Instant Gratification Hurts

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By: Coach Paul

In fitness, this can be very literal. To rush a goal of strength or fitness will result in injury. There is no maybe about it – an injury will occur either before or after you achieve that goal. Because rushing to accomplish it means shortcuts have been taken.

The likely culprit is over training and under preparing. Your body needs time to adjust to any stimulus you place on it. For the gym, that means recovery (food, sleep and stress management) are huge when trying to accomplish a goal. Letting the body dictate the rate of increases and when that goal may be achieved is best. Break the goal down into smaller stepping stones to help keep yourself on track and motivated.

As many members know, I recently injured my back on July 20th. While this was not from rushing toward a goal it reminded me of all the times I have done exactly that. This was unfortunately due mainly to ego and performing a movement my back is still not ready to handle and I am paying for it. But, I have had 2 other moderate injuries to my back and many smaller tweaks throughout my training career because I saw progress and thought it meant I could keep pushing. 

My new goal I set at the beginning of the year is to hit a milestone in the deadlift. 

The number is not important, what is important is that this will take my training into next year at the least. Meaning I will work toward this goal for over a year. And I have come to be very happy with that knowing it means I can sustain my achievement after accomplishing it instead of becoming worn down.

This also means accepting the path to a goal is not linear. Recent results have gone down from previous testing. Momentarily frustrating but these are lessons learned that help drive what I do in training moving forward. 

Patience is key and it may seem we say that as coaches in a conservative manner – and we do. But it comes from a place that knows a more conservative approach yields results that last and keep body, mind and spirit in tact. 

So if you have a goal you wish to accomplish in the gym remember that while it is nice to chase the progress and continue toward that goal, pushing your body on a regular basis will result in breakdown and that comes in the form of injury.