Be a Better Athlete: Three Steps

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Lots of people think that training more and training harder will get them better results. But working out five, six, or seven times a week and going as hard as you can every time is not going to do that. In fact, that kind of reckless training is simply going to make you…well, a wreck. Injury, silent inflammation, and burnout are all at the end of that road. Let’s not go there! Danger, Will Robinson!

Our intention at SRSC is for the strength and conditioning work you do here to support your daily lives and efforts and to help you live the kind of life you want to live, whether that’s being able to play sports free of injury, parent kids, or stay healthy and functional as you age. If you’re overtrained and hurt, you’re simply not able to do the things in life that matter to you.

Here are three simple things you can do to improve as an athlete and see better results without burning out or hurting yourself:

1) Execute clean and pretty movement
We happen to hold “pretty movement” in high esteem around here. Adding weight to an ugly squat may feel like an accomplishment for the day but it’s not in the long run. Aim for clean – not sloppy, unfocused, or rushed- movement in every exercise we do, and please listen to your coach’s cues and suggestions for mobility work, accessory strength work, or alternative therapies to help you.

This point really can’t be stressed enough. Proper movement is your foundation for any gains in strength, conditioning, or other specific athletic performance you seek. Without a strong foundation in place, anything you build on top of it can and will crumble.

2) Get Stronger
Go to Strength class! Ask almost anyone that has passed the performance standards to ‘graduate’ from Foundations to Fitness and they’ll tell you it was Strength training that did it.

Strength built on proper mechanics and movement will make you better at everything – in the gym and in life. And the stronger you are, the smaller the percentage of your maximal effort is any given weight; so the stronger you are, the easier the movements and weights in our multi-modal metabolic conditioning workouts (or “metcon” aka “WOD”) becomes. Increase your strength, and the metcons – even those with weightlifting movements – become aerobic and help you build your aerobic base.

3) Practice Skills at Low Intensity
We program opportunities for you to do this. You know how you might see pistols, or handstand push ups, or hey, even our basic air squats or overhead squats at the top of the hour as skill work, or perhaps unweighted in the warm up? Don’t bang those out. The warm up is not a workout (despite what that dude’s t-shirt says). Use the opportunity to truly focus on the mechanics and details of the movement – even the ones that seem like second nature to you already. Air squat? Move slowly, keep the spine stacked, stay tight, sink into the heels, feel it. Alternating DB press? Get stacked and organized, find the midline, work to create stability for the overhead position, stay light.

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