ARE YOU GOING ABOUT YOUR CROSSFIT JOURNEY THE WRONG WAY
Crossfit was originally designed to get people in better shape physically and mentally compared to traditional gym models. Crossfit was supposed to be used as a compliment to your sport. Designed to take about an hour out of your day, 3 days on 1 day off, then 2 days on and 1 day off. The Crossfit games was started for an arena for athletes to test themselves against other athletes from around the country to see who was really in the best shape.
Over the years Crossfit has grown exponentially, many new comers are first exposed to it through ESPN or videos on the internet. Usually showcasing games athletes competing. Other people are exposed to videos on Instagram of these buff bodies snatching and cleaning and jerking an incredible amount of weight. This might be your end goal entering Crossfit, but many fail to realize that according to Greg Glassman this is the top part of the pyramid.
The base is always nutrition, if you don’t have your diet in check you cannot expect to perform at a high level. This will make the training adaptations from the higher level of the pyramid much more effective.
Next up is conditioning. This is often overlooked as nobody likes to post the video of their 5k run. It doesn’t get any likes, but post a video of a great snatch and people notice. Guess what, if you can’t breathe properly you are not going to be able to work out effectively. Don’t underestimate the effect of conditioning on your recovery, not just after a workout, but how fast can you get your heart rate down between movements in a WOD. Your conditioning will make those few seconds hunched over with your hands on your knees more effective. Speaking of efficiency, while you are your working on your conditioning why not try to get more effective at the movement. Don’t just try and run 5k faster each time, how about trying to run it more efficiently so that it takes you less energy to do it. If you don’t know how to do it properly, find a coach who can instruct you. The average elite Crossfitter can’t event compare to track numbers form high school levels.
Gymnastics is the next tier. This is the cool stuff like muscle ups and butterfly pull-ups, but also the basics like pushups and handstand holds. Learning how to move your body properly and acquiring the proper range of motion to perform the movements properly. If you can hold a proper handstand I can guarantee this will translate into stronger shudders, which will translate into a better snatch and clean and jerk. Imagine an elite level Crossfitter trying to even compete at a provincial level gymnastics meet.
Weightlifting. This is the glory part that people like to work on. Cleaning from blocks, snatch pulls, Olympic complexes, if only we spent as much time on weightlifting. Many Crossfitters can compete on a national level, this cannot be said for any of the lower tiers.
Sport, this was supposed to be for the elite few. Unfortunately many are starting backwards. Instead of doing the regular class, working their way to the top of the class. They start their Crossfit career with two a day training, a squat program, and some extra skill work. This is the same as trying to emulate what Froning is doing for training right now instead of what he was doing 10 years ago. They do not have the foundation and end up burned out and/or injured. Work capacity and efficiency has to be trained.
Take an honest look at yourself at rate each tier from 1-10. Chances are your numbers aren’t in the proper order. Start to reprioritize your training, if you are a 10 in weightlifting, but only a 4 in gymnastics, you can afford to spend a little more time working on your gymnastics, and a little less on your weightlifting.
Remember this is supposed to be for health not sport.