IF any of you have ever had a chance to watch me (Coach K) during a workout, Or any high level athlete for that matter ( I am NOT a high level athlete, but approach my workouts as if I was) There is a lack of stress going into a workout. I rarely get nervous or rush during a workout. I normally pick a pace and maintain the pace. This post is to help you think about some things as a member, an athlete or a fitness enthusiast to really just think about what you are doing and how you are approaching not just the opens, but every workout.
So, during the opens, I have posted some videos of me using adult beverages as a rest period during my workouts. Well, while this is NOT normally what I do during training, I will tell you that it has helped to keep me smooth during my movements. As an athlete, I tend to not rush in between movements and also tend to just enjoy the experience. I am not worried about the results, I am not worried about my place, I am not worried about beating the person next to me.. I am solely focussed on ME. The funny thing about training by myself a LOT of the time is that I have LEARNED how to tune everything else out and just focus on what MY game is. This is the MOST IMPORTANT ability during competition to have. To be able to ignore ALL around you and focus on what YOU have to do. I have learned to be able to relax when I become stressed, take a deep breath when I feel the anxiety come on. It has helped me to learn how to become efficient when I need to be and really just learn to pace.
It doesn’t matter who is next to you, we are all human and working to be OUR best. You know, this opens is hard because you constantly compare yourself to others. What’s funny is the more relaxed you approach your workout, the better it will probably be. There is a saying out there “Slow is pro” While slow may not be what we are after… smooth efficient movement is. If you are tense and stressed going into your workouts then that will end up being the challenge that hinders your ability to perform. Remember that loose muscle is fast muscle. This doesn’t mean that we shouldn’t be tight in the core or have our spine in good position, it simply means that movements should flow. If we end up contracting every muscle or causing them to be “Tense” in the sense of stressed, then we can absolutely hinder how we will perform. We want to be methodical and trained at how to move. We need to be smooth, performing the movement with a good movement pattern that is repeatable for repetition after repetition. Being able to set a goal, and perform with a clean mind is what it’s all about.
The other thing I should mention in relation to the workouts is the way you talk to yourself DURING the workout. I hear from athletes all the time that they got mad at themselves DURING the workout. This is another part of being smooth. I myself have gotten frustrated at myself during a workout and had to stop myself from getting that self defeating talk. We need to if we get to that point, probably step away from the task for 1.2 seconds, take that half a breath, calm our mindset down and get back to our task and realize we are supposed to be doing this because we think it’s fun, or something like that. This is true in ANY fitness program. it doesn’t matter if it’s cycling, swimming, running, yoga, zumba. It’s ALL supposed to be fun. So no matter what you choose, remember that it’s about relaxing in the moment to gain the most out of what you are doing. Enjoying the journey and allowing the destination to come as the journey is being travelled should be our priority in our experience.
Focus on smooth controlled efficient movements and watch how fast your fitness level and performance increases!!
Coach K Mantra- Work Hard, Play Harder, Train Hardest!
This is such an important podcast to listen to. We discuss biomechanics, the opens, integrity, and have a discussion of our thoughts on fitness.
OK… so I am here to admit something to all of you. I come to you today as an athlete, not a coach. But someone who understands your mindset, your training, your challenges and struggles.
I am an athlete at heart. I always will be. I train hard, play hard, etc. In fact, there wasn’t a day that went by or a long time that i didn’t get angry at myself for my performance, that I should have pushed harder, that I should have trained longer, been doing this, eaten a certain way and just been perfect in every arena. I trained 3 to 4 times a day, no matter the cost. I didn’t have a plan or a program. I didn’t have a coach, someone who was looking out for my best interest. I thought shit, I know this stuff, i should be fine.
It was to my detriment that I did this. Because when it came down to it, it stopped being FUN. I got so serious about EVERYTHING and when it got to the point that I could no longer perform at the level i wanted to because I was tired, stressed, or just unmotivated, I had to take a step back and realize what the fuck i was doing. I had to stop, realize what I was doing, look at how angry I was at exercise, and get frustrated I wasn’t making any more gains. I had to live by trial and error for a while to figure out that what I was doing wasn’t working. (this is much like life isn’t it?)
I do this because I love it. and the minute we forget that, the minute we look at the programming and say “Awwww fuck” It means there has been a switch in our head that has created a negative environment. We need to keep this light and fun. We do it because we love it. to be honest, I LOVE coaching you guys. I LOVE writing programming. I love that you guys get results. But here’s what I charge you with especially as we are going through the opens.
1) Don’t EVER get discouraged!!! you are doing the best you can today!
2) Today is only a reflection of how you are feeling today!! Don’t forget how many factors that affect your physical performance from mindset to stress. From sleep to nutrition. there are too many things to count that affect us each and every day!
3) If you have an off day, laugh it off!! It’s just an off day. we aren’t going to be on 100% of the time!
4) Listen to your body. Programming is programming, but if you need a rest day, fucking take it!! Listen to your instincts. Use the evaluation tool you have been given to help you determine if you should train!
5) Find a workout partner. find someone whom you have good workout chemistry with, and share the experience with them!
6) HAVE FUCKING FUN!!! that’s what we all started this for in the first place, to push ourselves to our limits and have fun!! This is the most important thing i could ever say to you. Get a group of people together you like to have fun with and PLAY!!! Play as hard as you train and remember not to take your workouts so seriously that they destroy you!
I hope some of this sinks in for you. I hope that you have faith and trust in the FTF Methodology and where I am headed with you as athletes, and members. I have your best interest in mind when I program. I have studied for years on how to get this stuff to be as effective as it is. there are THOUSANDS of FREE programs out there. I chose to not post mine publicy on purpose.. because it takes time to write and it HAS to match the goal of the athlete. That’s why programming is written the way it is.
I love each and every member, and athlete that I get to coach. Thank you for giving me the continued opportunity to give back to you. Please know I am always here for you, as coach, and as a friend.
Love you guys.