by Coach Mo
(Editor’s Note: As a bit of a forward, you will hopefully be noticing that we are upping our game in our Nutrition and Wisdom blogs. We spend a lot of time cultivating knowledge for ourselves as coaches and athletes, but only have a limited time to share it with our members. Below, Morgan explains the importance of reading, digesting, and practicing the material we set forth for you. Education never stops! -Tim)
As coaches, we have a hierarchy of issues to address while leading a class – yes, we do more than just run the clock! A huge advantage of CrossFit is that our members have the benefit of well-structured programming and coaches to watch and correct form, push you when you need it, and share the wealth of knowledge we have and continue to attain. We have a big job on our hands to continually learn and improve, but there is a mutually important job in the hands of our members as well. CrossFit is an interactive experience; while on the surface it appears that CrossFit is just about being the fastest and strongest athlete at any cost, there is a much deeper purpose and direction for our training. The very first element we work on is form – hence our fundamentals course. Then we begin to add weight and/or intensity depending on the individual and the progress of form. We are wildly concerned with preventing injury, or, in other words (better words): promoting longevity. Many people come through the doors thinking that they need to perform workouts with RX weight, need to PR on strength days all the time, and should be “much stronger than they are.” Well I’m telling you right now that it should be just as important to you as it is to us that you hammer down the form of any movement first and do everything in your power to prevent injury. You will be amazed at how much focusing on proper form will improve your lifts. Not only that, but you will strengthen your core and improve your breathing when you are in a solid lift position.
The interactive portion referred to above of CrossFit is reading the material that is out there to understand what you are doing and why you are doing it. We are working out but we are also improving our overall FITness, something that will improve your quality of life and longevity in more ways than any prescription from a doctor can fill. Part of that longevity, as I mentioned, comes from maintaining your body and making sure you are caring for it in every way possible.
As an example, Dr. Chris Feil recently wrote an article for us regarding the overhead position and its impact on our shoulders. It is very important with how much more we use our major joints (the shoulders and hips) that we are very conscious of our positioning, especially in the overhead position. Our shoulders can sustain a lot but eventually being in an unstable position with weight can cause them to loosen and get injured. Therefore it goes without saying that a stable overhead position is a major key to longevity in CrossFit and in life. Please take the time to read this and all articles, head their advice, and make a conscious effort to apply it in the gym and your every day life.