Train smarter, not just harder! Don’t get me wrong, as athletes we want to train hard and push ourselves. Personally, I train hard and push myself to the limit in many of my training sessions. That is how we get both physically and mentally stronger. But there is more to training hard than just continuing to push ourselves harder. We also need to train smarter when we are training.
What does training smarter mean? It means working efficiently, effectively, and purposefully.
- If programming for yourself, are you doing activities during your training sessions because it will benefit you? Or are you just doing it because you think you should or because it is fun?
- When you move, are you paying attention to how your body is moving in order to learn how to move with more efficiency or power? Or are you just going through the motions?
- When you do mobility work, are you moving because someone told you to do a movement? Or are you focusing on the movement and what you want to accomplish with it?
I watch athletes a lot – when they are stretching/doing mobility work and when they are moving during workouts – especially when I am participating in group classes. It is easy for me to tell why some people make progress in their training and some people don’t. Yes, it can be the programming at times if the programming is weak, but that wouldn’t explain why some people in the class make great progress and some don’t.
Most of the athletes I see who don’t make progress are moving just to move. How can I tell?
- These athletes make minimal to no progress in mobility when doing the same mobility work prior to class at least 5x/week!
- These athletes fatigue faster, move slower, and rest more due to moving with less efficiency and power.
- These athletes don’t show improvement in their movement patterns. They are still displaying the same faults that cause them frequent injuries and setbacks.
So how do we train smarter?
- We learn how to move better and gain more awareness and control of our bodies.
- We move purposefully, not just going through the motions when we are doing things.
- We address both strength and stability to better support our joints and muscles.
- We stop ignoring the pain issues and instead do something about it.
What does this look like for you? Great question…and a difficult one to answer. It is going to look different for each person based on the individual’s needs, which is why following random exercises and information you find from Dr. Google, Instagram, and YouTube or doing things your friend gave you don’t work for you.
What it will require regardless of who you are is:
- Being intentional with your movements and the work you are putting in!
- Addressing the mobility, stability, and movement pattern deficits you have that are causing you to lack efficiency and power and potentially contributing to your injuries.
- Being aware of how you are moving when you are training and thinking about how you might be able to improve it.
- Doing something about your pain issues and not just working around them and pretending they aren’t there.
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