How can you make the step up in level?
I’m writing this blog with goose bumps and chills down my back. I’ve just come back from three days of CrossFit competition at Judgement Day Hawkes Bay 2018, and our community members were exceptional! Matt McLay and Morgan Rush competed for the first time, which I guarantee is the start of a wicked journey of testing and competing. While the hype is still high I want to give you my top three recommendations to answer the question “That was awesome, now how can I step it up?”. Also, I’ll give you the top three pitfalls that I see athletes fall into when trying to move up in division, or just improve their performance on the competition floor.
What should you do to make the step up?
Mobility – This is one of those answers that no one wants to hear. To perform better as an athlete (no matter what your sport) you need to be actively working on your mobility, moving your body consistently through full range of motion and addressing any areas of concern. If your squat isn’t great, you need to address it before going nuts with the weight. If your overhead mobility isn’t great (a lot of us have this as a homework piece), then you need to address this with constant mobility and identifying the causes of any concerns. If you were lucky enough to watch the finals of JDHB, the RX guys and gals put in some serious time rolling/smashing/massaging/stretching in order to perform like that. Its not sexy, but it’s a crucial part of the puzzle.
Nutrition – This is an area that also doesn’t get much Instagram coverage by the best in the world, but takes up a serious amount of their focus. If you’re goal is to get your body to perform like a athlete, you need to fuel it like an athlete. This will do a few things: Help you recover from training and strip any unneeded bodyweight. Not sure where to start with Nutrition? Book in a consult with Karli and have a chat about how she can help.
Identify your areas of greatest gain and work on it – One of the cool things about CrossFit is that you are going to be naturally talented in some areas and not so much in others. For myself, I have always been naturally strong and absolutely love a barbell, however, running…just kills me. My third bit of advice is to identify the area that you need the most improvement in, and focus on that. One of our first blog posts was about this exact subject. Have a refresher: http://crossfitwhanganui.co.nz/what-would-you-really-not-want-to-see-come-out-of-the-hopper/
What you shouldn’t start doing (maybe…talk to a coach)
Over the last 5 years of being involved with competition, I’ve seen many athletes get hyped up and head off into the world searching for how to get to the next level. Here are the top three areas that we see athletes head towards:
Ignore the basics – CVFMHI is the meat and veges. Make sure your first, second and third areas of focus are theses, and then and only then look for more added sauce. Its called supplementary training for a reason, its supposed to supplement a solid training schedule not replace it.
Go RX on every WOD – Remember that each workout has an intended stimulus, and to get the most out of every session you need to scale to achieve this stimulus. For example, if the workout calls for 21 cleans at 62.5kgs, its likely to be intended that each athlete can do a large chunk of that workload unbroken. If you are struggling and breaking them into singles just to achieve the RX status, then you have missed the workout intention and haven’t extracted 100% of the awesome juice from the programming. Talk to your coach, they can help you milk every ounce of training from the words on the whiteboard.
Add volume – I know its sexy these days to say that you workout twice in one day, but we would really prefer that before you start adding volume (more training) you try to add intensity to your current training. You often don’t need harder workouts, you just need to go harder in your workouts. Disclaimer: If you workout twice a day because you just love being in the box, just keep on trucking. Perhaps have a conversation to the coaches and they may have a recommendation on how to tweak your workout to draw more out of your second session.