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What COVID-19 has Taught Us About the Human Body

Updated: Dec 15, 2020

To start this little adventure, we need to rewind to February 2020. Covid-19 had started to rear its ugly head around the world, however, concerns were low in built-up countries like Australia. The general public had not given the virus a second thought and were living in blind ignorance. Fast forward to March and Australia went into a countrywide lock down to prevent the spread of the virus.

I remember vividly making sure I tuned in to see “Sco-Mo” address the country with grave concern. The talks addressed how fast it will spread and the possible financial damage that will follow. Figures were rattled off that painted a picture of the countries position 2 weeks prior. The point I want to make is that the statistics we saw were at best a reflection of what was occurring 2 weeks ago.

We can extrapolate this across to our physical training – I know it’s a large jump but hold on for a second. The results from training are never noticed immediately. There is always a delay between the work we put in and what we reap in reward.

The best analogy that comes to mind right now relates to the pre-season of rugby and the grand final. The results of the grueling pre-season which aim to build unshakeable foundations aren't noticed for a long time. At first, we may see some small improvements in performance, but the real reward doesn't come for some time. The real reward isn't noticed until the finals season. Has the team made the cut-off? How well is the team going injury-wise? How many games has the team lost? How confident is the team going into the finals? And the big one, does the team win the grand final?

Glenn and Bird (2009) state that the purpose of a pre-season is to increase structural stability and mobility, reduce the risk of injury, and to prepare the athlete for the higher intensity of the following training period or block. If these goals aren't met, then the following season has the propensity to be thwrat with injury and poor player availability.

Similarly, in weightlifting lifters are exposed to higher volumes early on in their career/program. These voluminous foundations prepare the lifter's mind and body for the realization phase of the program. With this scaffolding in place, the lifter and coach are able to develop technically and physically - thus allowing for more work to be completed. The fruits of this hard work is then realised during the peak of the program in the lead up to a competition. This can be 12-16 weeks, or in the case of elite athletes, 4 - 8 years down the track.

The point I am trying to make is that we cannot and should not expect immediate results from training. Our body takes time to adapt and improve to different stressors. Our focus should be on consistent and deliberate actions, training, performing, and recovering. The hard work that is put in now will show in time.

As Matt Fraser says, "Hard work pays off".

Trust the process.

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