Beat Your Goat!
By Erik Castiglione
Open WOD 17.3 has just closed, which means we are 60% done with the Open. Given the variety of movements that we’ve seen, chances are you’ve had some good WODs, and maybe a couple bad ones. If this was the case for you, take a minute and think about what movement or movements gave you the most difficulty. Maybe it wasn’t a movement in particular, but the format of the workout. Got it? Great!
This movement category is affectionately known as a “goat” in CrossFit lingo. Why is it called a goat? What does it stand for? Greatest of all time? Not in this case. “Goat” is short for “scapegoat.” It is a movement that you blame for a poor workout or performance. Now let’s talk about how to overcome it.
Generally speaking, the best way to beat your goat is to practice it regularly. If it’s a simple movement like wallballs or burpees, start with small sets. Each week, increase the number of consecutive reps. If you come upon that movement in a WOD, push for longer sets and avoid the temptation the break it up. Eventually, you’ll get to a point where the movement isn’t tedious anymore.
If you’re like me and you hate coward practice running, adding in small doses is a good start. When it comes to a workout, push the pace on your runs. If running is paired with a movement that you’re good at, try to slow down the pace on your good movement to catch your breath. Avoid the temptation to walk during runs, and keep at it. Your running endurance will increase with time.
If your goat is a skill based or technical movement like double unders or the Oly lifts, drilling the heck out of them is the only way to get better. Pay extra attention to your form, and patience is of paramount importance. With these movements, the more flustered you get, the harder they become to execute. Relax, breathe, and focus. Trying to muscle your way through them is only going to be counterproductive.
Finally, if your goat is a bodyweight movement, you’ll need to increase your stamina in that movement. Here are some sample programs that can help.
The first step to solving any problem is to admit there is one. Think about your goat, and how to tackle it. If you need suggestions, talk to your coaches, that’s what we’re here for! Now get out there and beat your goat!