5 Things I Wish I Knew When I Started CrossFit
#5: You Can Go “Full Send” Every Day
If you’re a competitive person like me, it’s easy to get caught up in racing the people around you every day in class. You want to pace the start of the workout, but when the music gets turned up and the clock counts down, you find yourself in going max effort again.
You’ll be able to get away with this for a while, but it will eventually catch up to you. Feeling irritable or foggy throughout your day is a telltale sign.
From a program design perspective, I try to create separation from this problem by programming some pieces to be executing at 60 or 70% effort, but ultimately it’s still up to the athlete to execute to achieve the desired stimulus.
#4: If You Want More, Start with “Vegetables”
Often people who are newer to CrossFit see great progress, so they assume that doing more will automatically compile results faster. Yet, more isn’t better. Better is better.
Those who try to add more workouts often find themselves feeling beat up from the extra work.
A good alternative to doing more tough workouts is adding in what I call “vegetables.” Vegetables are the things you know you should always be getting more of, but they sort of bland so you often just skip them.
You can find your weekly dose of vegetables on each post of my affiliate's weekly workouts page.
#3: MCI: Mechanics, Consistency, Intensity
The importance of following the progression of the MCI’s is something that CrossFit has preached for a long time, and the longer I’ve been in the coaching space, the more this rule has proven itself useful.
The first thing you should focus on is developing the correct mechanics, a.k.a. technique, to properly perform the movements.
Next is consistency. Simply keep showing up. Going hard once a week in class is less helpful than showing up four times per week and completing the work with a form-centered focus.
Finally is intensity. Once your form is dialed-in and you’re a consistent member of class, begin to dial up the work rate. This is what CrossFit is known for and it helps produce awesome results.
#2: You Have to Balance Stress & Rest
People often forget that you don’t get in better shape when you’re working out. Back squats get harder on set 3 than on set 1. It’s harder to do burpee number 30 than number 3.
In fact, you get weaker and slower the longer you’re at the gym in a session!
It’s when you rest, sleep, eat and ultimately recover that you rebuild stronger and faster than you were before.
Your goal should not be to exercise as much as possible; your goal should be to get as fit and healthy as possible.
This means prioritizing the recovery sides of the equation by taking recovery days, eating real food and maximizing your sleep.
#1: Play the Long Game
Rome wasn’t built in a day. Your fitness journey is just that… a journey. Trying to rush your process usually leads to detours. Be patient. Keep showing up. Allow time to work its magic. Trust the work. Stay the Course.