"Buckle up and enjoy the ride!" by Andy

 In WOD

You started Crossfit, made some great gains and now things seem to have stalled. Frustration kicks in and you start to wonder, what’s the point? I’ve had that feeling over and over again. What you would have experienced is known as novice gains. A person brand new to weight training is going to gain strength rapidly. But is it realistic to think these gains are going to continue on this path? If that were the case, everyone would have a 300kg bench, 500kg squat and a 700kg deadlift. The simple fact is there are certain strength standards associated with your bodyweight. Advanced and Elite levels of strength do not come overnight. They are a journey that you will never complete if you give up.

There are so many things that can affect training performance from week to week. Nutrition, sleep, stress, work, family, accumulated fatigue, sickness… If any part of your recovery is off, your training is going to be fatigued. I class recovery as everything you do outside of the WOD. So not only is logging your weights and workout important, but if you really want to take your training seriously you also need to record your recovery. Nutrition, sleep, stress levels can all be noted as a perceived value. On a scale of 1-10 how do you feel today? Funnily enough, this is in your CFD logbooks!

My journey is getting increasingly difficult in terms of gains in weight lifted, but I love the challenge. I have to work smarter, make sure everything is dialled in and believe in what I’m doing. Below I’m going to list my journey to date since starting Crossfit. I have had injuries along the way but for the most part I have trained 4 times per week for the last 3 years. I have been attending a gym regularly for about 8 years.

Back Squat

06/03/11: 137.5kg

28/10/12: 160

Press

17/01/11: 67.5kg

15/10/11: 75kg

Deadlift

18/05/11: 182.5kg

28/12/12: 190kg

Overhead Squat

30/03/11: 85kg

17/01/13: 100kg

Pull Up

23/05/11: 24kg

02/12/12: 50kg

Fran

13/09/10: 17:30s

03/03/11: 4:32s

01/12/11: 3:32s

I have gone through different phases of training. I started at 96kg and wanted to lose weight, so I went fairly strict paleo to help and went down to 78kg. I went to a more maintenance diet and increased to 83kg where I remained as I was highly involved in hockey. I then changed my diet to help assist strength gains. I now weigh around 88kg and my lifts have increased accordingly with my gain in weight.

This has been a lot of trial and error, and slowly but surely I have been testing individual aspects of my training to see what affect it has on me. The only way to possibly review this is by having a log book to look back through! You can’t just train blindly and expect everything to happen. Once you go past the novice gains (weight loss, strength..) turning up just won’t cut it. You need to pay more attention to the small details. At the start it seems like a lot but it becomes routine. Decide what is important to you, train/eat/recover accordingly and never, ever give up!

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