So today as I was coaching at one of the gyms I am involved in, I wrote the workout up on the board, I put the time cap up and then I started to discuss the purpose of the time cap and that the majority of people should not complete the workout during the time cap. You see, it was a heavy chipper, designed to challenge people in a different system than they are used to with metabolic conditioning.
So the discussion occurred saying “I’m going to finish the workout regardless of the time cap”. My response to that as a coach was: ”No you won’t. You will put your shit away at the end of 10 minutes”. (You see that’s our job as coaches is to reel you in when you are about to fuck up.)
So the conditioning portion of the workout ensued. Coaching, I was watching all of my athletes… going through, watching form, checking technique, ensuring they were not at risk of injury… talking them through and stopping them when they screwed up a rep. This is the whole point of coaching a class right? to make sure people aren’t fucking themselves up.
Well, then the time cap came. I watched all athletes stop the workout, but then I saw one sneaky athlete keep going on the workout (because there was still more to do after the clock stopped) A few minutes after the clock stopped, I caught an athlete continuing to go on the workout. And I looked at this individual and the words came out “What the fuck are you doing? ” (Yes I am a tough love coach.. ask any of my athletes)
So after all was said and done, I stopped and looked at the athlete and we had a conversation. The jist was that this individual felt they needed to complete everything on the board, because they wanted to make sure they got a great workout etc.
Well, then the discussion ensued. Here is what we need to realize as members, athletes and coaches.
Pride and ego in this world can be very dangerous as well as very good. We understand that you WANT to complete the workout, Shit, we even understand you want to push yourself to your limits… BUT there are goods and bad with this.
Depending on the gym you attend, and the programming they are using, we have to stop, take a look and try to understand why the programming is the way it is. This is where pride and ego can be dangerous. If your coach is smart, and spends a lot of time working on programming, ensuring that muscle groups are paired, and that time domains and emphasis of goal come into practice, (First, thank them because you have a top notch facility ) then you should be able to ask the head coach questions about what the goal of the workout is.
So, back to the issue at hand. We WANT to perform everything on the board right? We WANT to do things RX. We WANT to do what the elite level athletes are doing in our sport. Or do we?
We have to stop and look in the mirror when we look at a workout. We have to analyze ego and pride versus safety and efficacy of the workout. Is it designed as a heavy, slow workout, or designed as a burner. Is it designed for 10 minutes but we want to complete ? What are the goals fo the workout. Did we take a rest day this week? Is more better or should we recover? How am I feeling today? What is coming up tomorrow? these are all questions that need to be addressed before you complete a workout.
Remember that when ego and pride drive our fitness program, we increase the risk of injury, the risk of overtraining and the risk of not doing what the program is intended to do. Let’s talk about a few things that you can do as an athlete to help get rid of ego and pride, to ensure that you are focussing on the most appropriate progress.
1) Check your ego at the door. Don’t let your ego get the best of you when the workout is written on the board. You are where you are at. Take inventory of what is really true in where you are as an athlete.
2) Listen to the coach- The coach has probably, and more than likely, been doing this as their career for more than a month. It’s time to recognize the reason they are there is to make sure you do no get injured and to help you scale appropriate to your needs.
3) Don’t compete with anyone else- use others to push you, but remember that the competition is within yourself. It is best if you focus on you and your goals rather than worry about anyone else. It is important to be pushed, but not get discouraged
4) Remember that it takes a LONG time to get there- I see this constantly.. people who want results RIGHT NOW and have a hard time following the program and give up LONG before they are about to get results. It only takes a few weeks to really start seeing results from a physiological standpoint.
5) Be humble- Instead of touting how awesome you are, lift up other athletes, let them know you appreciate them and give them recognition. while this is a challenging step because it allow san opportunity to really support a potential athlete that ould need the support. tell others how awesome they are, what a badass they are and you hope to work out with them one day. there are senior members of the gym who should be reaching out for the novices and new members as well. Remember you are NEVER too good to enter data!
6) Train hard- Don’t spend more time than you have to training. It’s ok to train hard. But in training hard, you have to remember that it’s JUST training. We need to have the ability to back off when our bodies are in need of rest. which brings me to #7
7) Take a fucking rest day!!! - As a coach, this is one of the BIGGEST faults I think I have seen. We always have a more is better attitude and within that, it challenges us to become more and more perfect. It’s ok to take a break. Most of us end up in our head telling ourselves that we can not do so because of one thing or another. There will be a need to take rest after a certain amount of time, just to ensure body preservation. This is something that is extremely important. During this phase and time of day, we are trying to recover to better ourselves for later. Imagine taking a week off and how good you will feel. rest and recovery is actually where we get better.
8) ENJOY YOUR PROGRAM- once you violate this issue, there are many things you can do. But try the different modes and methodologies and find what you LIKE, because in reality, if you are not enjoying the program you are doing, then there will be bigger and greater issues to deal with. Try to find something fun to do. nothing to do with the physical structure of the gym but maybe go out and mountain bike instead of come workout. this stuff can help us so much in the long run:
OK.. I am going to close with this one thought.. Take an approach that is safe and effective for you. you will do great things if you have patience, and allow patience to dictate your program. Get rid of pride and ego and allow yourself to thrive in the environment rather than worry about what or how other people view you. you know you are doing the right thing.. so fuck em. lol
Thank you very much. have a great day.