There is a right way and a wrong way to do many things in life. Sure we can short cut many things but that usually affects the outcome. On the other hand, short cuts in training can allow us to mimic the movements while we will still gain some physiological adaptation. But we need to be mindful of the consequences of that short cut.
We have all heard the term “practice makes perfect.” Practice however makes permanent. Recently I was watching a video on MobilityWOD, and Kelly Starett was talking about double under skipping. Those who have tried to get that damn rope under your feet twice with one jump and then string a bunch together will know the frustration that movement can provide. Many of us shortcut and bend our knees more than needed in order to allow the rope to pass under us twice. That’s all well and good, as we still will be credited with the reps for that movement, but how does that poor jumping pattern spill over into our box jumps or Olympic lifting? Practicing a bad movement pattern will make that pattern permanent.
It boils down to the age-old statement, “If something is worth doing, it’s worth doing it well.” The reason we engage in the training regimen we currently follow is that we want to use that regimen as a tool to make us better. Human nature naturally comes into play, though, and we want results quicker than we can get them. We strive for perfection in an instant gratification world, working within disciplines that require hours of dedication in order to reap reward.
Its time to stop and remember why we are engaged in the training we are currently doing. Depending on the time you have spent in your current discipline, you will have built a rhythm of movement. That rhythm cannot be adjusted when you step into competition and suddenly want to go faster or lift heavier. I’ve seen it when people have trained for a 5km fun run at their comfortable run pace, but on race day they get caught up and bolt of the line faster than they are accustomed and subsequently slam straight into the wall.
Our bodies are like children; they need constant guidance as to what we want from them. It is unfair to expect a child to master complex skill sets immediately. Just as we cannot even hope to execute a side kick with power and precision if we have not grooved the movement pathway correctly.
So take a step back and look at how you are approaching your training. Could you be doing better? Setting yourself up for success. Conditioning is a lifestyle, not a once off. What you do today will translate across the board to other movements you don’t think are related. Our bodies can do amazing things, but the elbow joint acts in the same way whether we are ballroom dancing or free-fall skydiving.
Until next time – care about your performance!