Workout of the Day

You Can (Until You Can't)


Learning requires feedback, and this feedback can come in many forms. On the one hand is a “natural” feedback -- one that doesn’t require any intervention, oversight, or instruction. You put your hand on the hot stovetop, you feel a searing pain. Voila - simple and effective feedback. On the other hand is interventional feedback. As you reach your hand for the hot stovetop, your mother shouts and you fearfully draw your hand away. She explains that the hot surface will burn your hand and will give you a big boo-boo, and (hopefully) you can go on with life never feeling the inkling to touch a hot stovetop.

Both are effective solutions that ostensibly produce the same result, though one with a bit more discomfort than the other. But the problem is that most of our feedback loops aren’t so simple or immediate as a hand on a hot stovetop. Let’s take on the example of deadlifting with a rounded spine. This may come as a surprise, but you can get away with deadlifting with your lumbar spine rounded. You may, in fact, get away with it for years with no evidence of ill side effects. If you were to lean heavily on the value of natural (non-interventional) feedback, you may suppose that all the hoopla about spinal position in the deadlift is just that: hoopla. Perhaps it’s coaches trying to demonstrate their relevance through fear or an old myth that was spun up into a truth. But your n=1 example of the safety of rounded-back deadlifting only goes to demonstrate that the timeline of natural feedback isn’t always in our best interest. Continue in your rounded-back ways, and I would put money on there being a day where the house of cards comes tumbling down. With a bulging disc or any other number of back problems, you would certainly have your hot stovetop style of natural feedback, but you’d be a few years late to the party.

There are many things that you can do that you absolutely should not. Getting away with it isn’t the same as doing it right, and the unfortunate reality is that feedback won’t always arrive in a timely manner. Sometimes it’ll take fractions of a second, other times you may spend years making the same mistake before the universe delivers a loud and clear “don’t do that.” Feedback is the not-so-secret weapon for developing your own greatness, but you can’t sit around doing your thing waiting for it to fall in your lap. Surround yourselves with peers, mentors, coaches, and guides who will deliver the feedback you need and hold you to the highest standard now, because “eventually” isn’t a great timeline for something so valuable.

- PS


  • EMOM 12

    • Snatch pull + squat snatch + overhead squat + snatch balance


  • With a partner, alternate:

  • AMRAP 5

    • Pistols

    • Other partner holds plank

  • Rest 1 min

  • AMRAP 5

    • Hollow rocks

    • Other partner holds reverse plank