For quite a few years I have been having issues with the typical CrossFit workouts. The workouts never really provided me the individual focus I needed to address areas of weakness, areas of constant pain and lack of mobility. They also never really took into consideration the need for rest in relation to the volume of work performed. It didn’t take me too long to realize that this was due in part to the fact that many of the people designing programs had little or no fitness training experience, little or no related exercise physiology education or the same in injury prevention or rehabilitation.
I realized that you can’t provide a single workout with potentially dangerous weights and movements (when performed incorrectly) for an entire class with a huge variety of ages, skill levels, past and present injuries, levels of motivation. I also realized that although I could lift the rx weights, I often was not doing so safely or in proper form. And I learned that my improper form was due to not having adequate mobility and strength in some basic areas.
I also watched a good friend and 2-time Games Master’s Champion, Mary Beth Litsheim switch to a “long-distance” coach with amazing results.
So with that in mind, I reached out to OPEX and started training with Michael Bann. (Although it should be noted that he has instructed me to address him as “King Michael” or I will suffer consequences in my workouts.) My goals when I first started training with Michael included working towards increased hip mobility as well as a lack of pain in my left hip and lower back. I have achieved a much more solid base and level of endurance. I am able to complete entire interval workouts with nearly identical completion times, i.e. I am able to maintain a constant pace over an extended workout, both on the rower and off.
I have increased my leg and upper body flexibility, overall strength and coordination (i.e. core strength).
My current goals are more than simply in the gym. With my coach we have been working on time and sleep management. In other words, there has been quite a bit of life coaching and my primary current goals are to gain better control with my time and sleep management. In my case, when these two are in check, my workouts in the gym are much more successful.
Michael has empowered me through positive support in getting all aspects of my life together. However, he is much more than a cheerleader. He provides insight, comments, firm/stern critiques and other suggestions based on success he has had with both personal and client coaching.
I have learned that I truly am more successful in achieving fitness and life goals when I have a coach who is providing me individual programming. I have also learned that it is much safer and successful for me to take a slow, personalized and focused approach to meeting my fitness goals.
While it is still early in the process for me, however I am already seeing results that I never saw with traditional CrossFit wods and I am waking up with no pain for the first time in many years. I began CrossFit in 2009 and have had some sort of pain everytime I got out of bed, not now. So, I guess if I had to sum it up with a single word so far it would be: patience.