"No pain, no gain!"
We've all heard someone yelling this at us at one point in our training lives, right? Honestly, I've never liked this aggressive style of training. Understandably necessary at times, but when I find myself getting frustrated, I find myself doing it. It stems from a lack of patience and wisdom from my part and I hide that by taking on this mentality. But I will say this, I usually catch it, make it a point to touch people on a deeper level that day, and really coach. That means talking to athletes about their movement, and being with them while they battle through the end of a workout giving them positive thoughts to break it down. Know when to push and when to listen. That is good coaching.
I say all this because I am about to get meaner, but on purpose. I'm probably going to start swearing a little more. Yes, for real (I know you're laughing). I will not coach in a militaristic way, but with the intent of helping you dig deeper and train harder to get better. Because I have begun to realize that no pain, no gain is actually completely true and a necessary way to look at training. To get results we need to be get tougher, go into positions that are not comfortable, and we need to push a little harder. Yes, more than we already do.
Let's talk a little more about why we need more pain...
Last summer I was really starting to feel there was more movement I wanted to add to the current CrossFit training we were doing. I knew it was probably more gymnastics based, but I wasn't sure exactly what it was or how to incorporate it. The reason I knew it was more gymnastics is because any gymnast who comes into CrossFit is instantly good at it, or they pick it up extremely quick. I always preach CrossFit is the best way to train to get fit because you can take the capacity you gain in CrossFit and go do anything else. You can do spin, yoga, run, bootcamps, etc., but if you just do any of those other things you will come to CrossFit and get crushed. But not so much with gymnastics. I might be able to play a little bit at a gymnastics facility, but not even close to the movement I see there. And then they come into CrossFit and crush it. Ok, I want that! So I have made it a point to start studying gymnastics, calisthenics, martial arts, and other physical and movement disciplines that are heavy in movement and flow to expand my knowledge of the body. I knew that doing this will not only expand on my own current movements abilities, but will influence the programming and be shared throughout the box.
That exploration into gymnastics led me to trying some Capoeira classes and practicing more calisthenic movements. This was back in November, and while exploring I came across a video of Ido Portal. I didn't know what I was watching, but his movement was unbelievable. Strength, control, balance. That led to watching some of his interviews and it completely opened my mind to some great perspectives on fitness and movement. I geeked out pretty good on his stuff for a few weeks (for sure told most of you about him) and then in December I saw he was coming to LAX CrossFit. Crazy how the stuff works out! It was a two day, 8.5 hours a day seminar, that reviewed methods to help build better mobility, strength, and protection of the body by strengthening joints. In the very first few minutes, the instructor (Johnny), talked about the SAID Principle. When I first got my NASM (National Academy of Sports Medicine) certification 9 years ago, I remember them mentioning this principle, so it instantly caught my attention and I had a little bit of an epiphany.
The principle of specificity is commonly referred to as the SAID Principle, which stands for Specific Adaptation to Imposed Demands. The SAID Principle states that the body will adapt to specific demands placed upon it. The body is always trying to get better at what you practice. So what, right? That's common-sense-ish. But step back for a second. Why do we squat? Why do we run? Why do we clean and jerk? We do all of this to create an adaptation to our body. These movements create strength and conditioning. Compound movements like thrusters and burpees push the body to a limit where the body has to respond by becoming stronger and fitter, and by doing this the body physically starts to change as well to transform and handle this work.
So start working with the intention to adapt. This is why we need to push into the pain. Go into the pain and earn that adaptation. Don't squat to get a nice butt. Squat to fucking change your cells and bones to be strong and lift shit. Told you I would swear more! Don't just stretch for few seconds. Stretch to create a change in your body. This might hurt, but it is necessary. I think we can start to train harder. Always smarter, but harder. Deal with it and work for this change.
So that's the pain part. It's a cool perspective to take with you to the gym, but even cooler is what we gain. I mentioned an aspect of this in my last blog, but this is much bigger. When learning new movements you are literally building new mental pathways, neurological connections, and getting the brain to fire in ways we haven't since we were kids. Awesome! In his conversation on London Real, Ido Portal talks about this, and the different zones of learning from his point of view (minutes 34:00 to 39:00).
Zone 1 - Beginner - new concept, you can't do it yet, high adaptation, brain and body are working hard and building new patterns and pathways.
Zone 2 - Intermediate - still trying to perfect movements and patterns. Things are easier, but almost automatic. A little neurological adaption, but not like level 1.
Zone 3 - Mastery - completely set in your system. Basic maintenance of the pattern and you will keep it.
He says global gyms start at level 3. I agree. It's easy. Bicep curls, seated machine bench press, leg curls, etc. There is no challenge to your physical function to connect, and even deeper, your brain doesn't get challenged and you miss all those benefits. So this is why we are doing frog holds, doing some parkour box jump overs the other day, or mixing up the strength programs. Your brain lights up when you have to learn new things and challenge yourself, have spontaneity, and play.
And when we can play we allow ourselves the ability to gain what is most important - FREEDOM!! Freedom is not being stuck in your movement, but completely able to flow, run, jump, punch, squat, whatever. Freedom to absolutely and honestly express yourself. Not sure I really got it till now, but pretty sure this is what this guy was thinking when he spoke about honestly expressing yourself...
That is what we strive for. This is why we need to push a little harder. Pain leads to us gaining back our movement and freedom to express our bodies.
So start moving. Get. The. F. Up. Start to see everything as training to adapt. If you sit, you adapt to the chair, so put your laptop on the floor and squat down to use your computer. Twist side to side. Who cares, just move. Next time in the gym, apply yourself with a new found purpose. It's going to hurt, you're going to go through lots of crap, but keep on working and know that pain is leading to you breaking out from being imprisoned in tightness. Continue to be in Zone 1 at something, firing off that brain, while working to develop mastery in other movements. Maybe daily life, desk job, laziness, will never allow us to fully regain that expression, but fight to get it back and fight to keep it. Even better, fight to develop something that is even bigger than you might have ever possessed! Not just your ability to squat depends on it, but your ability to live life to its fullest does. So when the workout hurts, your legs burn, you are struggling, hang in there. I'm going to make you. Because there is too much on the line not too.
Thanks in advance for all the hard work,
Posted on 03/31/2016 at 12:10:00 PM