Just Quit It

I recently had a coach ask if I could put percentages in our strength work due to guys (YES GUYS) were maxing out and hitting PR’s when it wasn’t prescribed to do so. This is a consistent issue I have dealt with since owning gyms the past 9 years.

Guys want to be on top of the leaderboard or beat the guy in class next to them no matter the cost. Why?

Ego. That E wod is going to kill your progress eventually & guess what? The person most impressed with your lifting or performance is you. You may be feeling like king of the world by beating everyone on a day that there wasn’t a max out. To your coaches you look like an egotistical athlete that won’t listen.

I’ve programmed percentages, heavy lifts, and “don’t pass this % today” and it never fails. Guys max out anyways. This goes for workouts as well. Men will try and do Rx weight in order to compete with the guy next to them or in SugarWod, even if it means completely missing this stimulus of the workout.

Humble athletes that follow directions and lift within their capabilities will 100% of the time surpass athletes in class that don’t follow coaches advice or workout %’s. Rarely will you find a guy pulling out his calculator prior to class in preparation for the weightlifting. Girls, yes. I see women do it all the time with their whiteboards, apps, or notebooks.

Typical conversation you’ll hear from guys during strength portions:

“What’s your %70 of 5 on your deadlift? I don’t know, I’m doing about 275 today. Ok cool can we partner up?” Then you will go on to see athletes adding weight when weight additions are prescribed. 275 turns into a 315. 315 turns into a 5RM at 335. PR on the notes section…

Look, I get it, it’s fun to lift heavy, but you are going to pay for it sooner or later. Older men will hit a brick wall sooner, while some younger guys may be able to get away with it for awhile longer, but make no mistake, maxing out and doing workouts outside of your capacity will leave you injured.

Here’s 3 things that can happen when you max out all the time:

  1. You’re tendons and ligaments aren’t ready for all that load or repetitive moderate weight lifted repeatedly. CrossFit has an excellent phrase: “Consistency before intensity.” I look at intensity like this: Go faster, add more weight, or add more weight and do it faster. Your last rep looks like your first rep. That’s consistency. Is this you? CrossFit works really well. It will also chew you up and spit you out if you don’t respect it.
  2. You’ll experience central nervous system fatigue. Your workout times will get worse and your progress will come to a grinding halt. Sure you did Rx, but you just got creamed by 5 minutes.
  3. You’ll become an uncoachable athlete. Guys that don’t listen to coaching advice and do their own thing no matter what are uncoachable athletes. Coaches will eventually start paying attention to the coachable athletes that want to improve, as they should. If you consistently ignore coaching cues, advice, and whiteboard suggestions, you are not a coachable athlete. Unfortunately a lot of men ignore the coaching from female coaches or men that they perceive they are better than. This is a huge and unfortunate mistake.

So what to do next? Self evaluation. Make some adjustments and work on consistency. If you are just at the gym to lift as much weight as possible you won’t last very long and I am assuming you want to do this for as long as possible. Treat your body with respect and leave your ego at the door.

-Coach Bryan


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