5 Things I Keep Out of My Training Plan

This week I hopped on the trend of listing five things you would never do based on your expertise.  You can watch the video here or follow along below with the things I would never do as a professional strength coach and trainer…

1. Stretching 

I remember seeing a professional back when I was in school for back pain that I was experiencing when I went on quick runs. I got a bit of treatment in the office but mainly received a 15-minute stretching session and was instructed to do this every day and keep coming back weekly.  

I was diligent over months yet saw no improvement in my mobility—not to mention my back would still spasm after a couple of miles, but that’s a story for another day.

The lesson I had yet to learn is that muscles don’t actually get longer with brief bouts of stretching (btw, 15 minutes doesn’t feel brief when stretching.)

Instead, focusing on building strength and stability at the joint end ranges will unlock both performance and mobility gains, and I find lifting weights is much more enjoyable compared to long slow stretches.

2. Skip a Workout Because I Don’t Have Time

There was a point when I was in a rut with my training. My kids were young, I was traveling a bunch, and I felt unmotivated to get it done. When the New Year rolled around, I decided to get back in action and set a SMART goal for myself and committed to doing a workout every day that year.

I wasn’t perfect, but I only missed a few days that year. What was best about the goal was that I had no wiggle room to compromise. It was a daily chore I could not make up if I missed it.

I remember throwing together quick 10-minute sessions (even after coming back from a night out) that I would have absolutely skipped without the 365 commitment. Those mini-sessions did much more than nothing that day, but most importantly, they kept the train going so that I stayed consistent.

3. Write My Program

I have written training programs for others, but I am more than happy to trade my hard-earned cash for someone else to write one for me. If you’ve made a training program before, you know it takes a good amount of time to do well.

For starters, there are several things I would not program for myself because I don’t enjoy them or it’s a weakness of mine.

But, the biggest advantage goes along with Number 2… it’s a great way to keep the consistency train going. There is no barrier to entry when someone gives you a list of things to do and says, “this will take about an hour. Now go get it done.”

4. Heavy Snatches

I’ve trained and coached Olympic lifts for the last decade and recently decided that catching a heavy snatch—specifically, where I need to pull down into a full squat— isn’t great for me, and I feel the same is true for a good portion of the athletes struggling through these regularly.

The snatch is an intricate lift that requires great mobility and practice. Without those things, it puts the shoulder in a precarious position and ripe for injury.  

If you love the snatch, or it applies to your sport or competition, I hope you go for it. But just showing up and catching some heavy singles is a privilege, not a right. You have to earn that ability by ensuring that your body can meet the demands.

I would rather dedicate myself to other goals in the gym.  

I do power snatch reasonably often, but with lighter weights and a focus on explosion, and I don’t care how low I get under the bar.

5. Rebounding Box Jumps

Here is another move that I find the risk isn’t worth the reward. A rebounding box jump is jumping off the top and going directly into the next jump without a pause.

I’m nearing 40 years old, and as my PT friend has told me, I’m entering the prime of my life to rupture my Achilles tendon—he states that 40 to 55 is the window of opportunity for an Achilles rupture.

Blowing out your heel cord means plenty of time in a boot, surgery, and a year-long recovery.

Again, saving 30 seconds on your box jumps might be worth it if you’re trying to make a living doing CrossFit. But I’ll step off and live to train another day.

What’s On Your Never List?

But that’s just me…shoot me a reply if you’ve got something you absolutely would not do as part of your training program based on your experience. I would love to hear some other insights.

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