These are paramount to everything we do whether we are squatting, working on pull-ups or perfecting our Olympic lifts.
If you are moving well and executing movements within a safe range of motion, where is the next area to improve?
For a lot of us in the gym, we have accomplished good movement patterns and now it’s just time to go!
What does this mean?
I’m glad you asked. If you just came off the pull-up bar or finished up your ring rows and now it’s time to do a set of ten heavy deadlifts, there are many things going through your mind and many different voices trying to pull you in different directions.
Catch your breath. You need a sip of water? You have been working out for three and a half minutes now, after all. Okay, I’m going to start right after I chalk up and make one little lap to the garage door and back.
I have had everyone of these go through my head and you know what? I still do. But you need to remind yourself what your intention is for the workout.
Maybe your intention is just to survive the workout. Okay, I get it. We do some difficult things in here and you still may be new to them. What if your intention is to increase your stamina or endurance? Sure you can do these by just showing up and doing the programming, but to really excel you need to move past the mental hurdles that stand in your way.
Rest feels good to everyone, but you know what feels better? Improvement!
Personally speaking, I have been experimenting with this approach of eliminating or reducing rest periods in workouts for the past few months. It has gone super well and I feel that it has brought me to a different level than I was at before. Yes, this different level I’m talking about does mean quicker times along with the physical benefits, but what I value most is the power to crush those mental hurdles. I feel like I have taken control of my workouts.
*** Again, very important, this is not an approach that everyone should take just because you are reading this, but one that you should experiment with if you are moving without impingement and with great form.***
I want you to try something crazy now, the next time you feel winded and you want to take a rest, don’t!
What?! But I… I need to… Ugh…
I know. The next time you feel (keyword) like you need to take a rest, don’t. Just go right into the next movement without stopping. I mean what is the worst that can happen? You will eventually take that rest you were going to anyways. But guess what, you have delayed that rest. What if you do it again the very next set? And again? And this keeps happening until you are done with the workout.
Then you come in the next day and do the same thing. And on and on. What have you done? You have increased your cardio capacity, you have increased the intensity and your stamina and endurance are now better than before.
People who excel don’t always have something that others don’t. Well come to think of it, yes they do. They want it more. What is “it” for you?
Remember that form is king, and that increasing your range of motion is vital to your longevity as an athlete, but if you can check these two boxes then the next box that needs to be checked is intensity.
And sometimes you just need to go!!