Be Smart and Become Great by Coach Mario

 In Blog

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Today’s blog inspiration comes from trying to give every Crossfit athlete in the Box an opportunity to make a few improvements and assist in making gains within the Gym. What you will find within the content of the blog is a handful of useful tips that have helped me over my journey as an athlete.  Although the majority of these were found in other articles online, I have sorted through some of my favorites and decided that I would share them with you. Yes most of them are not written by me but that doesn’t mean sharing them with you won’t go a long way.

Below are some great tips that can help you make great improvements and hopefully help you view the way you train a little bit differently. This is easily explained by taking two identical people with the same athletic abilities, on the same program but with different mind sets and putting them head to head in a workout. 100% of the time the wiser athlete will win. This is only because of the fact that a smarter athlete is a better athlete. These changes and tips can be applied to the way you train as well as the way you workout!!!


1.) You’re Competing Against Yourself, Not Others

Chase your own capacity before chasing the person next to you. When it comes time to throw down in a WOD, don’t feel like you have to do everything RX’d or be able to complete 20 rounds of Cindy right off the bat. Go at your own pace. Let the intensity find you. You need a solid foundation of strength and flexibility in order to progress into more demanding workouts. Start light, get your form down, and don’t worry about the mother of three who is deadlifting 250 as you struggle with the bar. Chase your own capacity before chasing the person next to you. Which brings me to the next point…

2.) Don’t Be Too Proud To Scale

Tony Budding (of CrossFit HQ) describes scaling as another form of programming. Scaling is such an individualized topic that it’s hard to make sweeping generalized statements. You have to know your own body and its limits. But most importantly, there’s no substitute for common sense.

My add on to this tip

Not only is scaling there to keep you safe, but scaling correctly, is one of the most important things when it comes to maximizing the effect of the programming. Correct scaling can be the difference between a WOD being really tough and the same WOD being a breeze. This is down to you as an athlete to stay on top of your numbers (1RMS, Max Reps etc) in order to maximize the benefits of every workout and strength piece. This leads us to tip 3…

3.) Don’t Be Afraid To Ask For Clarification, Over and Over and Over Again

It’s your time, money, and most importantly, health. If you don’t fully understand something, ask. If you still don’t get it, ask again. Don’t be afraid to ask for clarification if you don’t fully grasp the concept, or you think others in the class will get frustrated with you for taking up too much time. We were all newbie’s at some point. We’ve all been there. Learning the mechanics of certain movements like the kip, squat, deadlift, or any of the Olympic lifts takes lots of practice and critique from a trained eye. If you need help, just ask.

4.) Respect Rest and Recovery

Too many newbies (and even those of us who have been doing this a while) get caught up in overtraining. Don’t be afraid to schedule in a deload or rest day once per week, or a deload week every 4-6 weeks where you cut the weight, rounds, and intensity in half. You have to think about this from a longevity standpoint. If you’re killing yourself every time you step foot in the gym, week after week, month after month, year after year, you’re going to eventually break down. You need to respect your time outside of the gym. There’s an old weightlifting adage that goes something like: “You don’t get bigger and stronger from lifting weights, you get bigger and stronger from recovering from lifting weights.”


This is a tip that I have put together myself and although most of us know we should be working on it, we hardly ever do. This, for me is one of the most important tips, coupled with the emphasis on good mechanics. These two things are not only two of the major factors that are going to keep you injury free, but will also be hugely responsible for helping you make extreme gains. Spend just 10 mins a day on your problem areas and watch the gains come. Good mobility and mechanics = A more efficient you, therefore increasing WOD times.

A Tip within this tip would be to plan your mobility in and around your sessions. Most of us will know that doing your mobility work at home hardly ever happens. Plan for an extra 15 mins on either side of your class and do your mobility at the Box. This simple tip will increase the chance of you actually doing it, rather than putting it off.


As stated before the majority of these are tips I have found in previous articles that I have read online. These have helped me in my journey as an athlete and coach. The amount of information out there is endless. Do not be afraid to research something if ever you need help. The best athletes are the ones who consistently learn new things.


By Coach Mario

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