If the sole purpose of your training is to become a better athlete sometimes you get a bit tired of training. Usually we first get into training because we love it. If we lose that passion and fire, we lose our desire to compete along with it. Constantly pushing the envelope with training is critical but can also make you hate to train as well. We lose touch with what caused us to love training so much in the first place.
Some ways I like to make training a bit more fun:
Most movements we perform in the gym are performed in the sagittal plane. Think about it, squats, pressing, pull-ups, rowing, running. It’s all performed in the sagittal plane.
Unfortunately, we lose out on training forgotten planes of movement and muscle groups with this mentality. If our goal is to build a balanced and bullet-proof athlete then training outside of the sagittal plane should be a priority in the off-season. Not only are we becoming more well rounded as athletes, the small change in exercise variation allows use to avoid overuse injury while still getting stronger and better conditioned. If we build a solid foundation early in the year it will undoubtedly pay dividends later in the year when we need to focus on those specific movements we’ll have to perform in competition.
Here are some ways we can accomplish this:
I get it, you need to get your olympic lifts stronger to be a better athlete. You need to be able to string together mega sets of burpees, double unders and box jumps without getting tired. We need to focus on improving these movements throughout the year and with more frequency once we get closer to the open.
However, in the off-season focusing on new movements for a bit has major benefit. Carries, crawls and sled work are excellent for developing the same energy systems you’ll need for later in the year. They also build a bunch of strength and stability in the shoulders, core, hips, knees and feet. They’re good for unloading your body and avoiding overuse from the typical strengthening and conditioning you’ve done leading up to the open. They’re unilateral in nature and train the body in both the frontal and transverse planes. They’re also just plain fun to do and an excellent change of pace to normal training. I honestly think movements like these are a major missing key to most people’s training.
Now that the open is over I like to program a lot of crawl variations into my training program [link in bio to check out the program] Crawls like this variation help to build core and shoulder stability and are a great change of pace from typical shoulder training. This allows the shoulders a bit of a break from standard presses but continues to help strengthen the shoulder girdle. @powermonkeyfitness @championptp #crossfit #teamreebok #physicaltherapy #shoulder
As you know I’m a huge fan of programming and have been writing it for gyms and individuals for years. I’m currently releasing 4 months of training designed to have a fruitful off-season and gracefully launch you into the next phases of training.
Just make sure you use the coupon code OPEN20 at checkout.
Never stop training,
Dan Pope, DPT, OCS, CSCS
9 Critical Principles for a Successful Off-season Program (Part 3)
9 Critical Principles for a Successful and Injury Free Off-season (Part 1)
Mastering Handstands, Muscle-ups and Strict Gymnastics with Powerful Monkeys
Fitness Pain Free WOD: Crossfit Training Program 10/28 – 12/6
Fitness Pain Free Episode 17: All About Olympic Lifts
Fitness Pain Free Podcast Episode 3: Programming
Fitness Pain Free Podcast Episode 2: Most Common Mistakes that Lead to Injury – Technique
How Common are Injuries in Olympic Weightlifting, Strongman, Crossfit and Recreational Fitness?