Beyond The Benches

Help Save The Athletes

Isn’t it wonderful to see the transformations and the strength gains through training? The ability to push the human body to extremes it the way to build strength. However, that concept doesn’t sound enticing to most. It actually sounds a little crazy and in the end will it build an athlete that can move and play better?

The thought process behind why it has become such a badge of honor to pound your body into the ground and think it’s an acceptable level of training is one that is hard to understand. The one thing an athlete must cherish is the thing they are destroying — their body.  An athletes body is their bread and butter and is considered their machine.

Lack of mobility in a joint, little stability in another are all common problems seen when training high level athletes.  The fact that their “so called core strength” really isn’t strength at all, its compensation. Taking on this athlete for training now starts with rebuilding the athlete into healthier, higher quality movement so they can keep playing their sport.  Undiagnosed impingement, Llabral tears, Patellofemoral pain are all problems and this becomes the avenue of rebuilding the athlete!

The concern is many athletes have diagnosed issues and train through them.  Squatting ass to grass may work for one person but how does one know if ones hips can even get into that position without compensation or further hip damage? This is the problem. Each individual athlete must strive to build a better athlete, a better body to save their career.

It has become so normal for an athlete to push themselves to extremes without knowing why. Is the drill challenging an energy system?  Is the drill building on your strengths?  Do you ignore your weaknesses?  Is lifting heavy weight really helping if you have no understanding of core tension or breath?  Do you understand foot position, head position, grip, lat tension, big toe function.  Are you half kneeling, tall kneeling?  Should you be doing push-ups or working on scapula motion first?  Does your core react to the movement or are you compensating around it?

The point– stop thinking that harder is better.  Every ounce of pressure athletes put their body through now will either move them toward greater success down the road or push them closer to injury.  Injury may not show its face now but trust that it will down the road. The worse timing for an injury to show up would be a year into a new contract from previous years of bad training.

The overall conclusion is yes, athletes need to train hard. However, when athletes push the limits and challenge themselves understand just be smart about it.