At quality facilities, such as Endeavor (yes I said it), one of the main concerns of the coach(es) are to prevent injuries. In my opinion, it could be the number one priority and lifting correctly is injury prevention in itself. Heck, a large percentage of the research states that most people walking around today will have some kind of pain issue at some joint just because of lack of quality movement, being sedentary, poor nutritional habits, etc… Injuries or chronic pain can be seen in a variety of areas across the body such as the ankles, knees, hips, lumbar spine, shoulders, and neck.
Yesterday, I came home, had a good meal and watched Patrick Ward’s webinar on stress resistance in athletic performance and it gave me a kick in the head which helped me realize that everything has a good (eustress) or bad (distress) stress response in our day. More specifically, people can react to a similar stress much much differently. Literally….everything is a stressor. I think we may sometimes forget that outside of the facility, A LOT of stuff goes on in someone’s day. Hundreds of things, good or bad. When the athletes come to us, we hope they have eaten quality meals (non-processed carbs, good fats, lots of protein, and vegetables), slept well, and are motivated to get after it, however, this may be far from reality. As a result, we need to provide suggestions or advice to clients that is simple, clear, and in a caring matter. Caring matters.
Anyway, one of the slides that stood out to me and refreshed my entire outlook on what he called “the broken athlete” was this idea that there is more to preventing injuries then lifting weights correctly or having the best program out there. It looked like this…
athletes or clients who do not move correctly in all planes of movement
learn to move well first, then load it up. Using progressions, in my opinion, is key
gym’s may offer up the “hardest classes known to man” but I would argue that many of the people in them have no business performing some of the movements or exercises because of the intensity or volume that is prescribed. Another reason why coaching matters big time.
learn first and progress
poor fitness and movement go hand in hand.
if someone has a low fitness level then as they compete, fatigue, or lift long, the movement quality is sure to go down the drain. Also, if you do not have a higher level of fitness, the stress capacity will become overloaded. The best example is something like doing 20 hang snatches in a row. Ever hear that being done? Realize that going hard everyday is typically not a good thing. Thank God for college football Saturdays in the Fall!
Stress has specific and nonspecific categories. Specific, in our case, are the stressors we put on the athletes with the program design (intensity, duration, using appropriate movements for each athlete, applying progressions etc..) whereas nonspecific stressors are everything outside of the gym. These can be family issues, nutritional habits, poor sleeping habits, job related issues, and financial situations.
We can see drastically different examples…
There may be athletes or clients who move well and have tremendous fitness but have a large degree of nonspecific stressors outside of the facility. On the other hand, there may be athletes that have no outside stressors but have horrendous fitness and movement. At the facility we hope to drastically improve the environment at the facility so that it is place where athletes both enjoy coming to the facility while applying the right amount of specific stress in order to provide adaptation, progress, and decrease the chance that they will get injured.