*Full disclosure, I am using the restrictions and safety procedures we have implemented in my gym (CrossFit Recursive in Madison, Wisconsin) which adhere to all COVID-19 Safety Guidelines mandated by our city, county, and state. Your experience might be different if your gym has other safety procedures.
This is the second in a series of articles on how just a slightly different perspective can change how we deal with the stress of COVID-19.
There has been quite a bit said of all of the negatives the current global pandemic is imposing on us. Job loss, remote work/school, missed social opportunities, etc. We are all familiar with these and most likely impacted many of these issues and more. I want to take this in a different direction though. What if we took a step back and looked at this from a positive spin?
The second benefit I want to explore is a little more subtle, but equally important as masks. That is the changes and restrictions we have made to certain movements and equipment.
This can take many forms, but the primary one I deal with is restricted access to the rig. This impacts many things, but for right now I am going to focus on pull-ups specifically.
While I certainly could mourn the temporary loss of pull-ups, this restriction can actually be a benefit. There is no shortage of movements in many fitness disciplines, especially CrossFit. Temporary removal or restriction of a few of them will give us a distinct opportunity to improve on the remaining movements.
One big example would be the pull-up. The pull-up is a very useful movement to work on, but by temporarily restricting its use we can greatly improve our skills in other shoulder exercises, including push-ups, bent over rows, dumbbell presses, and curls.
This time apart is really a huge opportunity to improve shoulder, strength, stability, and range of motion. These other movements, often grouped into the category of accessory movements, can sometimes be forgotten or rushed as we try to make room for our pull-ups during class.
With the pull-up hanging out on the bench we can really use the extra time to focus on the health and long term well being of our shoulders. Maybe we can’t do as many pull-ups right away when we get back to the rig, but if we actually use this time to improve our shoulder health we will quickly surpass our old pull-up records and set ourselves up for many more to come.
Whenever we come across adversity, we have two options. We can say “Why me,” and lament our situation, or we can figure out how to get the most out of the struggle. Life will never stop putting us in difficult situations, but it will always be up to us to get the most out of it.