Balance is Key for Gains
Sometimes we get lost on our path to PRs and goals. We tend to forget the accessory work and mobilization that keeps our bodies ready to perform. Much like a car has to be in alignment to avoid falling apart, the human body has to be in alignment to elude injury. The number one enemy of gains is injury. Injuries keep us out of the gym and unable to push the body to its limits allowing hypertrophy.
One of the main reasons for injury is muscle imbalance. No, I’m not talking about muscle imbalance in the sense of one quad or bicep being bigger than the other, but rather muscle activation. Incorrect muscle activation can lead one group of muscles taking the brunt of the strain during an exercise causing injury. Muscle groups work together to do even minor things, like getting out of a chair or walking. Standing straight takes muscle activation of the back muscles working in tandem with the abdominal muscles, imagine how they interact with the high intensity workouts we do. When we start moving heavy weight, all these muscle groups have to work together to achieve the end goal. If one group of muscles is lacking, others will have to pick up the slack causing unnecessary strain and injury.
I discovered this while doing front squats. At the bottom of the squat, I felt a twinge in my right lower back. I proceeded to mobilize to help with recovery. The next day, I found myself unable to bend to pick up my shoes or walk without a significant amount of pain. After meeting Dr. Jason Wilkinson at Airrosti, I learned that due to a tight psoas and weak lower abdominal muscles, my back took a lot of the strain during lifts. All this was recipe for disaster that finally caught up with me. I was sent home with prescribed accessory work to ensure this would never happen again. The accessory work led to new PRs as soon as I came back in the box and feeling more comfortable performing my lifts.
The reason accessory work is often involved in our programming is to help cure these imbalances and to keep us on the road to gains. I know sometimes the exercises can be boring and uneventful. You can’t exactly PR at GHD back extension or glute bridges but these are in place to avoid injury and keep you active in the gym thus making GAINZ!!!! Stay focused! Every part of the programming is important.
If you’re having aches, pains or something is not feeling right, ask the coaches. Chances are we have been there before and have some info to help you out or at least point you in the right direction. Your goals are our goals!