Crawl, Walk, Run

If you’ve been in the military then the concept of “Crawl, Walk, Run” should seem pretty familiar. The thinking behind it is to start off slow with a new task, gradually picking up speed and complexity as you gain the skills and confidence needed. The same concept applies to your cardio and workout routines.


Unless you’re some type of cyborg, you’re not going to jump up and run a marathon or bench press 400 pounds without some type of training leading up to it. This is where crawl, walk, and run comes into play. You start off slow, using less weight or shorter distances until you build up the endurance and strength needed to accomplish whatever physical feat you are after.


We all start off in the “Crawl” stage at some point. Don’t be ashamed of it. Too many people let their ego get the best of them. They immediately want to jump straight into the “Run” stage. They think they’ll be judged for not having enough plates on the barbell, or for being seem walking on the treadmill. We all have to start off somewhere, and that always starts with the crawl stage.


So as you go out and go after something new, think back to the crawl, walk, run concept. Start off slow. Let your body acclimate to the increased stress and intensity gradually. Jump between stages too quickly and the only door you’ll open is the one to increased chance of injury and misery.


Jon Griffith specializes in optimizing performance for firefighters & police. Jon is a personal trainer, firefighter, and former U.S. Army infantryman. He lives in Austin, Texas with his wife and 3 cats.

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