I recently stumbled across an Instagram post from a group that posts fitness motivation content with a Crossfit focus. Their usual quotes include “The greatest project you will ever work on is yourself!” And “Don’t give up on the person you are becoming”. Amongst these quotes though, this quote stopped me in my procrastinatory tracks;
If it doesn’t scare you – It’s not heavy enough.
For those who see exercise/ lifting/ fitness as a sport or a hobby, this may ring true.
However when I enter my workouts, I have already decided what I am going to lift that day. I am confident I can complete the work, precisely and without incident. For those of us who use workouts for endeavours outside of the gym, fitness is a matter of access and safety. Some of us see fear and potential injury as part of these endeavours, skiing, climbing, kayaking, mountain biking etc. Fear and injury should never be present during your workouts. For crossfitters, powerlifters and bodybuilders their workouts are often the full experience. Their workouts bring, fear, excitement, an outlet and a sense of community. As mountain sports participants we are simply using workouts as a vehicle to go further, harder or faster. In your future workouts keep the following in mind.
1. Set up like you mean it, know the exact path of travel and keep your finishing position in mind throughout. Do one rep like this, pause, and ask yourself, “Can you repeat the rep with the same quality”? If so continue. As adventure athletes “to failure” or “1 rep max” efforts should make up a tiny percentage of your workouts. Think 5-10 reps, 3-5 sets, where the first rep is as good as the last for the majority of sessions.
2. At no point should gravity take over, maintain control throughout. In the Squat, Push up and Lunge think about pulling yourself towards the ground, in the bottom pause and brace, then drive to the top and repeat.
3. Be consistent. One lift in isolation will not make you a better athlete in your chosen sport, no matter how scary the weight is. Turn up to your workouts with quality in mind, do the work and come back tomorrow and the next day for more of the same. Quality of movement starting to drop? Scale down the movement or the weight or rest. Flailing through garbage reps with a heavier weight doesn’t make you stronger, it’ll only make you injured.
Be safe, train hard and then go outside and use it!
- Josh Jubb, Fitness Director