How do I make the most of my daily CrossFit regiment?
“You CrossFit for one hour a day, make sure it’s perfect. You have 23 hours to %$# it up.”
B.R. Dorning circa 2014
You want to make the most of your hour spent at CrossFit Sanitas. That one hour that, for many of our athletes, is a much needed start to the day, break from the office or kids, or metaphorical punching bag to get out the stresses from the day. Here are a few tips to get the most out of your daily visit and ensure continuous improvement as an athlete.
- Make sure you’ve eaten something 60-120 minutes prior to your workout. A meal is SOLID FOOD (not liquid i.e. shakes, smoothies, beer) containing carbs and protein. (carbs – 0.44g/kg target body weight / protein – 0.44g/kg target body weight). For those of you who WOD first thing in the morning, try a little bulletproof coffee or a banana and almond butter. Experiment with different foods until you find what your body likes. Some people prefer to do strength WODs on an empty stomach and METCONs with some carbs already in their system. Find what personally works for you and stick with it.
- If time allows, try to arrive 10 minutes early to check the WOD and get mentally prepared for your 60 minutes of freedom. If you know we’re overhead squatting, use the Crossover Symmetry to tune up those shoulders or grab a band and mobilize your hamstrings. We integrate a targeted warm-up into our workouts to ensure a general preparedness for the movements of the day. However, if you know that you have trouble tying your shoes because your hips are so tight, you might want to get a little “extra warm” prior to our warm-up. Have questions on mobility, ask a Coach!
During the WOD
- If the coach is the bonfire, you need to get toasty! We usually find that athletes that sit in the back of the classes have the most trouble understanding the movements or need the most attention, which is all the more reason to get your butt up to the front. Know exactly what the plan is for your next 60 minutes. Especially if you’re new or still in base camp, let the coach know and hang as close to him/her as possible.
- Pay attention and arrive on time. Don’t be that guy at the restaurant that hasn’t even looked at the menu when everyone else at the table is starving and ready to order.
- Ask Questions (pt 1). It is the coaches responsibility to be clear. It is the athletes responsibility to ask for clarity when needed. Don’t know the difference between a power clean and a hang clean? Ask. There is most likely someone else in the WOD that has the same question.
- Warm-up with a purpose. How you train is how you fight. This is a critical time where we should get about half of our reps for the day. This is where skill is perfected, in the thousands of monotonous reps, over, and over, and over. Practice doesn’t make perfect, practice makes permanent. That means if you don’t move virtuously with an empty barbell, adding a few 45# plates to the bar won’t magically make the movement better (quite the opposite, rather). Pay attention to coaches cues. Know exactly what the “power” position is and where your hips should be. Is your weight on your mid-foot? Are you receiving the bar on your toes? Kinesthetic awareness, or, knowing where and what each part of your body is doing, is key here. Have an understanding of what a stable shoulder feels like, know what it doesn’t feel like, and ask questions and know when you’re having trouble with something. Understand that the workout is designed to meet or exceed your capacity in some way, be it in through volume, load, or duress.
- Use the levels as a tool. We program each workout with different levels for a very specific reason, and that is because each workout is supposed to provoke a specific stimulus. Levels, from a strength perspective, are meant to be relatively moderate at best for all athletes. This means that weight on average, should be no more than 65% of your one-rep max for each particular movement. For example, to “RX” 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# for a male and 240# for a female. Perhaps your 1RM isn’t near 350 but you think you can smash out 45 reps of it over the course of the workout. The problem is (besides your aching back that evening) that you’re not hitting the intended stimulus for this workout. Your power output would be greater if you could completed this workout several minutes faster with an appropriate weight scaled to your strength levels.
- Go hard, but not too hard. Most days are used to build and hone skills, treat them as such. You will progress better and more evenly if you don’t compromise your mechanics for speed. When the “testing” day comes around, you’ll know it, and can go HAM accordingly. I’ll be right there ensuring you do so.
- Wait until everyone is done with their workout before putting away your toys. We sit down to eat together, we finish together. When your last programmed rep is completed, the rest of your workout is to motivate and cheer on your fellow athletes. Our community, and CrossFit in general, is built on this principal and you and your fellow athletes all benefit. I was amazed throughout the Open at the feeling of “community” throughout the Open WOD’s every Friday, let’s make sure we keep that up all year.
- Recover. Protein and carbs. Whether you prefer Progenex, SFH, or a whole food meal.
- Mobilize. We try our best to include targeted mobilization into each WOD. This may not include any specific problems or issues you may struggle with. Ask any of our coaches for insight on how to address specific problem areas. A good place to start is to spend at least 8 minutes a day in a deep squat — when you get out of bed and right before bed are the best times.
- Take a few breaks at work to stand up and move around. Try not to sit still for more than an hour at a time. I know many athletes (and coaches!) that don’t go anywhere without their lacrosse ball, it can sit on your lower back in the car or under your hammies in the office chair.
- Have tangible, achievable goals. Write down some performance goals, or have a coach help you devise some 3 month, 6 month, and yearly goals. This is the best way to monitor your progress and an easy way to stay engaged in your training. I know that I’ve already helped a few of our athletes knock out their 2014 goals of getting their first pull-ups or toes to bar… all you have to do is set your mind to it!