I’ve based my fitness method on CrossFit for a little over 6 years now. I came from the traditional gym routine of upper lower splits and lots of smack talking and standing around the weights in-between short sets with a lot of grunting and noise.
Not a lot of progress was made for several reasons, one of them was the limited amount of movements and exercises I was choosing to use in my program. CrossFit has no such limitations because the very definition of CrossFit encompasses ALL MOVEMENT. This is one of the reasons CrossFit is so successful.
CrossFit is, constantly varied, functional movement, performed at high intensity.
In case you aren’t sure what Functional Movement is, it means, all the ways your body moves….
To put this in another frame of reference, the CrossFit definition of health is “increased work capacity across broad time and modal domains.”
What is a modal domain? It means moving in as many ways as possible.
Why does this matter?
You may be wondering why I’m talking about moving your body and using different exercises in a fitness program.
This is me 6 years ago when I first started doing CrossFit workouts.
In this video I’m doing Squat Cleans with 95 pounds. As a CrossFit coach, I see a number of things that I need to work on to improve this movement.
This is me recently doing a barbell complex of Deadlifts, Power Cleans and a Squat Clean at 185 pounds.
As a CrossFit coach, I see a number of things that I need to work on to improve this movement.
Did you catch that? After 6 years and such an obvious improvement, how could I still see things that I can work on??
There is always something to work on because no matter how good we get, we can always get better.
How many times have you been practicing a movement and just when you think you have it all figured out, your coach tells you something that throws your whole world upside down? You swear you’ve never heard that cue or tip before and you wonder if you’ve wasted all your time doing it wrong.
You haven’t wasted your time. You just weren’t ready for the new info yet.
When a juggler first starts out, they learn how to juggle 2 balls. When they’ve mastered 2, they go to 3. Is the process for juggling 3 balls the same as 2? Similar yes, but there are new things to learn as the skill requirement increases. They must learn the fundamentals first so they have something to build on.
The same thing happens with what you learn at the gym. The nature of the CrossFit method introduces so many different movements and exercises, there is a never-ending list of things we can get good at. It truly is amazing to realize that you have the ability to understand and execute so many different actions with your body.
Two things to think about:
1. Our job as coaches is to give you the information you need, not just when you need it, but in the amount you need it as well. Too much information can derail your progress just as much as too little.
2. Chances are, even if we gave you some of the info, you wouldn’t be able to process it because your brain hadn’t made the connection from step 1 to step 2 yet. If we talk about step 3 or 4, it wouldn’t mean anything to you and it would be lost. Ever had a coach tell you something and your response is “I’ve never heard that before.”? Chances are very good that your ears did hear it at some point, but your brain wasn’t ready to listen yet.
Beyond the options we have in front of us, the learning curve is long, not steep. There is no rush to the finish. The progression of my learning curve for those videos was 6 years. Imagine what I’ll be doing in 6 more years!!! Your ability to move properly in each exercise is what improves your fitness. It takes time and patience but it’s so cool when you look back and see how far you’ve come.
We have a saying in the CrossFit community, “It doesn’t get easier, you get better.”
You are improving, that’s why you’re understanding and hearing things you never registered before. The information will come as you progress. It’s not because you missed something or are doing something wrong,…..it’s because you’ve been working hard and doing things right.
Keep it up.
PS. Over the last few months, I’ve talked to several people that have worked out at various CrossFit gyms for multiple years. The common theme of conversation is the level of coaching they receive becoming less and less, the longer they stay at that gym. A few of these people have dropped into our classes and specifically thanked us for coaching them and giving them feedback during the workout.
This should never happen, and at ECHF it doesn’t. A by-product of our method and long-term thinking is the understanding that no matter how long you’ve been working with us, we will always look for ways to help you improve. Everyone gets coached up, everyone is giving a hand. We have members that have been with us for over 3 years and they get just as much attention as someone who just walked in the door. Patient, consistent coaching makes the difference.