No Pain, More Gain

The harvest is great but the workers are few.
~Matthew 9:37

Playing the numbers is a quarrelsome predicament. We’ve got 50 Deadlifts left to go . . .  4 sets of 10 Back Squats . . . 2 sets of 15 Power Cleans . . . whatever. We’re gunnin’ for the numbers, workin’ hard to fill our daily prescription, chompin’ at the bit to chalk it up as complete . . . But at what sacrifice? Are we accomplishing what we set out to do, or are we setting ourselves up for injury?

The predicament is that we don’t quit. We don’t wanna quit. This is good, goodness incarnate. Success is goodness in the flesh. The predicament is that our physical ability might not yet match what is written on the paper. We see, we read, we feel the need for 50 Deadlifts . . . Are we ready for all of them? Are we ready for the weights we set as obstacles to overcome? Or do the obstacles become us?

Mirrors aren’t token idols for the vanity of our egos. Mirrors should be thought of as friends, training partners, voices of reason. A flesh & blood attentive training partner is handy, useful, proper, and probably more effective than mirrors, but when a chum isn’t available, a mirror can serve our purposes.

We look to the mirror for guidance, and if necessary, we adjust accordingly. Are our backs straight? Seriously straight, as in, all the way down, all the way up? Are our knees fumbling toward awkwardness? Some of these errors we feel, but some movement discrepancies must be seen to be believed, adjusted & corrected.

When we lose good, solid, sturdy form, we begin to lose the benefit of our endeavors. 32 pretty good looking Squats can be nullified by 8 lame & lousy ones. As reality shouts, it only takes one poor movement to rob us of our accumulated wealth.

Form is gold, form is king, the form we hold is everything. Sometimes good form is lost through gradual complacency. The longer the set of reps, the more likely we are to fall into this trap. Astute attention to detail is more than cute, it’s an all out necessity. Other times good form fades because we are losing strength, as in our physical nature can not handle the persistent nature of the weights. In this case, the set should be broken up and a lower weight should be used to finish your set.

There will be those who spout tired old mantras & creeds such as, No Pain, No Gain, or, Pain is Weakness Leaving the Body, and while it is indisputable that we must push ourselves in our pursuits of strength, there is a point in which we slip off the top of our bell curve and slide towards injury. Cheat Reps should not cross our lips or break our hips. If the weight you handle is too much for good & proper form, leave it for the time being and work your way back to it. The weight is going anywhere, it’ll still be the same when you work your way back to it.

Build a sturdy foundation, and live solid.
~Coach Lee Roy

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