As strength and conditioning coaches, we try to make one thing clear to every one: you have to respect and trust the process. There is a progression for everything, and if true results are going to be achieved, then hard work and dedication are required. In the gymnastics of CrossFit, you must have the strict movements down first. A stable base and lots of core stability must be developed before higher-skilled movements can be performed. If this is not developed, you are more susceptible to injury, even though as coaches we have witnessed athletes try movements well beyond their means anyway.
Sometimes doing a movement wrong over and over again is not smartest decision because, well, you just can’t do it. Athletes sometimes just need to go back to the drawing board in order to develop that movement. This can mean additional months of strength and skill development, but nobody has time for that. Everyone always want’s a coach to find a quicker solution. Hate to break it to you, but sometimes there are no magic coaching words or adjustments that are going to make you better. Why? Because you just can’t do it. You are not strong enough or technically proficient, at least for now. It is important to understand that although you have the potential, there is a learning curve to anything.
Listen to Your Body.
Don’t get caught up in the mindset of needing to workout everyday even if you can’t feel your body. 3 On 1 off 2 on 1 off is the work-rest day ratio we have decided to incorporate with our program, but don’t read too much into it. If your body is telling you to rest, then listen. Shoot your coach a message and ask:).
Competing in CrossFit requires you to be strong. In our opinion, the basis of a solid program will always be strength. This is in regards to both weightlifting and gymnastics(body weight). If you work on building a stronger base, then the rest will fall into place. Once a solid strength base has been established, then it is important to work on mastering more advanced skills. But in order to get strong you can’t get caught up in lifting all the time and doing every workout in sight in pursuit of getting better. You must understand that to build strength, you must follow a thought out program and rest.
The body repairs and strengthens in the time rested between workouts. Over training can actually weaken the strongest athletes. Recovery days are the best way possible to restore muscle tissue breakdown to make you stronger. It is okay to take two days off. It is okay to only workout one day and need a rest day the next. You should never be in perpetual soreness. Listening to your body is important.
Let Your Injuries Heal
Tweaks and injuries are a part of competing in any sport. It’s usually only a matter of time as intensity rises. With the amount of training a competitive CrossFitter does, it is easy to tweak something or have old injuries flare up. It is beyond important to stay healthy, not only to live a full life, but particularly when preparing for a competition. You have to let small injuries get better or they can lead to large ones. The longer you ignore injuries, the longer it will take for them to heal. Don’t be too proud to scale or change a movement that may reactivate an injury and slow down the healing process. It’s always good to remember that most of us are in this for the long haul and it is important to see the big picture, as opposed to being a badass for one day. Think, “I want to work smarter, not harder.”
Next article will be about understanding volume. If you have a topic that you would like us to write about please feel free to let us know at firstname.lastname@example.org