So if you are like most CrossFit athletes I know you have a certain amount of “God I hope that doesn’t come out of the hoppers”.. Also known as What you suck at.
I’ll go first:
- Me:“Hi, I’m PJ and I suck at lifting heavy things over my head…”
- Group: “Hi PJ”
Phew, that does feel better.. Okay, sorry..here we go..
I had the awesome opportunity to attend the CrossFit Coaches Prep Course last weekend where we talked about many things, coaching, programming, and class structure to name a few. We also did a couple of workouts. Well I was in luck because the WOD on Sunday.. Heavy Clean and Jerks.
Let’s just say it was obvious that I program for myself and Heavy Jerks don’t show up very often. This was pointed out almost immediately by the honed eye of the seminar staff. I was specifically asked “You don’t practice Push Jerks very often do you?” This was more of a statement, since it was obvious that I didn’t. I could clean the hell out of that bar but getting it from the rack to locked out over head just wasn’t happening after a certain point. So what does this mean? It means I need to target my weakness.
A few months ago I was poking around on Brian Mackenzie’s blog and found a pretty good article and theory about how your should be targeting your weaknesses. I suggest you take a look at it when you get a chance but I’m going to try to show you some examples to explain the concept.
Lets use two examples. Person number one, we’ll call him ‘Nick the New Guy’ and person number two we’ll call ‘Firebreather Fran’. Now it shouldn’t take a degree in rocket surgery for most CrossFit coaches to understand that both of their workouts may look drastically different even if they are performing the same movements. The question here is:
- What should each of these athletes target?
Nick the New Guy would probably benefit from spending the majority of his time working on perfect mechanics. We’ll put this in the center of his target. If you have ever been to a shooting range you would know that you’d like to spend most of your time here as well, hitting the 10 ring (bullseye). Nick the new guy would probably also benefit from some serious mobility work (depending on his background, injuries, issues, etc.) so we’ll put this stuff in the next ring out on the target. And so on, lets just say that Nick the New Guy will have a lot of stuff to work on (which could be pretty overwhelming for a new client), but thinking about what is most important and prioritizing each subsequent thing from the center of the target out is a good way to organize. Again, remember, just like shooting a target you will be most successful spending all of your time in the center of that target. So this is where you need to put your biggest weakness. Make sense?
Good, but lets not forget about Firebreather Fran. I seen some CrossFitter with tremendous work capacity and blazing fast WOD times despite their terrible movement and mobility issues. So lets not assume that Firebreather Fran doesn’t need some love too. So at this end of the spectrum I’d be willing to bet that the center of the target, and thus the area of focus for Fran here would be recovery. I’m not talking about sitting on the couch and not working out (although that would be nice, eh?). I’m talking about all that fun mobility work, foam rolling, and stretching. I’m talking about getting better sleep, icing those pissed off areas that pop up after the WOD, and dialing in that diet. So she gets that stuff dialed in and then moves to the next ring out, maybe strength work, maybe muscle ups, maybe 400m runs. Are we still tracking?
There isn’t enough time in the day to work on everything at once, or one thing all day long, so remember, the stuff you suck at most goes in the center of the target. And where do we want to spend most of your time? That’s right, the center of the target. Prioritize from there, easy enough.. That about sums up, if you’d like to read more into this concept you can head over to BMack’s blog and check it out.
Where does this leave me? Working on my overhead strength for one and putting together a pretty sweet spreadsheet to help me analyze my programming. If this is something you’d be interested in drop my a line HERE or drop me a comment below and I can hook you up!