Is this a Go-Through, Go-Around, or Go-Over Problem?


Yesterday, a friend asked about how we deal with injuries and other tough challenges at Bang. We have systems for dealing with constraints—but that doesn’t just mean physical ones. After all, pain and injury can be emotional too. It sucks to feel stuck. So, we have to work with the whole person—not just their body. To do this, we sometimes imagine constraints as a wall. Once we can see the wall clearly, we can choose whether to:

  • Take a run at it and try to bulldoze our way through
  • See how broad the wall is—and if it would be more effective to simply walk around it
  • See how high the wall is and ask whether it’s worth building the tools necessary to go over it


Going through

Going through means doing things the hard way. We use grit, discipline, willpower, etc. to overcome a challenge. Often this means placing it at the centre of everything we do. For example, some folks deal with pain due to a lack of capacity. Let’s say that a soccer player has to cut hard from left to right a few times every game. This might be the highest demand that left knee ever experiences. At the peak of this change of direction, they are revving at 100%. Here, hard work is the way through.

We need to build strength that exceeds the demands they experience. So we find ways to strengthen the legs, creating a buffer. If a quick cut is now reduced to 80% of their available strength, we have built in a much greater margin for error and much greater resistance to fatigue. We don’t need to outthink injury risk here; we need to outwork it.

Going around

Sometimes, you experience an outlier incident. A neighbour’s beagle has an allergic reaction to a discarded burrito, which makes it sneeze, which distracts a nearby germaphobe, who steps off of the curb, who cuts off a cyclist, who drops the ice sculpture they were carrying, which sends a flock of starlings into a hypnotic murmuration, and causing you to look up, failing to notice a totally different beagle’s sidewalk dookie, sending your shoe sliding and your ankle rolling.

We recognize that you don’t need a radical change of life or strategy here. You don’t need dramatically increased strength or capacity. You certainly don’t need to practice walking on some kind of high-tech dookie simulator. You simply need to let your ankle heal. So we de-load the affected area and focus on strengthening your upper-body, letting time and improved blood flow do the healing work for us.

Going over

Sometimes, the wall is broader and sturdier than it is high. And sometimes, we skip past thinking about incremental to go exponential. To go over a wall begins with thinking strategically. It also means the idea that not everything that looks impossible is impossible—or is even harder than the alternatives. This is the kind of thing that makes our coaches’ hearts sing. As an example, sometimes increasing load improves technique. Here, increased demand becomes a feedback mechanism, illuminating the path toward better execution. Yes, you need an expert eye to safely spot these opportunities but finding them is a bit like finding a wormhole into a more enjoyable parallel dimension.

On the other hand, we may discover—as we often do—that it isn’t a specific issue that is holding a person back but how their body functions as a system. This flavour of magic doesn’t come from over-indexing on strength, technique, aerobic fitness, or any other single quality. Instead, it emerges from elevating how all of these things work together. The body is a system—and when that system functions well, things feel pretty good. Physically. Emotionally. The whole experience.

Bang Personal Training offers some of the best personal training in Toronto – in a format that makes consistency easy. Our expert coaches unite the best features of group and one-on-one training to help you build performance and healthspan