A Word (Or Several) On "No Pain, No Gain"
I've heard the phrase, "No Pain, No Gain," three times in the past five days. While there's something to say for pushing yourself outside your comfort zone and reaching a level of intensity during your workout, it's very important to distinguish those two things from pain. That feeling of having a workout generally kick your butt, is part of what brings you back to the gym the next day. Accomplishing something you previously thought impossible builds confidence that seeps into many aspects of your life. However, when you push for an Rx weight during a WOD just for the sake of doing a workout as it's written on the whiteboard or press onward through physical pain, joint or muscular, nagging or searing*, are you doing yourself a favor in your training? Do you shy away from scaling? Believe it or not there are MANY ways a workout can be scaled and MANY reasons for it. You might have noticed that our workouts at CrossFit Hyperformance have fewer and fewer Rx weights. We want to remove the blaring red of a matador cloth in the form of a number and instead have a conversation with our athletes. This conversation is about what weights to choose and how to achieve appropriate intensity based on abilities, goals and the intention of the workout. Most of you do CrossFit because it's an effective way at becoming better. At what? That is highly individual. Each one of you is unique and aspires to be great in different ways. You have varying goals as well as strengths and weaknesses. You are each on your own journey. Don't get me wrong, there's a time and a place for Rx. There's a reason you all come to the gym to cross paths day in and day out, to share that part of your journey. What's important here is that you remember why. Are you here to get better? Scaling can go both ways, up or down, to accomplish appropriate intensity for various athletes. We've all been there. We've all been grateful for the coach's suggestion of "hey, let's do three rounds today instead of six," or even "today's workout is a great opportunity to push yourself and work on chest to bars." Again, this needs to be a conversation between coach and athlete. It needs to happen one-on-one in the form of a Skill Session** or before class or even at the whiteboard. Having the strength to scale a movement down, for injury, for a rest day, for practicing technique, will give someone else struggling permission and courage as well. It's means being proactive, taking recovery seriously and preventing injury through sound technique and choices.
Why are you here? What brought you into the gym on day one? Seriously. Write it down. This is your big picture. Now, why are you here today? These are two very different questions that need to be answered daily before and as you workout. Will working through ticky tacky elbow inflammation help you reach your goal of chest to bars or muscle ups? Will forcing yourself into a compromised overhead squat position just for the sake of reps benefit your stability, shoulder health or training tomorrow? Will pushing on through back pain allow you to go to work the next day in comfort and full capacity? Will you reach your long terms goals if you are blinded by the immediate desire to Rx the Workout of the Day? When the coach talks about the intention of a WOD, a desired result, it is to help guide you through making decisions. If you know a particular movement bothers your shoulder or elbow or knee, talk to us. If you're not sure you can finish the workout as it's written in ten minutes when we want your intensity level to reflect a ten minute time, talk to us. If you've worked out 5 days in a row and you want to move around but take it easy, talk to us. If your elbow hurts and you're not sure about the pull ups or the overhead squats, talk to us. Understand that scaling is not a punishment. Scaling is an opportunity to get better on a daily basis, train for sport and train for your life, an opportunity to exude health and longevity. Pain doesn't fit in with these things. Pain shouldn't be a constant piece of your equation. Pain free, that's healthy.
This is a great piece from Tabata Times that explains scaling beautifully. http://www.tabatatimes.com/scaling-with-a-purpose/ A few sound tips: http://www.boxlifemagazine.com/training/5-things-you-should-be-doing-to-avoid-workout-injury This particular article has been buzzing around on social media as of late. I have a big issue with the way it's written. It is not on you, the athlete, to make scaling choices for yourself. There needs to be a conversation between coach and athlete about scaling options and about why, every single time it happens. http://gopractice.biz/what-happens-when-we-dont-scale/
*If you are currently experiencing nagging pain, of the quiet variety or loud, please talk to a coach as soon as possible. If we can't help you figure out what's going on, we know several qualified Physical Therapists who work out next you in class...meaning they won't just tell you to stop doing CrossFit.
**Your CFHP membership includes one-on-one Skill Sessions with a coach to work on goals, nutrition and movements. Contact your Primary Instructor today. Don't know who your Primary Instructor is? Don't worry, any one of us can help.