My frustrations about my untapped potential during my athletic career and recurring injuries (Read More: Why I learned the Be Activated System) have motivated me to understand the fundamentals, optimal progressions, and organizations of a training program to allow for sustainable peak performance. I absolutely love John Wooden's Pyramid of Success because it contains so much essential information that is easily communicated and understood. I am going to devote a blog post to discussing the importance of each of the fundamentals of successful movement and at the end I will discuss a hypothetical case study and what I would recommend if that person was my client.
Pain - Free
So first let me be very clear about what I mean by pain. Pain is NOT muscle soreness or fatigue, although they can be quite uncomfortable. Muscle soreness and fatigue is simply your body's feedback that you need rest. So listen to it!
You are no longer pain-free when you have sharp or searing sensations. You do NOT push through these. Once you are no longer pain-free, you should immediately stop what you are doing. You need to seek professional advice from an appropriately-licensed physician or other health care worker to ensure that there are no structural abnormalities such as broken bones or torn ligaments.
Only when your physician has given you their thumbs up and ensured nothing structural is wrong should you explore modalities to address the underlying causes of your muscoskeletal injuries. The causes are usually improper muscle sequencing and the shutting down of the prime movers.
So why is being pain-free so important? No matter how great you are, you cannot help your team if you are injured. It also defeats the purpose of sports and movement practices, which are meant to be fun and promote well being. Injuries are not fun and do not promote well being. Be smart! If you are lucky, pain is usually an early indicator that something is seriously wrong. Pain is your body's emergency signal, do not ignore it.
Pushing through fatigue and muscle soreness in the short-term to achieve a team goal is admirable and builds character. However, in the long-term it is a losing proposition. But playing through pain is always a loser's strategy. If you are in pain you must go back to the drawing board and explore the causes of it.
If you can’t sustain it, it’s not worth it.