Our Four Biggest Training Mistakes

We are the type of ladies that like to learn by fire.  It doesn’t matter how many ways we’ve heard something from other people, we tend to have to make the mistakes ourselves before we can truly begin to learn.  Take it from us when we say, don’t repeat the mistakes we are sharing with you!  You’ll be a lot further along in your training if you can avoid them.  If you’ve already made them, then you probably feel our pain.

1) Forget about the weights on the bar!

I know that sounds idiotic, especially if you compete.  We are always chasing a bigger and better total, right?  I’m no different, except that I had a tendency to get hung up on hitting arbitrary numbers way too early on in my lifting career.  This resulted in me having bad habits, bad form, and bad technique.  I would give anything to go back and learn things the right way and completely ignore the number on the bar.  It has taken me a full year with my current coach to go back and try to fix the things I never learned properly.  And seriously, what was the point?! There’s literally nothing awesome about a double bodyweight squat if it is done with crappy form.  You know what is awesome? Anyone squatting heavy with impeccable form. 

I challenge you to lower the weights, and not move on until you can do things properly.

2) Work on your weaknesses before they ruin you

This ties in with my point above.  I had some glaring mobility issues thanks to some inflexible genes and lots of years being way too rough on my body on mountain bike trails.  I’ve had so many horrible crashes, broken bones, and torn ligaments.  I was able to train bodybuilding and powerlifitng without really recognizing how bad my mobility had become.  CrossFit changed all of that.  I couldn’t high bar back squat without falling, overhead squats were a nightmare, my snatches were something that would make most people cringe.  While I became aware of, and worked on, those issues regularly, I NEVER took them into account during my workouts.  I’d still load up the bar just as heavy as I could handle and pay no attention to the fact that I couldn’t hit the proper positions and should probably lower the weight while I was addressing those mobility issues.  If you think I sound like a meathead, you’re absolutely correct, I am!  Though my mistakes have made me a bit wiser of one.  I also used to HATE accessory work.  I knew I had some shoulder instability, a weak core, and a weak posterior chain.  Do you think I ever did anything about it outside of my CrossFit workouts? Nope.  

Nowadays you can see me in the gym doing a proper warm-up that strengthens and prepares my muscles, and I NEVER skip accessory work after my training.  EVER.  I also stretch after every training session to work on my mobility.  Yeah, after 2+ hours in the gym I’m in a hurry to get home and get dinner started, but that can wait for 10 freaking minutes.  Putting a little time into your weaknesses every day will lengthen the time you have to compete in your sport.  Take it from me, sitting out due to an injury sucks!  That’s the type of sadness that not even a basket full of puppies can cure.  

Be smart, know yourself, and work on your weaknesses until the become your strengths!

3) Forget Perfection

If you are waiting for a ‘perfect’ training day to come along, when all the stars align and you magically hit a new PR, I’m about to burst your bubble. There is no ‘perfect’ training day.

Let me say it again, there is no such thing as a ‘perfect’ training day.

Lifting is a game, a sport. You will have good days and bad days. There will be weeks where it seems like you will never be able to successfully complete any lift ever and your only solice lies bicep curls and tricep dips. BUT then there will be other weeks where you are the she-hulk smashing all the weights. My point is, there will never be a ‘perfect’ training day. Go in, give it your all FOR THAT DAY and leave it at the gym.

There is no such thing as perfection, just persistence.

4) Be patient with yourself.

Look, we all want to be Jen Thompson, Marisa Inda, Mattie Rogers, Sarah Robles (etc. etc.), but the fact of the matter is we aren’t….right now.

Patience with myself and the process was one of the hardest lessons I ever had to learn. Day in and day out of training, videos, assesment, adjustment, trail, error, scratch and repeat is exhausting, especially if all you do is wallow in your apparent lack of progression. Two weeks, two months, even two years isn’t going to magically transform you into Cortney Batchelor. She had to work for that, and so do you.

I never understood what “falling in love with the process” actually meant, until recently. Training is a time I now look forward to every day. I love making mistakes. I love learning new things. I love challenging myself. I love all the little things about training (the process) that I used to hate. I have learned to be patient with myself.

Be patient and persistent, and you will succeed.

Strong, Brave, Empowered by Iron.

-Kristin & Mary

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