When you arrive at your box, do you have an intention for your workout? You should. Planning your workout — from setting a goal to researching your movements to detailing the steps in each one — is crucial to a successful workout. Here’s a scenario where failure to plan has consequences:

You’re at your box and doing front squats (for example). You’ve warmed up, stretched to your range of motion and attacked the bar, and maybe even PR’d. By now, you’re pretty happy with your accomplishments and feeling pretty good, right? Here’s where it all changes: Front squats aside, you decide to complete some unbroken bar muscle-ups, which you haven’t done for a few weeks, and you’ve never done more than one unbroken.

So, now you’re staring up at the bar, you launch your body upward, grab on, and so far, so good. Now where do you go? You can drop down and attempt to perform another one, except you have to drop off the bar since your method isn’t working. After several more attempts to get the second muscle-up, you become unraveled and upset. Now you go home disappointed, and that’s not good. You should always look on the bright side: Your front squats went well. You didn’t plan on doing muscle-ups anyway.

If you’ve experienced a disappointing scenario like that, you’ll understand the frustration. So how do you avoid it?

Planning should be the first thing you think about. Plan your work and work your plan. Think about warming up and stretching those specific muscles and joints, think about what progressions and movements you should go through before making the leap. Anything that technical isn’t going to be easy. I wouldn’t jump into full-squat snatches unless I am warmed up, stretched, and task ready. Also, take some pride in what you did accomplish. It’s more important to focus on the good things you’ve done, because you will learn from your failure.

To teach movements in our box, we study them. That includes reading, watching YouTube, and studying proficient athletes. To put this into perspective, use the following steps to guide you to a successful workout every time:

  • Decide exactly what you’re trying to accomplish
  • Understand your abilities and apply them to your goal
  • Do your research
  • Know the progressions
  • Write out the steps you will take to be successful (this may be one session or more)
  • Make sure you are fully warmed up and stretched for the movement
  • Work your plan
  • You should study other athletes, too. Understand the progressions and talk to the more experienced athletes. Ask them about their successes and failures. Often, they will tell you what they’ve gone through and save you time and aggravation.

Most of all, be patient. Dropping the bar or not completing want isn’t always a terrible thing. Learn and grow from it, and speak the wisdom of your experience when helping others.

About Metcon

Metcon Media is headquartered in Southern California and is a media company dedicated to promoting a healthy and active lifestyle through functional training and proper nutrition.
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