It’s Not Always the Exact What, but the Just Do.    May 28 2013

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5 rounds:
10 power snatch (95/65)
50 double-unders

It’s Not Always the Exact What, but the Just Do.

Throughout my athletic career, from high school softball and swimming, college swimming, to distance running in grad school I operated on a just do mentality.  My training programs were laid out for me and I rarely, if ever questioned them.  And they worked as I often achieved my goals and progressed as I had hoped.  When I did come across a stumbling block, my coaches helped guide me to resources, specialists, and training tweaks or, in some cases, told me to suck it up and stay the course.

Then I found CrossFit.  For the first few years I operated in the same fashion – just do.  As the sport and its number of experts and advisors grew, more and more information has come out on how to stretch, recover, hydrate, train, mobilize, strengthen – you name it and there’s a resource.  This has provided incredible resources and benefits to the community but along the way it has also paralyzed many athletes, including myself at times, to the point where our focus on finding the best option means we end up not doing.

Take for example the many CrossFit-related resources on the internet to help stretch and mobilize your shoulders.  There are literally thousands of search results and as athletes sift through the different options a common phenomenon often occurs:

1. Find a resource that looks intelligent or cool
2. Pick 1-5 exercises that athlete decides they will do five days a week.  The design of their program will take anywhere from 5-20 minutes each day.
3. Athlete hits it hard for 3-5 days and then does not do it for two weeks out of time, boredom, laziness or a combination of all three
4. Athlete has a bad workout with shoulder overhead movement and is re-inspired to address the issue but searches for a new plan on the internet because the other one was kind of boring or they are looking for something even better.
5. Cycle repeats

Addressing weaknesses or inflexibilities does not have to be a second workout or a 20 minute effort each day but it does need a consistent, focused plan of attack that is done over a long period of time.

About six months ago I came across the video Bullet Proof Shoulders from CrossFit New England, shown above.  A readily packaged set of five exercises done over 7 minutes.  Ben Bergeron recommended athletes do it twice a week.  It was perfect for me and addressed a lot of the issues I have with my shoulder position.  It made sense.  But rather than doing it I hemmed and hawed at the exact exercises, was it the best plan, were those the right exercises, was it complete enough, what was it missing, was there something even better out there – and in the end never did it.  I find that this mental chatter plays out for many athletes from their commitment to programming, to how to get stronger, to how to eat better.

Six months later – my shoulders were no better.

Three weeks ago I committed to doing the program twice a week and for 8 weeks.  I told myself I would not question the what and go back to the JUST DO.

And it’s working.

The resources out there are tremendous.  Use them to your advantage and don’t let the overload of information paralyze your ability to make a plan and execute.  Make a plan, stick to it for a dedicated amount of time, and reap the benefits.