Make Up Thursday & 5 Short Cuts That Don't Make Us Better

Make Up Thursday

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5 Shortcuts That Don’t Make Us Better

by FRANK BODNAR, DC, MS  Article in Tabata Times

One of the biggest temptations in CrossFit is to compare ourselves to those around us and do everything possible to give the impression that we are elite. Taking shortcuts — whether on a trip or at a job — always seems enticing, but can we really get ahead by doing less? The risk vs. reward may be tough to sort out in some circumstances; however, shortcuts rarely lead to progress. I want to encourage you to avoid the temptation to take shortcuts and instead commit to doing it right and getting better.

Here are 5 shortcuts that will hinder your progress:

1. Skipping Reps and Half Squatting: You skipped 5 out 20 burpees per round or performed less than excellent air squats and ended up beating that person you’ve been chasing everyday. You’re sitting pretty on the whiteboard (and trust me I hate to be a Debby Downer), but at the end of the day you’re only cheating yourself. I will never count people’s reps, but as a coach I know where people are at with their fitness level. If someone is shaving reps, or half squatting, or cheating creatively on anything, it sticks out like a sore thumb. I don’t always have time to address it immediately, nor do I want to baby sit adults during workouts. But trust me when I say it will eventually become obvious to those around you. Whether it’s during the CrossFit Open or a competition elsewhere, you will most likely be held accountable at some point. Take some pride in what you do and be accountable to yourself first and also strive to be an example to others. Be less about you and more about your community.

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2. Max Out Everyday:  Rather than putting in the time and patiently working on technique and mobility, you keep showing up and trying to max out on all your lifts. While you may pass some people early on, your gains will suffer when you keep catching weight on your toes and lack the form and mobility to keep adding more weight. Not to mention you will also put yourself at risk for injury. Maxing out is cool, but there is a time and a place to do it. Trust the coaching and programming and be humble enough to take weight off the bar and master the fundamentals first in order to set yourself up for more success in the future. I know you’ve watched YouTube videos of Klokov, Jon North, and Kendrick Farris. Those guys have decades of experience at an elite level. You don’t. They also spent years on just the fundamentals from an early age. You haven’t.

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3. Doing Too Much Too Soon: Instead of scaling the workout and staying within the time frame your coach suggests, you insist on doing what you want to do and end up taking twice as long to finish Murph. The ambition is there, but your conditioning and strength endurance isn’t. You then skip the entire next week of classes because you’re too sore to squat. The benefit of paying someone to coach you is that you’re not the first person they’ve coached. They don’t have anything against you — they actually want to see you Rx Murph — but let’s not put the cart before the horse.

4. More is Better:  There is this myth amongst CrossFitters that not taking rest days and doing more work more frequently will greatly improve your fitness. I can’t overemphasize the need to let your body rest and recover. You may end up being riddled with nagging injuries that will force you to take a lot more time off than you ever wanted.  Very few people can handle the volume and training schedules of Rich Froning and Jason Khalipa. Even they take rest days. Maybe not as much as the rest of us mere mortals, but they do. The goal should be to be able to do CrossFit for the long-term, not be burned out after two years. Sometimes less is more.

5. Skipping Cool Downs: I understand that the cool down time normally turns into social hour, but it’s still time where you can maximize your recovery, increase your mobility, and use the full hour of time you pay for. I realize you have to rush off to work or go pick up your kids and just worked really hard. Let’s assume you attend a class 3x a week and skip the cool down every class. That’s 30 minutes per week, and over 24 hours, over the course of a year. How many of us would benefit from 24 hours of mobility work? Put in another 10 minutes of focused effort (while also chit chatting), and you’ll be surprised at how much you improve over the course of a year.

Maybe you’ve heard it said, “There are no shortcuts to any place worth going.” Actually, there are shortcuts — they’re just not worth taking.

Daily WODTara RossComment