Have you ever hit a plateau in your fitness journey, and decided that you just needed to “do more” to overcome it? Maybe you added in a second program on top of what you were already doing. Maybe you cut calories more to try to lose weight. And most likely, working harder in the things you were already doing didn’t help. Instead, we need to work smarter.
CrossFit defines strength as “the productive application of force.” In other words, if you’ve always had the strength to perform a muscle-up but lacked the technique, but then you achieve one, you’ve gotten stronger. If we apply this lesson to training and progress in general, we can define progress as the productive application of effort. If you’ve been spinning your wheels and crushing yourself to improve, but haven’t, then we need to adjust where your effort is going.
We just finished an individualized front squat cycle in which athletes were evaluated and given individual accessory work to help build their front squats. Athletes were directed to spend their energy in the exercises that would give them the most bang for their buck. Simply crushing themselves by repeatedly attempting to max out their front squats would be counterproductive. The direction was key.
In CrossFit, it can be overwhelming to know where to start. There are so many different movements to learn, different types of strength to develop, and energy systems to optimize. It’s IMPOSSIBLE to maximize them all simultaneously. Instead, we need periods of dedicated focus on specific modalities throughout the year. We maintain those areas that we’re not directly targeting, while building those that need the most work. Over time, we’re able to improve all modalities. It helps that we get some crossover between movements muscles. Still, it can be tempting to try to add-in more work that you might feel you’re neglecting. And we’re here to tell you that this is a recipe for disaster. The body can only handle so much.
We write our group training programs to help fix the most common, and most glaring weaknesses across our membership. But, as we saw with the front squat cycle, personalized work can be more effective. If you feel like you’re stuck in your fitness journey, set up a time to talk to a coach. We can listen to what you’re doing outside the gym and help direct your effort and energy into the most productive outlets. That’s what we’re here for, and it’s why you pay for coaching. It’s not a nuisance, and we want you to take advantage of it. We’re here for you. Want to book your strategy session? Click here! See you in the gym.