In my last post we talked about answering a fundamental question in regards to your training, why are you training? Today I’d like to talk through one of the most popular goals of the athletes I work with.
One thing I’ve seen over and over with the typical CrossFitter is their propensity to get sucked down the rabbit hole that is chasing “elite” performance. Some athletes want to compete at the local CrossFit events. Others are just chasing a higher spot on the whiteboard. Either way, we all find ourselves trying to do more of everything and getting frustrated when we aren’t making the gains we wish we could see. Now, I’m not saying these aren’t an excellent goals to strive for, we just need to be realistic and realize that competing at the elite level in ANY sport will have its drawbacks. Think back to your high school football days, how many kids would have done ANYTHING to make it to the NFL at that point? Now, how many retired NFL football players are paying for that opportunity with numerous health and performance issues? I know the correlation isn’t perfect but not many people can argue that performing at such high level (and the training and lifestyle that goes along with it) is not optimal for your health and longevity, although I think CrossFitters will be better off than most.
CrossFit is broad, general, and inclusive. Each workout should be designed to increase a persons work capacity (measured by power) across a broad range of activities executed at various duration. Essentially, be a generalist, keep your mind open to a wide range of functional movements and activities and try to perform each one with an optimal level of competence. Sounds easy enough right?
Anyone who has spent a fair amount of time trying to accomplish this can tell you that this is no small feat. The complexity of the Olympic lifts, the strength required to perform the gymnastic movements, and the capacity to endure the cardio-respritory events all add up to.. Difficult. Add in the competitive nature fostered in nearly all CrossFit boxes, the stress of the clock, the constant commands from the coach, the shitty day at work you just had, the kid who kept you up most of the night, and everything else we pack into our days and you’re looking a a goal that takes YEARS to accomplish, not weeks.
So what does this all mean? It means sacrifice, as the sport of CrossFit become more popular it has, and will continue to, become more and more competitive. This means you need to dedicate more and more time to filling the hole in your game and squeezing every bit of movement efficiency out of each and every movement (And while you’re at it you also need to get really good at all that stuff you don’t know about too). However, doing more of everything comes with a cost. The cost becomes sacrificing free time (whatever that is) and time with friends and family, in order to dedicate yourself to the rest, recovery, and mobility work that will keep you going strong and most importantly injury free.
This is a great goal to strive for just make sure you are being realistic with the timeline you are using to get there.
Questions, thoughts, or comments to any of this are always welcomed!