Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Push Through It

It's a strange thing when out of the blue you seem to have no strength or stamina. For me, things have been going great. I'm thoroughly enjoying my training regimen. It's a fantastic variance of movements, weight volume/load, and time domains balanced with a good dose of Olympic Lifting. I've been generally strong and full of energy- with exception of those days where fatigue from heavy training lingers in your next wod. And then suddenly, without warning, I'm hit with two consecutive days of fatigue, some joint pain, and lack of desire to train. Weird.

So today was day two of this madness. I was attempting to overhead squat 3 sets of max reps@ body weight and on my first set I failed after just 2 reps. There was a fairly strong pain in my wrists and I was generally fatigued and had no stability. Upset at my effort I went in for round two. This time, I took a deep breath, pressured up, and went for it. I got to rep 5 and without losing my balance or missing an attempt, I dropped the weight, again because my wrists hurt and I felt like I was out of gas. This time I was really upset. I contemplated hanging it up for the day. Even my box audience (aka Kyle) recommended I give it a rest. I thought about it for a moment and asked myself, "when was the last time you really pushed through pain?"

As an athlete, pushing through pain or discomfort was always a way of life. You just get used to it after a while. But it occurred to me, that besides pushing through your average metcon and the discomfort that comes along with the metobolic nature of the programming, I had not dug deep and REALLY pushed through any significant pain lately. So I grabbed the tape, taped up my wrist and got back on the bar. This time I was determined. I picked up the bar, popped it up over my head and went for it. 1,2,3...7,8,9, and on the tenth rep fought to the top but didn't quite make it. In fact in was kind of an ugly miss- an asymmetrical happening if you will. Nonetheless, I PR'd by 3 reps. For this moment, I was happy.

Now, I'm not suggesting an athlete push through all pain all the time. It could be something serious and you might be doing more harm than good. But there are moments when knowing how to push through it will make you better both mentally and physically.

OH Squat
3 sets max reps@BW


400m Run
21 KB Swings (53)
12 C2B Pull Ups


And yes, the fatigue and lack of strength set back in for the metcon. Good thing tomorrow is a new day.


  1. Good to hear a real life story of rough days for even the best of the best athletes....even though you STILL PR'd! Nice job! I've been stuck in a rut for a while now. Started going more paleo than zone the last 2 weeks and putting strength work in most days before my daily wod. Not feeling any progress yet. Have so much that I want to get stronger on that it gets overwhelming. Can't do OHS, FS, BS, Push Press, Shoulder press, snatching every day! I'll try to be'll come.

  2. Thanks Kelly.

    So it will take more than 2 weeks for you to feel any sort of real progress from adding in your strength work so stick with it. My suggestion would be to make sure you are revolving through all of the major lifts in some regular order as opposed to randomly choosing those you haven't done in a while. That way nothing gets neglected. Keep up with the Paleo- that's really the way to go. And have fun getting better. I'll be following you!

  3. Jocelyn thanks for the encouraging words. I'm following in your footsteps and started a blog to track my crossfit wods. Do you have a set rotation that you use to get work in on all your major lifts? Upper body lifts so many times a week...or squat so many times per week? Right now I'm feeling like it's pretty random.