Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Maximize What You Can Control

When it comes to training, there are a lot of factors that are in your control which can lead to a great training session, training week and eventually some big PR's.  So, why not maximize those factors that you can control to get the best results?  I'm going to provide you with some guidelines to think about and use.  These will be broken up into three phases: pre-training, training, and post-training.


1) Know what your workout entails.  Knowing this allows you to mentally prepare for what is to come.   If you're maxing out or doing a benchmark workout like Fran, you have to come into the workout focused and ready to hit on all cylinders.  Preparing the mind also prepares the body!

2) Mobilize.  If you're sore, banged up or just don't have good mobility, I hope this is a no brainer.  Just don't mobilize to mobilize though.  Be specific and focus on the areas that will be utilized the most during the workout.  If you don't know what to do for a specific area, ask your coach or check out MobilityWoD.

3) Hydrate. Make sure you drink a lot of water.  I would also try adding lemons and a pinch of sea salt in there, especially if it's really hot out there.

4) Get plenty of sleep the night before.  You need to be fresh when it comes to training.  At least 6-8 hours.  If you're consistently getting less than that, it will catch up to you in some form or fashion.


1) Warm-up properly. Mobilize and do something specific for what you are doing.  Here's a great resource on how to warm-up for the snatch from my coach, Ursula Garza Papandrea.

2) Take the proper rest period if you're doing strength and power work. Typically this will be between 1-3 minutes depending on what exactly you're training and what your coach is trying to have you accomplish.  This allows the body, both physically and neurologically, enough time to recover so you can crush the next set or rep.

3) Simply your focus.  I wrote about this last week, so I'm not going to go into great detail again.  Just don't get your mind distracted and stay focused on what you need to do.

4) Breathe.  If you're in the middle of a metcon and you find yourself breathing fast, STOP.  Once your breathing gets out of control, you're done.  Try and settle yourself so you can control your breathing.  Take slow deep breaths.  If you're resting, try tying your rest to a set number of breaths (about 3-5), then get back to work.  I've found that this relaxes the body and the mind, which makes it easier to keep yourself in the "pain cave".


This will be very similar to that of Pre-Training, but there are a couple tweaks.

1) Mobilize. This acts as a cool-down and stretches the muscle groups your just trained.

2) Hydrate.  Read above.  You need rehydrate the body with fluids after you sweat and use energy.  This time, include some type of electrolytes to your water.

3) Sleep.  Making sure you get the right amount of sleep post-training is crucial when it comes to recovery.  It is when we sleep that we release natural growth hormone to aid in muscle recovery and growth.

4) Nutrition.  Your body needs the right macro-nutrients (proteins, carbs and fats).  Try to keep it to lean meats, leafy greens, some fruit, light starch, nuts and seeds, and healthy oils.

Lastly, I'll leave you with this awesome video of 56kg (123lb) Chinese lifter clean & jerking 160kg (352lbs)!  The video also provides a bar path analysis.  Enjoy!

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