The thought pattern we find with virtually ALL of our clients at Balance Point Fitness & Athletics is that so much emphasis is placed on that which goes into the actual working out that there is a severe and detrimental lack of focus on recovery and regeneration. This thought process is a major defect in how we think about training and performance. Subscribing to the “workout is everything” mentality day in and day out is a direct path to injury and actually prevents you from performing optimally over the long run.
I believe it safe to say that with nearly every athlete whom I’ve worked with over the past eleven years that each would have benefitted more from stretching for a straight month while not even touching a weight than jumping straight into the weights – and this may not even be enough for most!When we discuss what comprises a truly fit human we explore a number of different fitness domains – 10 to be exact. If a person is sufficiently developed in each of the 10 following domains, then we deem it fair to say that such an individual is “fit”. The fitness domains I am referring to are…
1. Cardiovascular/Respiratory Endurance
The later of the group, flexibility, is often overlooked by athletes focusing on other, sexier domains such as strength, power, speed and endurance. The thing is, all of those more attractive domains can be developed to a much greater extent with flexibility. I know of several athletes who have completely done away with lifting for months at a time to focus solely on their tissue integrity and came back to squat, deadlift, bench press, etc. more when they returned than when they began their hiatus. Anecdotal evidence would suggest that flexibility alone made them stronger!
That being said, what do you say we start healing, preventing and hitting some of the less attractive domains that can greatly affect our performance? No, you don’t have to give up your workouts to do so, but making time and giving effort to focus on this ever-so-important domain should be more of a priority.
Come early to your workout, get warmed up a bit and grab some real estate off to the side of class with your good ol’ pal foam roller. Maybe even bring along your long-lost lover lacross ball, or tennis ball, or stretch band. And ask a friend to snugly place a compression wrap around a joint that needs some increased ROM (Range of Motion).
In my upcoming posts I’ll reveal some tips and tricks for you to improve your positioning in your workouts through stretching, mobility, and recover. I’ll also reveal a model of organization that will allow you to tangibly realize the progress that you are making.
In the meantime, feel free to pick your coaches’ brains about how you can get stronger in your workouts and improve your body’s ability to prevent injury in the process.