Consistency is Key, Right Now

Have you ever heard from a (well-meaning) friend or coach that the secret to achieving your fitness goals, or the key to a successful nutrition plan, is consistency?  And when they just stop their super-motivating pep talk there without elaborating further, have you ever felt like giving them a few consistent punches to the face?

Well, because I have the luxury of preaching from my keyboard and I’m out of harm’s way, I’ll quickly tell you… they’re right.  But consistency is really hard!  Think of the long haul of doing the same thing every day, FOREVER!  So don’t think that way.  It’s a recipe for failure, especially within the context of the pandemic we are going through when unwanted restrictions seem to be lasting longer than any of us would have guessed.

If the long haul of consistency seems like a bad word, let’s fall back to a single decision point:  NOW.  When you start to feel overwhelmed with having to be perfect all the time, understand that this is not a reasonable goal – nobody is perfect!  But what you can do is narrow your focus and just try to make a decision right NOW that will move you toward your goal, and not away from it.  Remind yourself of what your goal is and WHY you want to achieve it.

That word WHY is a crucial one as well.  “My goal is to lose 20 pounds.”  Why?  Unless you are clear on this answer, your goal will not motivate you to keep going and to make a good decision right NOW and then in the next NOW down the road.
Some positive answers would be to be the healthiest version of yourself possible, to motivate your kids to achieve their own goals, or because it will advance you toward another, loftier goal like coming off of blood pressure medication.
Some not-so-strong answers because they are more on the negative motivation side would be because someone else (Mom) wants me to do it, or because I will love myself more if I look different.  But you can flip those reasons around and charge them positively!  I want to show my mom and everyone that I am strong and I can achieve my goals.  I love myself and I want to become the image that I have in my mind when I picture my “future self”.

And when you take a quick break from your consistent good decisions and treat yourself with dessert or take an unplanned day off from going to the gym to go do something fun, don’t sweat it!  Coach Alex Ray talked to us a few months ago about planning a great nutrition strategy, and one of his major points that stuck with me was to stop attaching guilt and shame to our decision to do something “off-plan”.  There will be plenty more NOW moments for you to come back strong.  Enjoy yourself, and understand that you’re not going to ruin all the progress that you’ve made with one glass of wine.  Then the next time you’re at a NOW decision point, remind yourself of your goal and your WHY, and keep forging ahead.

Ryan

Work Your Weakness

“Good, better, best. Never let it rest. Until your good is better and your better is best.”
– Tim Duncan

If you try to describe an athlete that we would consider to be best in their respective sport, one adjective you might use to describe them is “well-rounded”.  This is not a judgment of their body type, but instead of their lack of ugly sharp edges in their skillset.  A baseball player who is considered one of the greats will have demonstrated an ability to crush the ball out of the park, but also can throw you out at home from centerfield.  A soccer superstar is not only an amazingly talented goal scorer, but they never come off the field – they have extreme endurance and durability (as soccer players go, anyway…)

How would we apply this model to a CrossFit athlete, or just someone who strives to achieve a supreme level of fitness?  Well-rounded in this case would mean they are strong, fast, coordinated, agile, flexible, durable and endurable.  In general, they don’t have any holes in their game.  This does not mean that they are necessarily naturally talented — indeed they probably have great genetic potential in at least one of these fitness domains — but more likely they have worked their butt off to identify and fix any weaknesses.  They are hard workers, and also very honest and self-aware about the things that are holding them back.

Moving away from the theoretical view of an ultimate fitness machine, and bringing us back to today, let’s be honest about where we all are in terms of our fitness.  Many of us have developed significant holes in our game from our fitness and nutrition habits degrading during the COVID lockdown.  And that’s alright, that’s where we are and we just have to acknowledge it and deal with it in a positive way by turning back toward a more disciplined life (eat healthy foods, get back to training in the gym or outside).

