The pain, heartache, and frustration of injuries can bring you down to a hopeless state of mind. I remember my injuries and surgeries that not only limited my performance, but also my quality of life. I have pulled multiple muscles, torn my ACL, shredded my hip labrum, and injured my back. And, all of these injuries were non-contact injuries. Since they were non-contact, the cause of these injuries made me go on an epic search to find the answers to why these traumas happened. I asked myself the following questions:
- Was it my training?
- Is it just how my body is?
- Was my recovery not good enough or long enough?
- Was it bad luck?
These questions would persist for days, weeks, and even years. Thankfully, I stopped having these head-spinning questions once I discovered some of the answers. Better yet, I want to share a few mistakes that I made that will hopefully prevent these injuries from happening to you.
Mistake #1: "I just need to work harder!" I told myself this lie for years. I thought that I needed to do more work and could outwork all my movement and performance issues. I just needed to get fitter, stronger, faster, etc.
This strategy worked for a (very) short time and I would end up back in the same place – broken, injured, and not achieving my goals. I am a big fan of working hard and I believe that everyone needs to put in the work to achieve success. However, the lesson I had to learn was that it is not about working harder, but about working smarter that is most important.
Mistake #2: "Who needs to recover?" The body takes on all sorts of physical, mental, developmental stresses every day. When the body doesn't get to recover from that daily stress, injuries happen. When I think back to almost every time that I have been sick or injured, I realized that I was pushing the limits of my body too hard for too long. When I was pushing the limits, I ended up with injuries or illness. Essentially, I was overworked and under recovered.
Our focus must be on training and the recovery needed to train or work at the level required. The key takeaway is that our success is not about how hard we work or smart we train, but about how smart we recover from our fitness training.
Mistake #3: "My assessment would say I'm ELITE." To ignore the screening process is like starting to fix a car without knowing what parts you need. When the movement patterns aren't checked through screening, it's hard to understand how my body moves, and even harder to create a smart training program. When I say "movement patterns," I just mean our ability to create primal movements that allow us to create locomotion. That could be anything from running to manipulating an object, such as swinging a golf club (you know, how people used to swing machetes). In modern language, you might recognize these movements as "functional movements."
Examples of these movement patterns are the overhead deep squat, stepping, and lunging. When screening these movement patterns, it becomes very clear if a person has the ability to create these functional movements naturally or if they perform them with compensation. From there, the screening can further reveal if an exercise or efficient functional movement can be done for a specific number of repetitions, distance, or time.
This concept of screening - simply checking if I could do basic movements with or without compensation - would have potentially saved me all the pain and give me an opportunity to show my talents consistently and at a higher level. We can now catch these symptoms of poor movement with a simple Functional Movement Screen (FMS) or TPI Screen.
Through telling you these few tips, my main hope is that you don’t make the same mistakes I did. Maybe you have even found a new strategy to prevent your injuries or overcome these mistakes. It is for these reasons that we created the THP Performance Screen. The THP Performance Screen is not just for athletes – it is for every human that wants to conquer their challenges or reach their optimal levels.
The Performance Screen gives us an understanding of your goals, exercise history, stress, health, movement, and fitness level. The information from the Performance Screen then gives the THP team the correct information to create your individualized training plan. We can perform the screen in person or digitally and you will be provided a training plan in either or both forms. This screen will really transform the way you train, because we believe your unique attributes require a specific fitness plan that fits your needs, goals, and lifestyle - injury free.