But now you’ve started to slow down. You used to PR every time you touched a barbell or did a benchmark workout. Now your training may feel stagnant and uninspired. It could be burnout from overtraining, or maybe it’s because you spend more time making sure your knee-high socks match your trendy t-shirt than you actually spend working out.
But in reality, it’s most likely that you need to take an individualized approach and begin to cycle your training. This is called periodization. Strap in, kids. It’s time to step up your pimp game and take a focused approach to The Fitness.
It Doesn’t Matter Who We Are… What Matters Is Our Plan
The overarching goal of CrossFit is to train General Physical Preparedness (GPP). If you follow any CrossFit affiliate’s programming you will achieve GPP just by showing up on a consistent basis. In order to go from good to great, and consistently perform each workout as RX’d, you need to do more than just show up. You need to block out portions of the year to set and achieve specific goals that will move you closer to becoming a beast.
It’s a phrase used over and over again from the ancient Greeks and Egyptians, to Ben Franklin and Ralph Waldo Emerson, all the way up to an inscription in Latin over the Oracle’s door in The Matrix. Whoa.
It’s an introspective proverb of self-knowledge. You have to truly know yourself before you can make any real progress in anything.
Who knows you better than you? You know what you’re good at and what you suck at. Make a list of the areas you need to focus on. If your list simply says: “Everything,” have someone slap you in the face, hard. Then write down STRENGTH and GYMNASTICS in big bold letters and start there. Until you can put up legitimate times/scores in the classic CrossFit workouts, you don’t need to worry about snatching your bodyweight.
A Stimulus Plan Everyone Can Get Behind
Let’s begin with a basic approach to understanding a CrossFit workout. The classic CrossFit benchmark WODs (aka The Girls) are a good place to start. The RX’d weights used in these workouts are meant to be moderate at best. This means that the weight used should be no more than 65% of your one-rep max for each particular movement. For example, in the workout Diane(21-15-9 Deadlift [225/155] & Handstand Pushups) you would want to have a one-rep max deadlift of at least 350 lbs for a male and 240 lbs for a female.
Now, you may say that your one-rep max isn’t quite at those numbers but that you can still do the RX’d weights for this particular workout without a problem. But the problem is that you’re not hitting the intended stimulus for this workout. Imagine how much higher your power output would be if you could complete this workout several minutes faster because the weight was appropriate to your individual strength levels. Remember, this is a strength endurance and conditioning workout, not a strength workout. There’s a difference.
Each workout has an intended training stimulus. Five sets of a heavy back squat with 3 minutes rest between sets is going to be a completely different stimulus on the body than running a mile.