CrossFit is actually quite simple… (Part 1).23 April 2017
But to make it simple, we must first figure out your "CrossFit WHY"!
We hear this a lot these days, "you need to know your why", and that is definitely true for your CrossFit Journey as well.
Way too many of us stress about too many things in life, and I hope that this series of short articles will help you avoid stressing about CrossFit too - CrossFit is meant to help you stress less, and it needs to be fun!
What do you want to get out of your CrossFit training?
If your answer is "I want to get to the CrossFit Games", then this very part of this series might not help much (maybe I'll give you some advise later though), but if you are like the other 98% of us out there actually just looking to get fit and having fun doing so then maybe the below can help you do just that..
I'll start with explaining what I believe is true for close enough to everyone training in a CrossFit gym today - we all have goals that are somewhat designed around these variables and most likely IN THIS ORDER:
- Lift heavier
- Do more unbroken Pull Ups, (Or get our first?)
- Do more unbroken Hand Stand Push Ups, (Or get our first?)
- Do more unbroken Muscle Ups, (Or get our first?)
- Do the Benchmark WOD's faster! (Or as RX for the first time?)
- Get Leaner/More ripped/build muscles/lose weight (= change the way our body looks).
- Use the fitness we build in the gym outside!
But, even though these goals are awesome and I agree 100% for you to aim for them, what I'll tell you is that when you started doing CrossFit your goals were probably lined up in close enough to the exact opposite order..?
Didn't we all start CrossFit hoping we would one day be able to do something like this?
- Feel better in my every day life, and become more active outside of the gym!
- Look better naked (this is actually our #1 goal for new members haha).
- Run a bit faster or being able to: 'finish that damn Baseline with "real" pull ups!'
- 'A Pull Up would be pretty cool, but I'm not sure I'll ever want to try to do a push up on my head...'
- 'You know weightlifting isn't really my thing, but I guess I'll give it a go since this over enthusiastic dude in front of me is telling me it will shed some body fat..".
My point here is that it's very easy among all cool things that you do inside our CrossFit boxes to forget why you started. It's very easy to get derailed and think that a body weight Snatch, as cool as that is, matters more than you being able to play with your kids on the beach for 2 hours on the weekend..
But what is your number 1 goal with doing CrossFit?
This one is probably a bit harder to define, especially since by defining it correctly it can set you up for success in everything you do related to your training!
Here's a few different options to chose from - pick ONE (you're welcome to add your own):
- I want to compete at the CrossFit Games.
- I want to be able to compete at Regionals/the highest local level.
- I want to just be as fit as I can so I can do other stuff outside of the gym better!
- I want to look better naked.
- I want to be the best I can be, but COMPETING in CrossFit is not the main priority in my life*
*This has become my goal.
Now, to make the correct choice I my self chose to simply put down a priority list with what is the most important in my life right now and this is how I listed it from most important to less:
- My Family.
- Cape CrossFit (leaving a legacy that helps as many people as possible)
- Coaching athletes.
- My own CrossFit level.
The cool thing is that when I looked at it I could very much relate 100% to the above order, if I had to chose between throwing in an extra session of training versus hanging out with my son 1 hour in the morning I would always chose Family. If I had to chose between training for 4 hours a day to be "competitive" or figure out better systems to make sure Cape CrossFit is growing to help as many people as possible becoming the best version of them self - you'd find me in front of the computer 10 times out of 10. Just like now haha..
What's important though is that I do believe that by continue to improve my own fitness levels I will also be a better dad, business owner & Coach.
Anyway, this isn't about me - but once you have made your own priority list you can easily use it to define your #1 Goal with your training, and then from there adjust your schedule accordingly!
For me, it means that I spend at least 1 hour each day training, but it's only secondary to the other 3 areas on my priority list.
So what do we do now that we have identified our goals?
Funny enough I reckon that most of you reading this have a similar priority list like I do? With or without kids perhaps, but even though CrossFit is super important I'm positive that for those of us that are NOT aiming to go to Regionals, there are other things that are important too.
If so, here's what I'll give you, and the answer is not sexy or revolutionary in any way, but it's the truth:
Make your WOD's your main priority, and work harder in your WOD's.
To further strengthen this statement, let's take a look at Coach Glassman's hierarchy of fitness:
"But, but, Weightlifting is NOT at the base of the pyramid??" *Drumroll*...
Coach Glassman knew already from the beginning that, except from nutrition (because if we don't eat we die). Metabolic Conditioning (short: MetCon) should be considered being a broader base for Fitness than Weightlifting & Gymnastics alone.
Yes, you read that right, CrossFit have defined it beautifully in this simple phrase:
- 'Intensity is the independent variable most commonly associated with maximizing the rate of return of favourable adaptation' - Coach Glassman
Simply put: High Intensity gives the most RESULTS!
So what does that mean for my training?
Not much different perhaps but just make sure your mindset is right for your goals: stop thinking that you need to "go on a strength cycle to get good at CrossFit", or "I just need that damn muscle up to go to Regionals", what we all really need almost regardless of our goals is more FITNESS. To reach those goals of getting stronger we also need a stronger base of Metabolic Conditioning, and to be able to improve our Gymnastic we also need more MetCon in our lives!
Now that we have defined your "WHY" and hopefully developed an understanding for what should be important in your training I think that the best bet for most of us is simply to show up every damn day, work hard for about an hour and make sure that our biggest focus is on building our base of our pyramids.
Move well, move fast, and make sure you leave it all out there every damn day. Build a base of fitness with the "simple" straight forward stuff and the rest will come eventually.
In the next part of this article series I'll tell you how to use this base fitness to also eventually become more competitive in the Sport of Fitness - because I also know that some of you do have that as your main priority.
This will be an article series which aims at helping you find the right “level” of CrossFit training for YOU.
I’m not here to “tell you what to do”, I don’t pretend that I have all the answers, and I’m definitely not “better than you” in any way..
But, I am quite experienced in the world of CrossFit AND I want you to live your best life - two aspects that I hope will mean that you can find a lot of powerful guidance in these small articles.
Acceptance & Purpose