Friday, 16 June 2017

The Impatient CrossFitter

CrossFit is like spinning plates.  There is so much to learn and so much to improve and as CrossFit punishes the specialist, these improvements have to be made across the board.  

This is really hard to do when we consider quite how long the list of movements is.  As CrossFitters, we have to work on getting stronger because if we are stronger, then everything we do is easier.

As CrossFitters, we have to work on gymnastics skills and while gymnastic skills (when done well) look super awesome, getting to that point of looking super awesome is pretty unsexy.  It involves a lot of repetitive, often dull, goat work.

As CrossFitters, we have to work on Olympic Weightlifting. This is one of the hardest thing to get our heads round because when it's done well, it looks effortless but as any of us who have ever worked on weightlifting know, those effortless lifts take an enormous amount of time and work behind the scenes.  And again, snatch-grip deadlifts with pauses in the power position, without an actual snatch, are not very sexy but they are integral to our learning journey.

On top of all this, us CrossFitters have to work on getting fitter and faster too while keeping on top of our balance, coordination, power, speed, etc etc.  not forgetting to devote AS MUCH TIME AGAIN to recovery (eating well, sleeping well, mobility and massage).

CrossFit is therefore incredibly frustrating for the impatient. So how do we manage these spinning plates at CrossFit Uckfield and how do we try to manage the development, expectations and frustrations of The Impatient?

Firstly: programming.

The programming is really carefully designed to ensure progression across the board. But not only that, the programming is written with you guys in mind.  It takes into account the wide variety of abilities in the gym (this is where a history of primary school planning and assessment comes in incredibly handy!) it focuses on eliminating weakness, developing strengths and improving movement using regular gap analyses of your individual needs.  Trust the programming; it is there to improve everything all at once. If you look good, I look good, so it makes sense for me to give you the best programming for your individual needs, which is why a lot of what you do is personalised for you. Sometimes that will be a specific mobility drill, a specific warm up, a particular weight or movement, a specific cue or scaling option.  We do not do a one size fits all at CrossFit Uckfield.

Secondly: coaching.

The coaching at CrossFit Uckfield focuses on making sure the basics are covered, starting with your intro course and building from there.  We have a brilliant Couch to CrossFit program that focuses on developing excellent form and technique way before intensity is added. As coaches, we are able to identify, as you work, where your weaknesses lie, how your movement can be improved and to triage these into what needs to be addressed first.

Thirdly: adaptation.

We are constantly adapting to your needs which means the programming will change depending on what is happening in the gym.  This serves not only to ensure continued progression but also keeps the classes fresh and new as they are always changing and improving and focusing on your unique requirements.  This is why recently, I have added a targeted warm-up into the programming.  This is a five minute slot of time (it's short, I know but it's amazing what can be achieved with 5 minute's focused work each time you come to the gym) where we focus on one thing you want to improve. There have been some really magnificent and dramatic improvements with this targeted warm up.

It helps to see CrossFit more like learning a Martial Art.  It takes time; I mean years, to master most of these skills. This is not a 6 month hobby. It is not even a 2 year phase. CrossFit is a lifelong learning journey with many, many ups and downs. We know we can't be a specialist in CrossFit so we need to focus more on becoming less shit at everything across the board.

Take your time in the beginning and you will create a much stronger and more solid foundation. It will save you time in the long run as you won't need to go back and relearn stuff you should have focused on in the beginning.

I have records of your lifts and movements and so I can see across the board the improvements you guys are making and I can see where the gaps lie. We work together to plug those gaps.

With this integrated approach to your training, we are building a gym filled with wonderful, friendly, supportive, constantly improving CrossFitters!  As always, I am incredibly proud of each and every one of you and I feel incredibly privileged to work with such a genuinely kind, entertaining and hard-working bunch of people. I truly do have the best job in the world.

Coach Krish xx


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