training effect. we need to sometimes take a back seat to our pride and ego and realize that we probably shouldn’t kip if our shoulder joint isn’t ready for it. If we don’t have the strength to complete a strict pull-up, then our joint may not be able to handle the excessive forces produced through the eccentric portion of a kipping pull-up. we need to be cognizant of these principles when training people to get maximal results. These are the things that will prevent injury.
Our goal at FTF is to make sure that the basic principles are being used every day to continue to progress our members and athletes. We want to ensure that we are going back to the fundamentals, and using those fundamentals to develop a new program, one designed to enhance the mental and physical fitness of the individuals attending our facilities.
Be smart about your training. Be patient. be progressive. It’s not about getting the results right now, but doing consistent things over a period of time to ensure we are continually making progress.
Train Smart and Play hard.