CrossFit is actually quite simple... (Part 4).17 June 2017
But what if I'm a well experienced CrossFitter who want to improve but don't have the TIME to train like a competitor..?
This may seem like a plug, but the intention of this final piece of this series is to show you how a 1-hour-a-day-approach with a high intensity program like the "CCF Performance" might be the right match for you!
I hear different reasons for not being able to follow a high volume program like the "CCF Competition" all the time, non of them are invalid or wrong, these are just real life situations to be honest:
- I have to get home to my wife/husband/better half/kids so we can have some family time each night!
- I take the kids to school and like to spend time with them in the morning..
- My boss requires me to work late several days a week.
- I want to spend time with my friends and we go out for dinner a couple of days a week.
- I like to sleep late..
- I have too much work to be able to spend several hours in the box each day.
- I like doing other activities as well and plays sport recreational with my buddies twice a week!
Now, like said. Non of the above is "wrong" and non of the above means that you should be judged for your lifestyle and lifestyle choices. What it means however, and this might be a rude awakening, is that you are not ready to be following a High Volume CrossFit program such as the CCF Competition one.
If any of the above, or any other reasons, stops you from committing yourself 100% to being a Competitive CrossFit Athlete, then you shouldn't train like one..
But here's the good news, this does NOT mean that you can't be a beast! It does not mean that you can't train HARD and become better every damn day, week, month and year. It simply means that your goals have to be aligned with the time you are ready to put in. You can most definitely continue to aim at being competitive in local competitions, you can still aim to get a sub 3 minute Fran-time, a +bodyweight Snatch, and so on - but the reality of the sport we are seeing now is that for (most people) it may then also tell you that the highest level of the sport (Regionals/Games) are out of the question.
The demands of the sport these days have (most of) the top level CrossFitters in the world training +4 hours a day, and for any up and coming athlete aiming to get to that highest level one of the things we always stress is that we need to take some time to smartly build up their ability to handle that kind of volume..
But Coach, what if I just follow the regular class program and then I do little bit of Competition programming here and there on the days when I have the time?
No, it doesn't quite work like that. Any well balanced program is programmed with a full purpose for THAT program, and by missing out on certain pieces will only make your progress slower. And also by adding components that aren't meant for the program you'll easily perform worse, due to the two programs working against each other, not better. On top of that here's what we have found in our years of programming for many different levels of athletes: by committing 100%, and sticking to, ONE program an athlete will always improve the most!
I really think that for you to become the best you can be you should chose ONE program and stick to it to the max. Come in every damn day (if this is your goal) and attack each WOD with the intent of giving it your all and you will always see a great positive growth.
There is obviously nothing wrong with you working on weaknesses and doing skill practice to improve your technique, but the idea of throwing in a little bit of extra workouts here and there, or follow a competition program only on days when it suits your lifestyle to "become competitive" is just a flawed approach if you ask me..
So what should I do..? Align your goals with your lifestyle goals!
Basically, sit down and do the priority list we spoke about in the very first part of this article series (see here: http://www.capecrossfit.com/wod-news/crossfit-is-actually-quite-simple-part-1/).
Find your WHY and once you have, now you find the right program for you.
IF you are like me and CrossFit is a BIG part of your life, but your goal is not necessarily to qualify for Regionals but rather continue to improve for the rest of your life, be able to do some crazy stuff that the rest of the population can only dream of, all the while you also have other priorities in life (family, business, lifestyle) - then I'd argue that the "CCF Performance" program can be the absolutely best program out there for you!
My own goal, (stolen from Chris Spealler), is to be in and out of my training sessions within an hour each day - this includes warm up, WOD, cool down, and some days even an After Party for the fun of it..
What I have found since I really committed to this approach and decided that this would be the way going forward is that my focus is so much better! I make sure to give it 100% in each WOD and I walk into each session with the intension of crawling out of it.
The results so far? I feel fitter than I ever have been, and in good company with several others of "my" CCF Performance-athletes we are experiencing that ALL our Benchmarks are improving. We lift more, we move faster in the timed benchmarks while we are adding plenty of reps in our AMRAPs.
JP Seini (in the foreground) is one of my favourite examples and just yesterday morning he added 22 reps on his Fight Gone Bad score from 376 to 398. That's pretty impressive from an athlete that has been competing in several of our Regionals teams and have been doing CrossFit for +5 years!
The key message I'm trying to send here is that through effort, commitment, and intensity we can achieve massive improvements. What we at the same time might have to realise is that we might also have to accept that if we don't have several hours to put into our own training to build to a +4 hours/day volume it's likely that we won't be able to compete with those that do - and that's ok.
So how good can I really get if I don't train with High Volume?
Pretty damn good! JP is an example above and he is adding reps to his AMRAP's, decreasing times on his Benchmarks, AND adding load to his max lifts close enough to daily. Yet he also gets to spend time with his wife and even though Japes will most likely always be a beast that most will have trouble to keep up with, his lifestyle is now one which allows him to spend time with his wife while still training hard in the sport he loves.
Another great example is previously mentioned Chris Spealler:
Chris is arguably one of the most experienced CrossFit Athletes out there, and has obviously been doing more volume "back in the days" - but the point here is that he qualified for the new 35-39 year old Masters Category for the CrossFit Games this year, with a 1 hour per day-rule!
There are other examples of athletes reaching the top with minimal volume, but the actual point of this post is to point out that:
- We can become REALLY good at CrossFit without putting in hours and hours each day.
- If that's our lifestyle choice, then we might however have to be willing to understand that we might not be competing at the very highest level, and there's nothing wrong with that.
- It is more important that CrossFit fits your lifestyle than that you are trying to do something that your lifestyle simply wont allow.
Lastly, but Coach what if I DO want to train with more volume?
If, and only if, you are prepared to build your entire lifestyle around your CrossFit. If, and only if, you have a base capacity that can allow you to handle a high volume program. And if, and only if, you are ready to throw out all possible excuses and work hard with an always positive attitude - then, and only then, we might have the solution for you as we are intending on expanding our CCF Competition Program from the month of July.
Keep your eyes open and we'll fill you in on what's planned within the next couple of days!
For the rest of us, that don't have an intention of training with High Volume:
Let's build a community filled with people that are willing to work hard every damn day, and by doing just that we'll keep on improving our fitness markers "forever", but we also have lifestyles where CrossFit is actually only one arguably big, but still only one part.
Let's be great role models to our children by showing them just how incredibly fit and healthy we can get by pushing hard in the boxes one hour per day, and at the same time let's live life to the fullest by exploring the mountains and the seas around us!
Remember, your life is your life and you are the architect that decides what you put in as your foundation which will essentially allow you to do things you only used to dream of in any area of that life.
And hey, why not throw down in a daily competition with your friends while in the box, do a local weekend comp once in a while to see how your hard work is paying off, but with the main goal to be fitter than ever and having fun while getting there. That in it self is a great goal that you and I can both commit to without having to sacrifice family life, or other interests.
Win at life by making the winning decisions on what to do in your life, it is your life after all.
This is 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