Time, Focus and Direction
Personal responsibility requires you to be critical and honest. It is a practice that takes maturity and a rational thought process. These qualities are sometimes hard to hold on to in the early days of falling in love, head over heels, infatuation, all consuming obsession. What am I talking about, (?) the early days of you discovering CrossFit. I have been a victim and I have seen lots of others victims in the 7 plus years I have been involved with CrossFit.
This need to consume, absorb everything that is CrossFit can make you lose focus on your fitness goals and lead to frustration. Equally those who discover CrossFit can be left overwhelmed by the enormous amount of information out there. There is the language of CrossFit; Thrusters, wall balls, kipping and MetCon, CrossFit shorthand; SDLHP, KBS and GHD and the way it is presented; 21-15-9 three rounds for time, go!
Those passing through the beginners phase will get lots of support and this does carry on into the Level 2 classes but I will stress it is here that you need to take on some personal responsibility for your development as a CrossFitter, you need to be proactive. I would suggest that this is the time to start choosing your battles carefully. In industry we talk of setting smart goals, specific, measurable, achievable, recordable and timely, there are other interpretations but they all point in the same direction.
It is with the above in mind that I will make some suggestions assisted by some feedback from those who have just been through the beginners phase and have now entered the Level 2 phase.
You need to be stronger and to get stronger. Mark Rippetoe is quoted as saying “Everything in life is easier when you are stronger” I saw it on a T-shirt so it must be true. I think he also said “it makes you harder to kill”, that’s got to be good? But seriously you need to start following a strength program, nothing too complicated a simple linear program will get the results you need. Crossfit.com to this day posts strength days as a WOD and you will get results with just doing MetCon WODs interspersed with single strength WODs. But move away from the main site and you will be hard pressed to find a box that does not integrate a strength component into every WOD class. I think that speak volumes about its importance. Why not book into our next S-Course or consider the strength classes.
Maintaining the momentum with the basics is essential. I know you may have just gone through our beginners program and every class we revisit the squat! But it is absolutely essential. It has such relevance not only in CrossFit but in your everyday life. There is no better movement for helping you activate your rear posterior chain. Muscles I guarantee you never knew existed until you started CrossFit. You are shown drills to help improve and maintain your squat, use them. Seven years later I am still practicing mine looking for small improvements. Need some inspiration have look at the article Festina lente – Building a rock solid squat.
Tackling Those Goats
We all have them some have more than others, a movement/skill that just seems to defeat us. Maybe it is a fear of box jumps (basically a fear of falling over and getting hurt), mastering the timing and sequence of the Olympic lifts or the coordination of double unders. We have all been there you are not alone. In the early days you will have a long list. Choose your battles wisely, one maybe two movements, no more than three and allocate some time, with added focus and get some direction. You can find this by taking part in a challenge, speaking to your coach, or booking into a skills class. This approach will avoid overloading you and maintain steady progress.
There are lots of other important issues such as diet, rest and recovery and mobility all must be part of your CrossFit toolbox. Keep a diary, target weaknesses in your warm ups, buy a jump rope, use our Facebook Page to engage with others and take your time, BE PATIENT, walk then run. But as you develop you will high light your weaknesses and be able to apply time and dedication on improving them and equally your strengths and spend time enjoying them and maybe when ready putting them to good use in competitions.
I will sign off with some advice from some our clients here at CrossFit SE11.
“The first thing I quickly learnt is level two CrossFit isn’t as scary as it looks. The second, there is a whole list of things I wanted to improve on… This can be pretty overwhelming at times… The best advice I can give is write a list of areas you want to improve on and then set yourself three goals. These are three skills I focus on before and after class and what motivates me to put the extra time in. The best thing about CrossFit is that everyone wants you to succeed in your goals…. I’ve found introducing strength and oly classes has really helped me with my Wod performance. Be patient and have fun.”
“I was keen to lift at or close to RX (weights) during my first few weeks of CrossFit and just because I could lift the weight, doesn’t mean that I should have. The result was so many aches and pains that I was only able to attend 1 (maybe 2) classes per week until I became stronger….”
“I would say, don’t feel the need to “keep up” with others on L2. It’s better to master the technique, rather than load up the weights. Squat, squat & squat some more, because I thought I could squat before I came to CrossFit…You will be surprised at how you improve at things. At first I could only (box) jump on 3 x 10kg plates. Now I’m on the lowest level box, 3 weeks ago I would never have attempted it. Improvements tend to sneak up on you. See every workout through till the end, as the Instructors & other members give so much encouragement it helps you to go that little bit extra…If you need more help with technique, I recommend the Skills Class…Enjoy, because it really is fun!”