Others came through the lockdown period with not as many chinks in their armor, as they remained focused and did what they could to maintain their fitness.  But… what about all those heavy weights that were sitting at the gym, not being lifted?  Many of us, even if we were consistent with our conditioning work and were throwing dumbbells around like there was no tomorrow, have developed a bit of a strength imbalance (I know I have!)

So, we’ve identified it, and we’re going to fix it!  Beginning next week, we will start a consistent schedule of strength training in our group classes on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday.  For our first 7-week cycle, each Monday we will work on Power Cleans, each Wednesday we will train with Presses, and each Friday we will get after some Front Squats.  We will start and end the cycle by testing our 1-rep max in each of these lifts.  After this initial 7-week cycle, we will switch gears to three more lifts and follow the same protocol.
We will be introducing a strength bias to our CrossFit program, which will be noticeably different from our group CrossFit class experience for at least the past couple years.  We’ll have to stay focused on our conditioning workouts as well, especially on the days that we are not training strength at all, to make sure that this aspect of our fitness does not fall off.

I’m pretty excited to have everyone set a new post-lockdown strength baseline, and then test again after 7 weeks of progressive strength work.  Let’s all work hard and lean into this opportunity to work on our weaknesses!

Ryan

Are You Holding Your Shield?

This week I’d like to share an email I received from The Daily Stoic, which is a great daily email service that routinely reminds us to think, to hold true to our values, and to do what is right not just for ourselves but in service to others.  The overall message of the ancient Stoic philosophers was to pursue wisdom and self-mastery, and to persevere through tough times.  Very relatable to what we’re all facing right now!

Wearing a mask in public has been a contentious subject, especially in the last month or so as we’ve all gotten a bit tired of “the new normal” and we want to get back to our old lives.  I’m right there with you all — I’m frustrated and tired of having to change my daily routine.  But, I feel that it’s important to think about the potential impact of discontinuing the recommendations put forth by the CDC and other health professionals.  If we stop wearing masks now, in some sort of Rage Against the Machine revolt against the government, or just because we’re tired of it, we risk extending the pandemic situation for longer than it has to go on.  Granted, I’m not a doctor, and I didn’t even stay at a Holiday Inn Express last night, so in the absence of my own medical expertise, I choose to trust in the health professionals who are urging us to stay the course to stop the spread.  I hope if you’re reading this and realize you’ve become a little relaxed on your personal mask-wearing in public, you’ll reconsider — for the greater good and for a quicker resolution of this crappy situation.

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From Ryan Holiday and The Daily Stoic:

The world has asked a lot of us over the last few months. We had to stop traveling. We had to shut down our businesses. We had to take our kids out of school.

It asked even more of some of us. The doctors who had to work round-the-clock shifts. The nurses who did the same. There are those among us whose businesses will never reopen or whose jobs will never come back. There are some of us who didn’t get to say goodbye to people we loved, who had to watch funerals over the internet.

In a beautiful article a few weeks ago, Steven Pressfield (who we interviewed here) spoke about how the Spartans—the ancient Greeks who the Stoics admired so much—would have responded to this kind of collective sacrifice. He quotes Plutarch, who explained why the Spartans punished with death the soldier who dropped his shield but not his other protective gear, “Because helmet and breastplate are worn to protect the individual alone but the shield is borne to protect the whole line.”

“Why are we asked to wear surgical or face masks in public, to practice social distancing, and to observe self-quarantining?” Steven asked. “Answer: Because these practices are not for the individual alone but for the protection of the whole line.”

This moment we are in is a test. It’s a test of your character. It’s a test of your Stoicism. It’s asking whether you just pay lip service to sympatheia, or whether you actually believe it—whether you can embody your philosophy as Epictetus said. We talked about this with John Brownstein: The mask is not for you. Social distancing is not for you. It’s for the grandmother of the person you never met. It’s for the chemo patient. It’s because you might be a carrier and not know it, and so in wearing a mask, you protect the strangers you see and the strangers they see too. In deciding to eat the deposit on your family vacation, to pay for extra sick leave for your workers, to donate to a food bank, you are not helping yourself—you are doing something far more important and more noble.

