Choosing Your Associates

This weekend, I had a great experience at the Brand X Method Advanced Kids and Teen Barbell Certification.

It was really good to catch up with friends Jeff, Mikki and Keegan Martin, as well as meet Connor Martin for the first time. They founded the original Kids course and have continued to develop it from its original format (still being used elsewhere) into a fantastic program. That isn’t what I want to talk about, but rather something related to their course and their qualities as coaches and human beings. That is their indefatigable quest for betterment of themselves, their product and their athletes.

I will assume that most of you reading this are doing so because we met at one of my seminars. The purpose for seminars to me is the sharing of information. That is the etymology of the word in fact, to inseminate. Back in 2013 I was injured squatting with poor mechanics. I had to have surgery on my patellar tendon that took me over a year to heal from and has cause me myriad other issues. I have chronic SI joint issues on the same side as the surgery and some other leg issues I won’t go into. But the hardest part about the recovery hasn’t been healing my tendon. It has been fixing my squat. Bad motor patterns are notoriously hard to fix because engrained motor pathways are laid in and even when the neurons change their firing pattern, old habits return when habit stimulus is identical. Think about doing a strength component and a conditioning piece. During the strength portion, it’s not uncommon to see great mechanics, which go straight out the window when the timer counts down 3…2…1

The most important thing I did for fixing my squat was to completely cease doing ‘wods’. For those of you who have had the pleasure of sitting the CrossFit Level One course, you may recall this helpful acronym: MCI




This message, one of critical importance has been lost. It has been replaced with helpful messages like this quote straight from Greg Glassman himself: ‘be impressed with intensity not volume’ What?! Not sure those two messages could be any more contradictory. Mechanics and ability to consistently display good mechanics MUST be displayed before you increase the intensity. Intensity must be appropriate to what is going on. Why would we tell an athlete what corrections must be made to technique on a front squat on the platform to only shout at them to move faster during a workout with thrusters? In both a coaching context and a business context it makes no sense. As a coach, I want to see my athletes’ progress, to stay injury free, to apply their physical literacy, mechanics and strength to their daily lives and other physical and sporting endeavours they may pursue. As a business owner, I want them to have fun, stay injury free and keep coming back. If good mechanics aren’t taught and these standards adhered to, then you cannot satisfy longevity of coaching or business.

The above are just a few of the reasons that in the past year I have chosen to disassociate myself from people who aren’t interested in the foundational building of safe and efficient movement and instead spent time with amazing and caring coaches, ones who never stop learning and sharing with others. Mark Bell, Charlie Zamora, Liefia Ingalls and the Martin family are among them.

Who will you choose to associate with and be inspired by?

How about you allow yourself to be impressed by great technique and mechanics, not high speed/high load injury potential.