How do you train when you can’t?

Wouldn’t it be great if we could train everyday at 100% and walk away with a PR to boot…

But the truth is “Life happens…” Sometimes we get sick (or your kids get sick) sometimes we get stressed out, sometimes we get overloaded by work – whatever it may be you can just about guarantee that something is always going to come up and try and get in the way of your training and make you stop – that’s just life.

When life get busy and/or beats you down, the first thing that usually gets sidelined is your training. The crazy thing is that in those times of stress you need training (and to move) more than you know. You need that post WOD stress busting, mood boosting cascade of endorphins. You also know how you feel after you walk out of the gym: you’ve got your confidence on because you’ve just spent a little time becoming a more useful human being.

When you miss a training session, it works in reverse -> your confidence takes a dip and you no longer experience a post WOD rush of endorphins 🙁 Negative self talk starts up and perhaps you seek a high via the sugar train or a couple of drinks. You tell yourself you’ll be back as soon as things settle down but days turn into weeks and by the time you’re actually ready to come back – you lack the motivation and drive and you even start to wonder why you started this whole CrossFit thing in the first place?!….

Sunday Morning Ride

Last week, I had a great week of training. I managed over 5 sessions for the week and even PR’d my box squat. I hit some longer endurance sessions on the Assault bike and C2 and completed that nasty 1/2 hr grinder burpee/pull-up/box jump workout on Thursday. I got to squat a lot and I felt strong. Strong feels good and so I felt pretty good about myself.

Everything was travelling along nicely and then, because I love riding MTB: I went for a Sunday morning ride with Brendo at the recently renovated Majura Trails.

Not even 10 minutes into the ride I went over the handlebars after casing a jump and had a pretty nasty stack. I came down hard on my left side but because I hadn’t taken off that much skin, I dusted off my bike, sucked it up and continued riding.

We rode north towards the vineyard flow track (Pinot Gris) where we decided to hit it a couple of times. Once to scope it out (so no jumps – just roll everything and stay connected to the ground) and then a second time where we’d absolutely pin it (with lots of pace and air time) We rode it once – all good and then headed back up for the ‘race run’ I must have still been stinging from my first impact only 20 mins earlier as my front wheel washed out on a corner (something I’ve hit heaps of times before) and I went down hard again.

There was a bit of swearing, OK there was a lot of swearing. Kangaroos scattered and birds flew from the forest but if I hadn’t let it out I would have burst into tears – My body stung all over. I started to stiffen up on the ride back towards the car and started to realise that the week ahead wasn’t going to resemble my previous week -> My heart sank…

Why am I telling you this?

Last week I had a really good week of training but now that I can’t even walk properly, I’m absolutely spewing that I won’t be able to train at full capacity this week. I was really looking forward to hitting some more squats, especially the heavy singles and doubles that were scheduled in but now it’s a big no bingo.

That being said it doesn’t mean I can’t train – it just means that training as my bruises, cuts and pride mend, is going to look a little different to what I originally thought it would.

I can’t squat and I can’t snatch but I do have a couple of other fully functioning limbs and a long list of known weaknesses that need work. I worked out I can sit on a rower and I can do kettlebell swings. I can do sit-ups, low box jumps and light barbell work. I may have to scale and/or sub out different movements for the ones in the program but that’s OK because at least I’m moving and moving is a whole lot more useful than sitting on my arse, feeling sorry for myself.

Ok, now it’s your turn…

If you’re sick and can’t make it into the gym – perhaps you can get outside and go for a walk in the sunshine at lunch. You don’t need to run. You don’t have to even walk fast. All you have to do is move a little and soak up some rays. Bring on the vitamin D… God knows you need it.

If you’re injured and/or can’t move one of your limbs ask yourself the following question “Do I have other functioning limbs or parts of my body that would benefit from some form of movement/training?” “Is there a list of things/goats/weaknesses that I need to work on and can I (even with my injury) spend a bit of time on that?”

If you’re stressed out -> Here’s a crazy idea -> Perhaps you could dial things back a little in the gym? I know you might be used to charging like a bull at a gate, one hundred and fifty percent every single day… But if things are really busy at work and/or home and you’re busting yourself every single time you step into the gym, you’ll most likely get more stressed out and even get sick.

You can still train but it’s OK to dial everything back to about 60%. You gotta leave the gym feeling like you could have done more – heaps more, even. But that’s a good thing. Train like that and you’ll want to come back the next day as opposed to beating yourself into the ground and wondering where all your #gainz went?!

So that’s it.

When it seems like you can’t train, chances are you actually can. It just may look a little different to usual.

It’s OK to dial things back for a little while and all you really have have to do is move. Come spend time in this awesome place with our awesome community and I guarantee you’ll get to where you want to be in your health and fitness journey. Consistency is the key though.


Coach B

Coach B

Husband of @rebeccafwarren. Dad of Madz & Isabelle. Coach & Owner of @adaptcrossfit. One Passionate Dude.

  • […] The last 4 weeks has been an absolute nightmare as far as training goes and I didn’t get a chance to test my lifts on Saturday -> but that’s OK. I’m in this for the long haul and I know that I’ll get another opportunity down the track. If I can cope -> you can cope. […]

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