To how your body feels that is. I know I have lately. And what I have discovered is that I have let some things go.... I know what you are thinking, (don't go there :-))
What I mean is in terms of my training, I always knew you must stay engaged, mind and body, to get the desired results and to move your body the way it was intended to move. But what can happen over time, the longer you train, a person can get sloppy, careless. I know I did. What did that look like? Well for starters, my workouts felt harder. But not in a good way... They felt "sloppy hard". Does that make sense to you? I felt like every movement whether it was a clean and press, or even a 2 hand swing felt "off".I even felt some discomfort in my low back! So what did I do? I refocused my mind during the movement on what each body part should be doing during the rep. And more importantly what my body was doing during the rep piece by piece, what muscles were contracting, what weren't firing as they should, etc.
Let's use pistols as an example. I used to love to train with them. Looking back through my logs tonight, I realized I did ALOT of them. But over the last several months I haven't trained pistols at all! Ugh! So I decided I'd play around with them tonight just to see where I was. Let me tell you, it was tough. I can't believe I said that on my blog. But the truth was my form was way off. I was not stabilizing as I should in the hip line and pushing out with my glutes and really forming good range of motion in and out of the pistol. I was more or less sloppily dropping down and coming up caving so to speak. But when I stopped and took the rep slow, controlled,deliberate, (and quit worrying about the number of reps I should be able to do) my old movement patterns came back. And they felt strong on each rep.(Ahh thank goodness for good muscle memory!) Now let me qualify strong. I don't mean I ended up banging out the same number of reps as the last time I trained, what I mean is that the movement pattern of the pistol in it's entirety felt safe, solid, and utilizing the right body parts with good muscle contraction. I finished strong, setting my body up for good muscle memory, left my basement training haven and decided that my next training session I would go back to pistols.
What is the take away from that example? To honestly realize that no matter how good you are, or think you are, no matter how long you have been training, no matter how much of a fitness professional, or whatever you think you are, you must pay attention to your body and how it feels good or bad and fix it through mind and body interaction and controlled movement patterns with deliberate intent.
I'll keep you posted on how the training continues....