By Ryan Humphries
“Make sure you’re going to full hip extension”
“Just a liiiiiittle bit lower”
“All the way up”
You’ve no doubt heard at least at least one these cues in the middle of a workout. Perhaps you were even the target of said cue. It doesn’t mean you’re a bad person, it just means that we want you to get results. Your time in the training center is valuable. Every second and every rep counts. We have approximately 60 minutes to help you achieve the results you’re looking for and if you’re doing half-ass reps, you’re only going to get half-ass results. Hence “whole-assing” your workout.
**Before I go any further, I’d like to preface this blog with the fact that if you have an injury or issue that prevents you from going through a full range of motion, that is a completely different story. This blog is not intended to encourage injury. Just keep re-habbing and practicing and you’ll be whole-assing it in no time!**
So why does it matter if you’re not breaking parallel on a squat? Do do you really need to fully extend your arms in the bottom of a pull-up? You sweated your ass off right! You still “burned up those calories” and maybe your WHOOP or your FitBit even said that you had a great workout? Maybe. But it's also possible that if you didn’t meet the standards for the movement, you may actually be doing yourself more harm than good.
Sure, not going below parallel on a squat will give you a higher number to write on the whiteboard but it could also put more strain on your knees. By not fully extending your arms on a pull-up, you may beat the guy next to you but you could also be pre-disposing yourself to a rotator cuff or biceps tendon tear by shortening the muscle and not developing the proper ligament and tendon strength. Half ass reps are for folks that don't know what they're doing. Once through the Axistence Pipeline, you should at least have an idea of these standards. Here at Axistence, we want you to get the GAINZ you're looking for as efficiently as possible. And sometimes, that means telling you to get lower, even though you might feel like you're dying :)
It’s easy to let the clock control the workout, when in reality we should let our technique, strength and lung capacity dictate how fast we’re able to go. We all know this in our hearts but when we hear 3-2-1-GO!!!! It’s easier said than done.
Whether your goal is fat loss, muscle gain, strength, endurance or all of the above, working out with intensity will get results; there’s no doubt about that. But applying intensity to an exercise before your technique is solid could be a recipe for disaster.
If you’re still trying to figure out how to keep your elbows up and your heels on the ground while doing thrusters, that’s fine. Some exercises take time to perfect. You just don’t have any business trying to do them as fast as possible. Slow down and focus on your technique, your breathing and the quality of your movement.
Whole-Assing the WOD isn’t just about injury prevention either. It's about dem GAINZ! And in order to see dem GAINZ, we need to be as OBJECTIVE as possible. Let’s say your goal is to hike a 14’er this summer and you want to have the endurance to do so. You test yourself at the beginning of the season with a Tabata squat (8 rounds of :20 seconds on, :20 seconds off). We need to make sure that test is as OBJECTIVE as possible to ensure you’re improving. A great way to measure this would be to put a medicine ball beneath you just at the point where your hip crease goes below the knees. If you hit the ball every time, you know you’ve met the movement standard.
So the next time a coach helps you correct your movement pattern, remember, we're doing it for the GAINZ! Whether you choose to do it for objectivity, injury prevention or integrity, whole-assing your workout is the way to get the results you’re looking for. Your numbers on the board may be lower but so will your doctor’s bills :)
Until next time, lift well and prosper!
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