Monday, March 17, 2014

Thinking Long Term During CrossFit Training

Last month, I was in Cornwall for Family Day and dropped into one of my favorite gyms, Caveman Strong (post). While I was there, Coach Tyler said something that struck me, "Think long term". It sounds simple, but it made an impression on me.

Case in point: My current back squat is 305 lb. I want to keep improving and one day hit 400 lbs! But, will I still be squatting 400 lbs when I'm 70? How much is too much? If you have a 400 lb squat with good mechanics and structural integrity, great! But if you don't have the proper mechanics and the anatomical foundation, strength your weaknesses.
Stretch more. Improve mobility. Develop gymnastic skills. Learn how to breathe. Move in unfamiliar environments.
Recently, I came across Canadian Sports for Life's LTAD Training Model (Long Term Athletic Development). The basic idea is that long term health and wellness is key, whether you are a recreational athlete or elite competitor.

Long term athletic development is important in all areas of training. And this brings me to my personal experience with CrossFit.

When I do CrossFit, it's easy to focus on the immediate goals / PRs (squat, 5 K run, snatch, Fran, etc.). This is especially true for the CrossFit Open.

Before going in, I told myself I would be "one and done", like many other CrossFit athletes, including elite athletes. Then, I redid the first workout (14.1) twice. I did the second workout (14.2) three times. I looked at my score and compared it to my friends. I was so focused on those extra reps.
Maybe my friends or coaches will think I'm fitter or cooler or ____ if I get those extra reps in.
After 14.2, I didn't really workout until Saturday, when we did 14.3. My shoulders were fatigued to the point where my whole body was tired and sore. When I redid 14.2 on Monday, I also missed a squat session (improving my squat is also another goal of mine that I neglected recently).

My goal isn't to make it to the Regionals. We each have our own goals, and the way we attack Open workouts or any other endeavor in life depends on our individual goals and abilities.

This past Saturday, I did 14.3. My goal going in was to pull 315 lb once. It didn't happen. I finished with 17 reps at 275 lb. Was I satisfied with the number? Not initially. Did I give my best? Yes. More importantly, is my back okay? Asides from a bit of soreness, I'm still able to move :)

This morning, I thought about redoing 14.3. That thought didn't last long! Sure, maybe my scores aren't as competitive relative to some friends (especially my little bro), but these scores are amazing because I gave my best for each of those workouts.

Long term, what do I need to do? I need to do today's WOD, not do 14.3 ... again. So, I did the 5 sets of front squats. I did the 12 min AMRAP. I showered, downed a recovery shake, then headed to work.
My performance in workouts do not define me. Who I am defines how I approach my workouts and other endeavors.
I will need to remind myself of this each day as I know I will often fail and forget.
But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. --Philippians 3:13-14 

Mon March 17 @ RCFEW

Front squats
5x135#, 5x185#, 5x5x205#

- then -

12 min AMRAP
15 wall ball shots (30 lb)
15 toes-to-bar
15 burpees
(3 rounds + 7 reps)