What Makes a Sucessful CrossFitter?
Step 1- Listen to your Body: CrossFit, especially in the competition aspect, is very physically demanding, so its very important to constantly evaluate your bodies progress and recovery. Recovery in my opinion is just as important if not more important than the training because without recovery, the training will go to waste. There are a few different ways to look at your level of recovery, first being your level of fatigue, and second being your physical preparedness meaning your level of muscle stiffness, aches and pains, ext..If you feel like your falling apart, thats your body telling you it isnt ready for another workout . After you recognize your level of recovery, the next step is finding the reason why you feel that way, which is usually sleep, nutrition, or improper training. Then make the adjustments by sleeping more, eating differently, or adjusting wods by cutting back on volume, or cutting back on poundage and dont be afraid to take a day off, you will be no less fit from taking one day off. No one is over trained, just under recovered. Recovery must be a priority, so listen to your body and put the effort not just into training, but into recovery.
Step 2- Adjust your Lifestyle:Even as athletes, the majority of our time is spent outside of the training setting, so its important that we live a life style conductive to out fitness goals. This means balancing sleeping, eating healthy and eating enough, work, family, training, and fun. Success will be determined by the balance those things have in your life. if you focus to much or too little in one area, another will suffer so even though the balance will be different for everyone, we all need to know how much time and effort we can devote to one thing without causing any ill effects. If prioritizing and balancing isnt done, the aspects that are neglected, usually sleep or nutrition, will greatly impact your training and even more importantly, your personal health and life.
Step 3- Train Smart: Its very easy to get caught up in the whirlwind of crossfit, watching games athletes train multiple times per day, lifting rediculous amounts of weight and doing insane amounts of volume every day, however it is very important to remember that the vast majority of us are no where near the fitness level of the games athletes. Just because Rich Froning and Jason Khalipa train multiple wods a day, doesnt mean i should. As a matter a fact, most beginning crossfitters can make great gains from 4-5 Wods a week.Along with that point, all wods do not need to be 20-25 min long. The majority of the wods should be 10-15 min with a longer 20-30 min wod sprinkled in once a week. These short intense workouts have a high power output, high metabolic response, and low amount of wear and tear on your body. However if an athlete is set on doing multiples, a great structure to use is a strength session and a metcon session. This will help get the best of both worlds. Unless you are training for a specific competition that will have multiple workouts per day, it is unneccessary to do two metcons per day. Finnally, take an active recovery or rest day, this will help your body and mind recover and keep everything on track.
Step 4- Learn and Adapt:Fitness is always changing so try to learn new techniques, new training methods, new nutrition, and apply them to your training. Keep an open mind and expirement with things, thats part of the fun of it. Try everything, find what works for you, establish your strengths and weaknesses, adapt your training and nutrition, then slay your goats. The sport of fitness is constantly changing so change with it or get left behind.
Step 5- HAVE FUN: Remember why we play the game of crossfit, for our self satisfaction. Unless you are a games competitor, you will make no money, or become famous from crossfit, so don't take yourself too seriously.