Mac Talk

So, I have decided to pursue my life long dream as a writer/blogger. I feel like I have the ability to create beautiful images in peoples minds off of my rather colorful and very broad vocabulary.  NOT REALLY!

I am going to write a small blog every Thursday that will hopefully answer questions or even raise more in depth questions about everything from training, mental toughness, nutrition, to injury. You may laugh at all of my punctuation and spelling errors as I will not re-read these to proof them. Believe it or not I graduated COLLEGE a few years ago. Happy reading.

Today (Wednesday) I was observing classes and coaches as I often do, I broke in on classes to correct some exhausted clients, and decided today would be a great day to write about movement error and how it is the leading cause of injury. Most clients, coaches, and athletes find an excuse for injury by placing blame on something that may be far more from reality than the actual cause. Our workout regimen is always criticized for it’s supposedly “high injury rate” and lack of coaching. I can agree with the obvious here, people do get injured doing what we do, just as people get injured running, walking,  hiking, biking, and every other physical activity that exists. Coaches should tell athletes and clients how to do something and fix errors that they see. What coaches cannot do is jump into your body and move for you. Let me remind you there are about three hundred thousand errors that happen in this gym every day, many coming from me and other coaches.  Nobody is perfect and there are always going to be errors. I am always looking for intensity and speed and in order to perform in that manner there will undoubtedly be a few minor errors. What we have to understand is the number of errors and the depth of the errors needs to be very very minimal.

Why do movements seem impossible and why do I get sloppy during a WOD? During intense exercise oxygen rich blood needs to be shunted from many other places in your body to your working muscle. There has been many studies on exercise and what happens to blood flow in the brain and I am not sure on the latest findings, but what I am sure of is that there is a small drop in oxygen RICH blood to your brain during intense exercise causing your body to become a bit more uncoordinated than usual. This happens to everyone! I believe that this is one very good reason why CrossFit is so beneficial for everyone. I tell athletes all the time when they are exhausted that it is imperative to be more cognitive of their physical mechanics than when they are fresh and alert. Basically you need to talk yourself through the movement and visualize movement perfection during exhaustion.  There should never be a time in life when you cannot think. You should be able to think when you are tired, cold, hot, starving and in any time of misery. To stay alert I do math when I do a WOD. Rarely will I ever count to the prescribed number of reps, instead I do short sets of unusual numbers to get to the final rep count (7+4+3+3+2+1+1=21). I do not use chalk on the floor nor do I use markers on the board. Using those techniques in my mind give you an excuse to not think.

Damn, that was long. In short, think when you move and you will tend to have more success and be less susceptible to injury and failure!

-MAC

8 Responses to Mac Talk

  1. Sam says:

    Do you think pre-workout visualization/meditation helps you focus and/or perform during a workout?

  2. Danae says:

    Like button

  3. Nilan says:

    well said. you do just fine in the blogging world!

  4. Liddle says:

    DT-16:12 RX
    Post-3 rds of 10 ghds and 10 push ups.

  5. Casey says:

    Interesting topic. One thing I’ve noticed with people is this sort of ‘sweet spot’ where movement actually improves with a little bit of fatigue. Olympic lifts on the minute (or less), double-unders and even muscle ups under some slight duress are sometimes people’s best reps. What do you think accounts for this?

    • mac says:

      Casey, I think this happens mainly because people tend to relax during a period of constant work. I believe the type of person that over thinks movement can be much more successful when they are a little fatigued. It is along the same lines of common error when tired, lack of thinking.

  6. Paul McCaughey says:

    Enjoyed the Mac Talk and would like to see regular posts like this. Good perspective from an excellent source.

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