CrossFit Training to be Fit and Healthy
Why do you train? This is the very question I ask myself on a regular basis. Recently I read an article which discussed a few key points in establishing why you workout. In short the article was trying to put a few things into perspective for the reader. This particular article got me thinking specifically about the way people train and what that means to each person in the long run. The truth about CrossFit is that roughly 95% of people who CrossFit are only in it for the fitness and how it makes them look and feel. Although that is a really high percentage, which is amazing, the truth is that the majority of people do not train in a way that justifies their goals.
What does that all mean though? As CrossFit enthusiasts we obviously all love the training and what it brings us but there is no doubt that the only excuse the haters have is regarding the injury rate. Although this aspect of it is highly documented, in most cases it is avoidable. It all starts by establishing an answer as to why you do CrossFit and is followed up by training in a way that justifies your answer.
The purpose of today’s blog is to address the majority (those who train for fitness and health) and hopefully open a different mindset that will have you training well and remaining injury free for many years to come. So by now if your answer is something along the lines of, “I train to be fit and sexy,” then we are heading in the right direction. My first point and one of the most important ones is that we must all remember that CrossFit is a lifelong thing. To me (hopefully to you too) CrossFit is about longevity, it is a journey into a life of fitness and health. I see CrossFit as a marathon and something I will hopefully be doing well into my 80’s and so should you. Understanding this is the key to unlocking the way you train.
As members of Perpetua, all of us would’ve done the fundamentals phase before getting into class. This is the very beginning of the learning process and is very far from the end. I am nearing 2 years of CrossFit and still consider myself a student and so should you. How does this change the way you train though? My answer to that is, “A HUGE AMOUNT!” For example, you’re 18 again, you’ve done 10 driving lessons and just passed your driving test, are you ready to hop into a F1 car and race yourself around Silverstone? Highly unlikely and if you tried it, you would probably crash. CrossFit and what we do is no different. Fundamentals, FGB, racing carelessly through first WOD are a recipe for the crash (Injury). This does not only mean careful for the first few months. Lewis Hamilton will have been racing cars for years before racing in F1 and yet still cannot afford to be careless.
So how do you train then? Don’t get me wrong, I am not by any means suggesting that you need to place yourself in cotton wool but what I am suggesting is that you approach each workout with a little bit of thought. What this means is that you start off by assessing the movements involved. Pick weights based off of previous experience and most importantly pick an option that is going to allow you to control your movements rather than the weights controlling the way you move. This process is something that should be continued throughout your CrossFit journey. This may mean getting to the end of the workout and realizing that you could’ve gone heavier or picked a different option but that is going to happen no matter how great you are! When that happens, you take out your training journal (because we all track our progress) and log what you experienced.
Unfortunately this is a long process, but this process is one that will keep you in the gym for a long time. Yes, it may mean that you end many workouts thinking that you have not pushed hard enough, but always remember the first question you asked yourself at the beginning of the blog. You train to be fit and healthy and are in CrossFit for the long haul, so don’t get caught up in the hype of what is going on around you. Understand that we are all going to be learning new things and each one of you has different abilities, strengths and weaknesses. Your training should be about you. Yes we all want to lift heavier weights but I would much rather hear you say that yesterday’s workout options were too easy for you, rather than receiving the news that you have seriously injured yourself.
Lastly, injuries will always happen no matter what form of exercise or sport you are participating in and although I am not and definitely could not prescribe the perfect way to stay injury free. Just a little bit more patience and thought towards the way to train may be able to do this for you. Remember Mechanics, Consistency and then Intensity.