When talking about programming, we often use words such as prioritizing, planning, periodization, alignment and goal setting. What’s usually left unsaid, however, is that there is no such thing as a perfect program. Chasing your goals and dreams requires hard work, sacrifice, resilience, and a certain degree of autonomy.
It’s an amazing experience to work with an individualized coach. Although your coaches get to know you very well and can design a program that best fits your needs, they can’t always know how your body is going to feel on a given day. A coach’s program may forge a path towards success, but you, as the athlete, need to make that path your own.
Rather than follow a program blindly, I challenge you to learn how to treat your body. I challenge you to listen to your aches and pains and realize when you feel too tight or fatigued. Decide when your coach has written a training session that aligns with how you feel that day, or adjust when you see fit.
While training for the 2015 CrossFit Games with Team CrossFit Milford, I had the opportunity to work with one of the best programmers in the sport, Jason Leydon. Despite Jason’s expert programming, there was rarely a session that I did exactly as he had written. Why? I knew that training through pain would most likely leave me beat up, run down and potentially injured at the CrossFit Games. If you want to compete optimally, you have to be healthy.
As proof that I practice what I preach, below is a segment from Barbell Shrugged where my good friend and Physical Therapist, Dan Pope, discusses my approach to training for competition. Skip to minute 1:06:40 to hear the conversation.