A Time to Train and a Time to Test
Most everyone remembers their first encounter with a CrossFit workout. For me it was “Cindy” (20 Minute AMRAP of 5 Pull Ups, 10 Push ups, and 15 squats). I remember walking funny for about six days… yet there was nothing funny about it. I studied CrossFit for years before “going all in” and opening our affiliate. I am continually striving to learn as much as I can about human performance and how to pull as much as I can out of each individual. I consult with various websites, journals, and other coaches on a daily and/or weekly basis. I challenge the other trainers to do the same.
My growing concern with CrossFit as a whole is the idea of training versus testing. About a year ago, I remember struggling through workouts for months at a time, and at points, not even desiring to workout. If I wasn’t up to the challenge and able to workout at 100% with the potential to PR everyday, I simply didn’t even want to workout, I skipped multiple days at a time for weeks, only to become more frustrated when I finally did workout because I was getting out of shape from missing so many workouts. I knew things had to change, and change in a hurry.
Through my struggles I came to the realization that it was impossible to expect my body to perform at an extremely high level for five to eight workouts a week. (Quick background…I do several “doubles” throughout the week with most focusing strictly on endurance based or skill/weakness work) Unlike some of these “hardcore” affiliates out there that push-push-push day in and day out, I took a step back and adjusted my expectations for myself. Perhaps many of you have the false impression that I go heavy and hard every single day. This is far from the truth. I begin each day with the intent of “getting some good work done.” If I’m feeling good throughout my warm up, I will probably end up pushing myself and looking for a PR. This only really happens two to three times a week. The remaining days (and remaining workouts) are based on building and skill sets or volume work. I have worked with several other athletes both inside and outside of our gym that now do the same thing. This does not mean they workout less, in fact, quite the opposite.
We train our bodies in order that we can come better prepared to test them when that time comes. Over-testing will eventually lead to burnout in one form or another. Come to the gym and work hard every day, yet recognize that some days will, for some reason or another, be much harder than others. A large part of CrossFit is the mental ‘game’. In order to become a better “CrossFitter”, and more fit in general, be wise with the intensity you approach a workout with on a daily basis. Work hard, but simply do not expect your body to go 100% every single day. Lower your expectation a bit, and perhaps attending one more session a week becomes a lot more feasible. Think about it and make the necessary changes to be more productive and to simply enjoy yourself more when you’re in class.