You are protecting the whole line. And as a Stoic, as a Spartan, as a Citizen of the world, that is your job.

Goal-Oriented Tunnel Vision

“What it comes down to is that success demands singleness of purpose. Some call it mental toughness; I think it is singleness of purpose and, once you have agreed upon the price that you and your family must pay for success, it enables you to forget that price. It enables you to ignore the minor hurts, the opponent’s pressure and the temporary failures.”
– Vince Lombardi

I’ve been thinking about and talking about using “micro-goals” a lot lately, both for myself and for those that I coach.  We’re all constantly dealing with problems in our lives, and now we have the overarching concern of staying healthy and away from a potentially lethal disease sweeping the world.  That’s a lot to manage, and if we look at it all together, it can be very easy to get flustered and turn away from the problem and toward self-destructive behavior.
A great strategy to use when a big problem or obstacle is in front of us is to break it up into smaller, more manageable problems.  Instead of trying to achieve a goal of getting a new job, break it into micro-goals of updating your resume, getting a first interview, studying the company, crushing the interview.  Don’t look ahead until you have accomplished your micro-goal, and then review your overall plan again, and get to work.  Instead of staying so focused on the overall goal of losing 30 pounds, focus on the very specific micro-goal of eating a healthy meal.  Check that box, and move on to the next meal.  If you mess up one time, don’t throw out the whole goal for the rest of the day or the week, just refocus again on your next micro-goal.  You can get back on track! 

Luckily, as CrossFitters we have many opportunities to practice this in the gym!  Below is a blog post that I wrote BACK IN THE DAY, in 2017.  It has to do with a (not so) favorite workout of mine, something we might be doing tomorrow…

“Karen”:  150 Wallballs for time

Singleness of purpose.  When Coach Lombardi equated that with mental toughness, a more widely-used term, I thought of the other way that I’ve heard this put before — Tunnel Vision.  Having Tunnel Vision in some situations might be seen as a bad thing — in a team meeting or conversation with several people, for example.  But in the face of an old-fashioned Stamina workout like this, where you know it’s going to hurt and you have to get through a tremendous amount of work to make the pain stop, I can’t think of a better mindset.

Let’s also add Goal-setting to the mix, and call the best mindset for a long grinder “Goal-Oriented Tunnel Vision”.  You know the task at hand — your amazing CFKI coach has briefed the workout and you’ve internalized the workout.  Rather than taking a trip to Negative Town like Sally Sobstory who is literally spewing negative emotions out of her mouth, you use Goal-Oriented Tunnel Vision to chop-up the 150 Wallballs into 15 sets of 10.  At “3-2-1-GO!”, focused on your first micro-goal of 10 Wallballs, you get to work.  Easy day!  But when the negative thoughts of “I’m so tired”, “There’s no way I’m getting through this”,  “Look at David, he’s crushing me!” inevitably pop into your head, you acknowledge that these are unhelpful, negative thoughts, and instead snap your focus back with “I got this!” “Only 10 reps, I can do it!”  

You mark your progress with a mark on your whiteboard, stand back up, and continue setting and meeting your goals until your trip through the Tunnel is over, and you emerge stronger, both physically and mentally, having practiced positivity and Goal-Oriented Tunnel Vision, and achieved success, cementing the process in your mind for next time!

It’s important to note that this mindset is not just applicable to long workouts, but can be relevant to anything in life that seems insurmountable — a huge work project, or even a massive pile of dishes in the sink.  Set your goal at one dish, and get going!

Ryan

The Sale of CrossFit, Inc.

About three weeks ago, CrossFit’s owner and CEO, Greg Glassman, made some inappropriate comments on Twitter, relating the government’s response to COVID-19 to the government’s response to racism.  He also responded to an affiliate owner’s request to disaffiliate with profanity and disrespect.  Finally, it came out that his treatment of women had been consistently disrespectful and inappropriate.  These actions are inexcusable, and two days later, as the CrossFit community insisted through direct communications and by promising to disaffiliate themselves, Glassman stepped down and made longtime CrossFit Training and CrossFit Games Director Dave Castro the new CEO.

