We like to use the cool-downs as an opportunity to reflect on the session, or to just catch up and have a chat. While the 5am crazies were stretching down yesterday, I asked them what happens to your technique (movement proficiency) when you’re fatigued. The quickest answer was “It goes to shit!” And then someone else said, “Nothing, it stays the same.” It’s no surprise to me that the person who had the latter answer learnt that lesson the hard way! What I was doing, though, was getting the group to think about what their movement quality is like during a workout.
Think about what often happens as you near the end of a session, or at the end of a session. The quality of your movement tends to diminish, partly because you’re fatigued but also partly because you’re chasing the clock and the numbers! You often tell us just that during a workout when being cued to move better.
Coach: “Delay the press of the arms, focus on your hips.”
Athlete: “But I’m tired!”
Coach: Rolls eyes and walks off….(read: Be More Coachable)
It’s counterintuitive. The more fatigued you are the better you NEED to be moving. Remember, good technique = efficient movement = less energy consumed. And contrary to what you’re thinking at the time, slowing down to dial in your technique under fatigue will actually result in a greater power output by you completing more quality reps.
I like to refer to the world’s leading athletes in all sports because they’re the perfect example. These athletes are partly the best because their technique is so good, and because they maintain near perfect technique throughout an event. In fact, they almost default to better technique as they fatigue. Yes, they move better and better with fatigue!
Fatigue isn’t an excuse to be moving poorly. Laziness is. Instead, practice good mechanics under fatigue.