What's Stopping You Getting Better Results?
If you’re not getting the results you want or believe you should be getting from your training, take a look at this list of potential pitfalls
and make 2019 the year you do CrossFit right!
INCONSISTENT OR INSUFFICIENT TRAINING
Perhaps when you train, you train really well. But if you do that for a week and then have a few days off, then do it for a couple of days then have a few weeks off, you are wasting all that effort and hard work. To see results, you have to train often enough and with consistency.
Training once a week is more than better than nothing. It’s a really great start and it will make a difference but it isn’t enough. Training twice a week is great but still not enough to see considerable change. Three times a week is enough to be life-changing. Four to six times a week and within 6 months you will literally be a different person - but only if that six months includes regular training without weeks off here and there.
Make a commitment to training at least 3 times a week every week. Time will pass anyway - are you going to be happy in a year’s time that you made that commitment or will you be wondering where you could have been if you’d given it a chance?
TOO MUCH TRAINING OR INSUFFICIENT RECOVERY
Perhaps you have made the commitment to train 3 or more times a week and when you train, you train really well but you feel broken all the time. That isn’t good - CrossFit is meant to make real life better, not worse.
It’s actually quite hard to over-train but super-easy to under-recover, especially once you are over the age of 35. Your joints start to need a little extra love and your life may place demands on you that means your sleep is disrupted.
Sleep is the number one tool in your muscle-building arsenal. You can train great and eat well but if your sleep is poor, it’s wasted. You do your best muscle-building while you are asleep.
Another tool to aid recovery is great nutrition - sufficient protein to build muscle, lots of good quality carbs to charge your fuel cells and enough good quality fat to make sure you’re getting all your fat-soluble vitamins.
You also need to keep on top of your mobility. Tight muscles, combined with weak muscles leads to imbalances, which lead to compensations, which lead to overuse injuries. Keep on top of your mobility if you want to keep doing CrossFit pain-free.
You need also to take rest days. The only people who can get away with training 7 days a week are those who spend as much time on recovery as they do on training and if you have a job, there are not enough hours in the day for you to do this.
Make sure you look after your body - see it as an expensive tool that requires upkeep and maintenance to ensure it remains in good running order and doesn’t break down.
Perhaps you have made the commitment to train 3 or more times a week, when you train, you train really well and you keep on top of your mobility but you act like a magpie with ADHD - always looking for the next shiny, new thing. If you cannot stick to a programme for more than 3 weeks, you are not going to progress as well as you could or should.
To be honest, unless your coach is a complete idiot, any program is going to work but only if you stick to it. If you are always chopping and changing, swapping your goals and your programmes, your approaches and your methods, you are probably going to to become really frustrated, possibly injured but definitely not better!
CrossFit programming is incredibly cleverly designed to appear as if it is random while actually giving you the perfect balance of strength, skill and cardio training in ideal proportions - but again, only if you stick to it.
You don’t even really need to have specific goals - as focusing too much on one thing will often lead to injury because you end up tipping the delicate balance too far in once direction.
Trust the process. Follow the programming. Give it time.
Perhaps you have made the commitment to train 3 or more times a week and when you train, you train really well, you keep on top of your mobility and you follow your gym’s programming to the letter but you just aren’t getting stronger or faster.
The principles of training involve progression and overload, which means you have to consistently do more than you did last time to see improvements. If you coast through workouts, you won’ become less fit or less strong but neither will you become fitter, faster or stronger.
CrossFit coaches will tell you that you need to learn to move beautifully first, which can be frustrating if you’re impatient to see improvements, but once you have that good movement embedded, you need to start adding intensity.
You want to get better? It means pushing yourself to go faster than you want to, heavier than you think you can and harder than you brain suggests.
NEGATIVE INNER MONOLOGUE
Perhaps you have made the commitment to train 3 or more times a week and when you train, you train really well, you keep on top of your mobility, you follow your gym’s programming and you work with intensity but you just can’t seem to land that snatch, you just can’t make yourself pick up that bar or do one more wallball.
CrossFit builds not only physical strength and endurance but mental toughness and resilience - but only if you make an effort to become more badass.
The neural pathways on your brain are like well-trodden paths in a cornfield. The more you walk them , the clearer those paths become and the easier it is to find them and travel down them. If you want to create new, positive habits, you need to avoid travelling the well-trodden paths of negativity and form new paths. But that means actively avoiding old behaviours and positively forcing yourself to adopt new behaviours.
You don’t even need to believe the the words initially, you just have to say them. As you approach the bar, or as the clock counts down, nod and smile. That is enough to make a huge difference to a workout or movement you are dreading. Allow yourself to only say positive things - even if you don’t believe them - you need to create the path before you can believe in it. Think positive!
YOU LET LIFE GET IN THE WAY
Perhaps you have made the commitment to train 3 or more times a week and when you train, you train really well, you keep on top of your mobility, you follow your gym’s programming, you work with intensity and you have a great positive attitude but you just can’t seem to get ahead.
Sometimes life just does get in the way. You have a job, a family, issues and commitments outside of the gym and not everyone is completely obsessed with CrossFit (there are a few who aren’t, I’ve heard) and so sometimes, you just don’t get in.
Once in a while, that isn’t the end of the world. In fact, I read somewhere that you should take a full week off every 7 weeks, which coincides perfectly with half terms - guilt free rest week while the kids get your undivided attention. But when you start letting life dictate to you that you can’t train, you have a problem.
You are a better parent, colleague, boss, friend, if you feel good. You feel good if you do CrossFit, so don’t see it as an optional extra, see it as a vital necessity that is going to enable you to keep up with the heavy demands of your life long into the future.
CrossFit is an investment in you, not a treat you have to slide in amongst your other demands. Shuffle things around. You don’t find time, you make time!