A weightlifting coach in Cape Town


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Don't waste your time with mobility exercises

I was asked by a fellow coach the other day if I do any mobility work before training. I think my reply would be of benefit to some lifters, so here it is along with some elaboration.

Mobility work revolves around two perceived benefits: pain/injury prevention and preparing the range of motion for load (either to increase it or just work through the range about to be used). So really, we’re looking to avoid future pain and improve imminent performance. Here’s what I say to that: phooey.

If you want to warm up the range of motion you’re about to use, do the movement. Taking squatting as an example, this would mean empty bar squatting. For snatching, I use snatch pulls, overhead squats, drop snatches (because calling snatch balance drop snatch really annoys Giles) and empty bar snatches. If you can’t get your full ROM with an empty bar, something’s wrong, and you need to seek and destroy that problem. Except you should have done it before you got to the gym, which brings me to the other perceived benefit: injury prevention.

So you walk into a gym, and you know full well you can’t hit your positions (and will hurt yourself) if you don’t perform a bunch of band and soft tissue work, you messed up. How bad did you mess up? If you’re at this point, you’re already on the brink of injury. There’s nothing wrong with training injured - you work around the problems and do what you can. But if you have to rely on all this mobility crap just to get through a normal training session, you have issues that you’re ignoring. Worse still, you think your mobility work is helping these issues. If that’s the case, why do you have to do them every single workout? And why do you still get injured anyway?

It’s because mobility exercises are short term triage. It’s like a tourniquet on a gaping artery wound - it’ll do but it’s not going to solve the problem! The mobility work addresses the symptoms, but as soon as you finish training your body goes right back to how it was. It’s possible your form is a contributing factor, but most likely you walked in a wreck from computer work, driving, sitting too much, an old injury, or a combination of stress factors that chewed your movement up.

Nothing Else To Do But To Begin

On The Ramblings of Me

So I'll begin my first blog post ever by saying wow free-writing feels weird. It feels strange to just write whatever comes to your mind. I have been planning to practice free-writing for a while now and I imagine myself spending 10 minutes every day at least just free-writing whatever thoughts are speeding through my head. But according to what I've learned about myself thus far in life, writing ten minutes a day in unlikely to happen. And that is exactly why I am setting out to do just that.

I have known myself to be a lazy, unmotivated, procrastinating bum for far too long. I have not accomplished anything I've set myself out to do because I simply don't believe that I have the willpower to continue on with anything. So I am challenging myself to free-write for at least ten minutes every day for a minimum of one week. This blog is dedicated to this challenge. My intention is to use this blog for free-writing on a regular basis, whether that be once a day, a week, a month, whatever.

The point of this blog is not for people to read necessarily, but if people take an interest, more power to them. So if you are a people and you are reading this, awesome. I'm flattered beyond belief. If you're reading this and yawning, I'm less flattered but still excited.

Let me quit rambling and begin:

My First Experience With Free-Writing:

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