For many years I was pretty much fixed on the way I trained in the gym and my philosophy on sprint training. You would be hard pressed to change my mind. Then one day I was listening to a well known S&C coach in the USA Mike Boyle on how he looked at many things he had been teaching for many years and questioned why. It made me stop and think about my own training.
My body was breaking down and I was contemplating surgery on one and or both of my shoulders. I was dating a Physio at the time and she was also questioning some of my training methods. She questioned why I did certain exercises, chins ups , dips and bench press. Bench Press was my nemesis as it killed my shoulders. Did I really need to do these exercises as a masters sprinter? My ego had a lot to do with it. I had always been good at bench press for my body weight and I enjoyed it, except for the pain. But things had to change. I had let my shoulders become so tight I couldn’t lift my arms above my head anymore. I decided not to go down the surgery path and give up some of these exercise for a while.
I began my shoulder rehab. After about 3 months I had about 90% less pain and a lot more range. Fast forward another 2 years and I have changed the way I train and the way I coach. It made me challenge myself and ask myself some questions, “is this exercise really the best for what I am trying to achieve”.
It was a huge leap for me. I was worried that people would say “but you have been saying this or to do that for years” I had let go of my fear of embarrassment and open my mind to new ideas. As a masters athlete and coach I am always looking for the best way to train with the minimum impact on the body and to get the maximum result. It’s called the MED principle. Minimum effective dose…..
Two years down the track and I can now do things I hadn’t dreamed of. I can dead lift again with no back pain, I have started to front squat, they use to kill my back, and I have started to power clean. After only a few months I can now power clean my body weight. and I cannot believe it.
I have spent a lot of time researching the methods and techniques applied by Dr Kelly Starrett and his thinking and it made me look at ways to change my own training and coaching to get the best out of each individual athlete.
When you have athletes with long term issues and injuries you have to be flexible in your training approach and find ways to still improve them without re injuring your them. Single leg squat instead of double leg squat you can get a similar or better result with half the load on the back. Push ups instead of bench press, modify your grip on the bar for some exercises to unload your shoulders. There’s always a way to unload the body and still train.
Changing my mind and embracing it has been one of the great break throughs in life for me.