6 Strategies to Avoid Injury in Metcons
Why are you working out?
Is it to look better? Feel better? Have more energy? Be better at some task or sport?
Maybe it is to help you stay sane?
(or is it ‘all of the above)?
One of the most important things to remember when we embark on any sort of challenging physical endeavor is: Getting injured should be avoided as much as possible.
This seems like common sense. Of course, we don’t want to intentionally hurt ourselves!
But… and this is a big BUT…
We don’t always have a lot of ‘common sense’ when we are in the middle of a really intense workout.
This is part of the reason CrossFit gets a bad rap for getting people hurt.
After a few rounds of pushing the intensity, the fuel for the logic circuits in our brains gets diverted to keeping our hearts in our chest, and our lunches in our stomachs.
We care less about perfect form… and more about finishing the set.
We ignore the ‘twinge’ our body is feeling… and pay attention to the clock.
We keep doing the same load or movement… and forget that we can do less weight or modify the movement to stay safe and maintain the right intensity.
“WOD Drunk” is a real thing.
And just like being alcohol drunk, you may not be making the best decisions.
Here are 6 things you can do to prevent your WOD Drunk self from getting you hurt
- Keep your training consistent. Training hard for 4 or 5 days in a row then taking a week or two off is hard on your body. Your brain will not have a realistic idea of what your capabilities are.
- Use the warm-up as a diagnostic check. Make sure everything is operating properly and that there aren’t any ‘surprises’.
- Scale appropriately. Avoid using loads/movements that you can do when everything is ‘perfect’. Do a lighter/easier version OR have the lighter/easier option available so you can easily change mid-workout.
- Use the ‘Scaling Guide’. Remember that you want to scale to finish in the middle of the Scaling Guide using the most advanced load/movements you can safely handle.
- Listen to your coach. If your coach is telling you that you need to slow down or do the movement differently… listen! They can see you from different angles. They can see all your limbs. They know what movements and faults cause injury. They aren’t trying to make you get a worse ‘score’! If you are working out by yourself, record your practice reps (or even the whole workout) on the video to make sure you are doing it right.
- Do not push yourself into max intensity, especially when there are advanced movements. You will still get a ‘good’ intense workout if you operate at 85%-95% of your capacity, but you will greatly reduce the risk of injury. Slowing yourself down will allow you to ‘evaluate’ your form and how often you are breaking things up. Save those max intensity days when it is prescribed (Competition or Mental Toughness days). Or when you are on the last movement of the last round, and the movement is relatively ‘safe’ (like running, rowing, burpees, double unders, etc.).
Working out is hard enough.
We don’t need to make it any harder by trying to always work around avoidable injuries.
This is a chart to help you determine approximately what weight you should be using on a metcon if you don't have a coach to give you direction (maybe you are working out at home or in an open gym) and the workout description is vague on the correct stimulus. Primarily this is designed for barbells (since we usually have an idea of what our 1 rep maxes are, unlike DBs or KBs)
The way it works:
- Look at the reps per set (or largest set if the numbers change each round)
- Follow the row over to the...
Or, as Adam Carolla once put it (while making fun of ‘hardcore’ Tae Kwon Do instructors):
“Sweat on the mat, or BLEED on the street.”
If you are like me, these phrases get you fired up to go and train.
Personally, I think it is because I like to be over-prepared. I usually carry a backpack with all sorts of potentially useful stuff (multitool, tape, extra batteries, notebooks, protein bars, etc.). I like to do a ton of research before I enter a new experience. I...