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Taming the beast within

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Coach – Stu Wyper

The coaching staff at SF GYM do as much as we possibly can do to reduce the chances of injury by ensuring your technique is sound before load, your strength is achieved before progressing to more complex movements, periodising your training so that your body gets appropriate recovery stages during our training cycles…The list goes on and on, we have your best interests at heart! 🙂

If you are one of the unfortunate people who have injured yourselves you know the anger and frustration that comes with not being able to do a WOD without pain and discomfort and also not performing to the best of your abilities. If you haven’t injured yourself keep reading this as it may help prevent you from injuring yourself later on down the track.

In my experience of injuries incurred to myself as well as injuries from members of the gym, I can honestly put my hand to my heart and say that 9/10 injuries have occurred due to one main contributing factor…ego.

Not wanting to come last, not wanting to be the weakest, giving into group pressures, trying to impress someone at the gym, continuing to train through a niggling injury and not getting it treated because you don’t want to stop, not wanting to get out lifted/performed by a member of the opposite sex or someone who has been training at the gym for way less time than you…These are just a few of the many ego based reasons on why you do something that can lead to injury.

One of the most important things you can do to prevent injuries from happening is to leave your ego at the door. Who cares if you didn’t lift as much as someone else in class? Who cares if you took a bit longer to finish a WOD so you didn’t hurt yourself and did the movements with correct technique? Who cares if you have to sub a movement out because you are rehabbing a body part? What is the point of getting a PB on your deadlift if you can’t walk for 2 weeks because your back is screwed from pushing past your technical abilities? You tweaked something mid workout but kept training because you thought it would be bad ass… was/is that really worth it? The only thing that cares about these things is your ego.

Before you drank the CrossFit kool aid so to speak, think back to why you joined the gym in the first place. I bet it wasn’t to beat your mate in the deadlift 1RM or to get a quicker time than someone in a WOD that up until you had joined the gym you didn’t even know existed. You joined up to get fit and healthy and look good naked… C’mon be honest you so totally did! So why now does it suddenly matter if somebody beats you in a workout or lifted more that you?

Remember why you first joined up and work within your physical and technical abilities and your chances of injury will drastically reduce. Can you do the movement correctly at said weight? No? Then don’t do said weight and scale back to where you can. Have you gained the strength to perform the strict movement before trying to do the more complicated and advanced movements? No? Then get strong before trying them.

When you break it all down to the basic yes/no questions of should you do something and not let ego have an influence over the answer, it becomes clear as day. I’m not saying that you should never try to push the limits and challenge yourself to try difficult things, all I’m saying is make sure you’ve put in the work and earnt the right to do so.

For example, if a WOD has high rep deadlifts in it and the weight is 5kgs under your 1RM, is it a wise move to do that weight for the WOD? On the one hand, “the member who has been here for 2 weeks is doing it so I can definitely do it too” is one train of thought you could take… Or “damn that deadlift is 5kgs less then my 1RM and I’ve gotta do like 50 of them in a WOD so I better scale back and keep my spine safe” is another. One has an ego driven motive to push the limits and the other has no ego and is using logic to weigh up risk vs reward.

If you know that something is probably not a good idea, it is exactly that… Not a good idea. Don’t let your ego or pride put you at risk of hurting yourself. Take it from me, I’ve done the ego injury thing and it totally sucks even more because you know that you shouldn’t have done what you did and you did it anyways and now you can’t train properly until it gets better… It is one of the worst feelings in the world when you can’t do something you love to do. If you have injured yourself, think back to the factors leading up to it… chances are that ego played a big role in the decisions that made the injury occur.

Listen to your logic and listen to your coaches when it comes to pushing the limits in the gym, we want to see you do things you’d never thought you’d be able to ever do and we want to help you get to those goals! There is a time and place to push, make sure you recognise what is giving you the reason to try it.

Seeing your smile when you get your first pull up, or your happy dance when you finally hit a PB snatch is the reason why we do what we do, we love helping you achieve your goals! Let us help you… Put in the hard work, get the basics on point and then the advanced just falls into place. #NOEGONOPROBLEM #RESPECTTHEPROCESS #ITSOKTOSCALE


Originally published in our monthly newsletter October 2015. Like what you are reading? Sign up for our newsletter at the top right of this page.