Bonus Post from Squat University (April 2021)

In a recent post, Dr. Aaron Horschig (@squat_university) gave his perspective on a Sunday afternoon:

  1. Be happy for the chance to walk into the gym
  2. Know your health could be taken from you in a moment – so be grateful for what you have
  3. Stop saying, “Yeah, but look how much weight is on the bar…” Unless you’re in a competition, technique > weight.

I thought this would be a great post to dissect this month, as I feel it really does apply to what we are doing pretty much every day. Let’s explore it a little bit more.

Item 1: Be happy for the chance to walk into the gym. Think about it. One year ago the gym was closed and most of us were working out in our houses or backyards. The really interesting thing about people is that we have a pretty amazing short term memory. We tend to forget the bad aspects of life and look back at only the good memories. Which is why we tend to think that music in our childhood was much better than it is now – we have forgotten the really bad songs and only remember the good ones. Are things back to normal and perfect right now? No, but you cannot tell me that things aren’t better than they were a year ago. Keep this in mind and be happy that you have a chance to go to the gym!

Item 2: Know your health could be taken from you in a moment – so be grateful for what you have. On a similar vein, but slightly different. Maybe more like a similar artery (ok, that was bad, I know). Life happens, and sometimes that means accidents and unfortunate events. Which is why it is important to live the best life you can right NOW. Because it could be taken from you any time. This is also a reason for us to take advantage of Item 1, getting into the gym. By coming to the gym, you are literally prolonging your life. Crossfit is an elegant solution to the most vexing problem in the world – chronic disease. By making ourselves healthier and happier, we are giving ourselves a hedge against sickness (see our October post for more on that). For more on this, I recommend watching the classic Crossfit video, “Five Buckets of Death.” Just Google it or search on Crossfit.com.

Item 3: Stop saying, “Yeah, but look how much weight is on the bar…” Unless you’re in a competition, technique > weight. I feel this one is particularly important coming off of the Open like we are. Yes, it is sometimes fun to “compete” against each other in the gym, but no one is in an actual competition. Therefore, technique is WAY more important than weight (or time, or Rx). Instead of pushing to beat your gym frenemy, maybe work on your technique with slightly lower weight. Or instead of rushing through those overhead squats in order to get them done faster, maybe slow down and build strength in those positions so that you will eventually be able to do them fast AND heavy. By working on technique and not worrying about others, you might just end up moving better and avoiding a shoulder injury, getting stronger, and ultimately getting fitter. Mr. Rich Froning had a similar comment: “In training you listen to your body, in a competition, you tell your body to shut up.” Again, none of us are in a competition, so listen to your body and focus on technique! I’ve mentioned this many, many times, and have written about ego before, but this is something that many people need to hear constantly. 

Your mindset will be to think about these three items and evaluate how well you exemplify them. Which one do you have a pretty good handle on and which one do you need to work on?

Categories: WOD

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