So you competed in a CrossFit Comp this year. Perhaps it was the Open. For five weeks you had a solid goal to aim for. You trained with the Open Workout in mind. You worked your schedule around making sure you could get the workout in before the deadline. You lived on a slight buzz as you were left wondering whether you would beat your placing from years before or if the next workout would be 'YOUR' workout.
And then it was over
Now with the changes to the CrossFit Games lay out, my guess is that you've been left slightly forlorn.
Lost as to what to do and where to go now
Some may be quite content to return to their routine of a daily 1hr visit to the box, getting through the workout and leaving to attack the rest of their day
Others, especially those harbouring desires to improve their CrossFit placing, will be wondering where and when they should start in order to improve their game for the 2019 season.
If you are serious about wanting to get further in your CrossFit career then you need to stop and think. There’s plenty of misinformation out there about what it takes to be the best in the Sport of Fitness. Given the time of year, I thought I’d dispel at least three of the myths that surround the CrossFit competition training process for athletes and coaches.
If you genuinely want to improve for the purposes of CrossFit competition then here are the three lies you should stop believing:
THE KEY TO ELITE PERFORMANCE IS “CONSTANTLY VARIED FUNCTIONAL MOVEMENT PERFORMED AT HIGH INTENSITY”.
CrossFit has made its name through the popular phrase coined by its founder Greg Glassman: constantly varied functional movement performed at high intensity. Unfortunately, as a result of it's popularity, there are now several boxes where coaches believe that the key to elite performance lies in training with unsustainable ‘high intensity’ on an almost daily basis.
First let’s define what high intensity means :
- Lifting loads that are 85% or greater relative to you 1RM
- Conditioning at or above anaerobic threshold; short based power work
Secondly, it's important to note that not every athlete can actually train at “high intensity” as defined above, to be effective, as they do not have the mechanisms developed or nervous system to produce force that would give a higher dose response.
Thirdly, those athletes who CAN produce higher intensity efforts CANNOT sustain that output on a daily basis. This ends up is a fast track to overtraining and overreaching, stopping all progress.
Let’s look at other sports and compare. Do you think track runners, like Cathy Freeman, attempted to break their personal best record every track session? Do you think olympic weightlifters attempt to beat their best lifts every day? Do you believe a marathon runner runs a marathon 3 x week to improve their performance?
The answer is no.
Yet, this still hasn’t stopped many CrossFit Athletes from lifting heavy weights and hitting short-fast metcons on a daily basis, as if the Sport of Fitness is somehow an exception to this observation. The problem is most Crossfit athletes who have found success at CrossFit affiliates start making progress at first without the right systems in place either because they are resilient enough for the time being or have compensated through other experiences or genetics they posses.
But, be warned...the limited success is short lived or true potential is never expressed: As in any sport without establishing the fundamentals, you can only get so far.
and yes, believe it or not, there is an order to follow.
There are rules to the game. It’s not random… It’s not whatever-the-hell goes. There needs to be a plan and that plan needs to be executed and tested then modified along the way because there is NO SUCH THING as a shortcut through intensity
THE BEST WAY TO PREPARE FOR CROSSFIT COMPETITIONS IS BY FOLLOWING AN ONLINE TRAINING BLOG
A lot of amateur CrossFit athletes follow online training blogs. It’s easy to understand the appeal. They are typically backed and sometimes programmed by high profile CrossFit Athletes like Chyna Cho or Josh Bridges. Your competitive friend may entice you into one of the many ‘competitive’ blogs he/she is subscribed too.
However, this is simply clever marketing at play. Don’t be fooled by it. These high profile athletes who ‘appear’ to follow the blog, likely have a personal coach who individually designs their fitness program.
How else could they continue to compete at the highest levels? Genetics may certainly play a role, but it’s often professional coaching which allows them to continue their sport.
Moral of the story? If you're serious about wanting a career in CrossFit...Get a REAL coach.
COMPETING AT A HIGH LEVEL IN CROSSFIT CAN BE FAST-TRACKED 6-12 MONTHS.
This is a big fat lie. Long term athlete development is a process that takes multiple years and/or decades. Look at the Winter Olympics for an example, what athlete competed with a training history of only 6 -12 months? Olympics athletes spend a lifetime dedicated to developing their fitness, skill and competitive experience to compete at the highest levels in their sport.
CrossFit is now on par with the Olympics. It is extremely rare for any CrossFit career athlete to have another job (rare but not impossible).
Physiological characteristics in the sport for CrossFit demand the allocation of considerable time. Time dedicated in developing those characteristics such as:
- Lower / Upper body strength
- aerobic short term/ long term power
- anaerobic capacity / power
- dynamic contractions
That’s just to name a few of the characteristics required. It’s simply not possible to become a master in all of these categories in a few months. Athletes who are looking to fast track to gain or taste success are participating in the sport for the wrong reason (in my opinion)
Training for CrossFit competition involves a plan that meets the athlete where their fitness ends. Some athletes mention that they don’t have the “time” to train for 2-3 hours a day or to dedicate for 3-5 years to be great. Coaches at boxes hear this repeatedly… and the answer is that you are probably in it for the wrong reasons.
Fast tracking for “INSTA” success is like dipping your toes in the water without jumping straight in. You end up missing the depth in your sporting journey and you never grasp the process of mastering something, one thing, that grants you access to a deeper, universal understanding.
This of course comes down to the total experience… and what “experiences” do you really want?
If this blog provoked some thinking about your 2019 journey, make sure to let us know! We want to be a part of your adventure, whether it's training for new competitions or increasing your overall fitness. Simply email firstname.lastname@example.org to set up a chat with one of the coaches today.