Coach Glassman created CrossFit.  That whole 21-15-9 thing?  As many rounds as possible?  That’s him.  And he gave it up, because he knew that the CrossFit community had become so strong, and is so much more powerful than just him, just one man.  Greg Glassman let CrossFit go because he knew that what he did was reprehensible, and there was no other way to save the brand and the community that has become one of the most positive influences in my life.

But Greg Glassman still owned the brand, and although the changes that had been made were a good start, he could not remain affiliated.  The groundswell of the CrossFit community continued to show their support for each other and their disgust with Glassman.  Many prominent CrossFit athletes began to boycott the 2020 CrossFit Games, demanding more change and for Greg to completely disaffiliate himself from CrossFit.

Today we learned that Eric Roza will be buying CrossFit, Inc at the end of June.  Discussions about the sale of CrossFit had begun more than a week ago, and upon finalizing the deal, Dave Castro, made it public today.

Three weeks.  They seemed like a long three weeks, but in the grand scheme of things, that is a very short time to make big changes, and CrossFit HQ and the community of affiliates and athletes got it done.  What a powerful metaphor for other changes we need to see in our own lives.  Commit to pushing toward the next big step, and we can get it done!

I don’t know much about Eric Roza, other than what Castro mentioned in his announcement, but he seemed excited: Eric is one of us. He’s a 10-year CrossFitt athlete and founder of CrossFit Sanitas in Boulder, Colorado. He opened boxes at his tech company, Datalogix, and at Oracle after it purchased his company. You can see his passion in every line of this New York Times story.”  Eric and Dave just hosted a Zoom call for all affiliates to watch and respond to, and both of them seemed very excited and energized.  Eric is a passionate and intelligent speaker, and I personally feel very good about his chances of success.

Please let me know if you have any questions or thoughts about this change.  I’d like to extend an open invitation to all of you to pick my brain about the future of CrossFit and of CrossFit Kent Island at any time.  You, our community of athletes and friends, are what makes us who we are.

Ryan

What Do You Stand For?

“Courage is what it takes to stand up and speak.
Courage is also what it takes to sit down and listen.”
 — Winston Churchill

What do you STAND for?  Quite literally, what would make you stand up out of your chair and say, “That’s not right!”  What personal set of guidelines can you fall back on when an important decision needs to be made?

We’re living a very important part of history right now in many ways, and most recently because of the social unrest of the past week.  Millions of people throughout the world are standing up and shouting, “That’s not right!” and demanding change.  They are taking action, because it is that important to them.

I encourage everyone to spend some time thinking about the questions, “What do I stand for?”  “What is my line in the sand, that if crossed, would impel me immediately into action?”  “What will I hold my ground on, and not waver even if I am pushed?”

I review my Stand, along with my Purpose and Mission each morning, and remind myself of it so that it can help guide my daily actions.  My Stand, which has developed over the years, is:

“I stand for living a life of continuous improvement.  I stand for integrity in my thoughts, words, and actions.  I stand for protecting and supporting my family.”

I have never thought specifically about standing up against racial discrimination, and that bothered me as I thought about it more.  Why hadn’t I thought to include this, as it absolutely goes against my personal values?  I thought more about why I always think about protecting and supporting my family as part of my daily ritual.  I have a strong bond with my family, and I would do anything to protect the people that I love.  I feel that a strong bond is growing throughout humanity again, especially since this year has brought about such global crises that affect all of us, but absolutely some more than others.  And so now I’d like to revise my Stand to include, “I stand for protecting and supporting anyone that is calling out for help.”

The black community is calling out for our help now.  They need all of our support if change is to be made to not tolerate discrimination.  The law enforcement community is calling out for our help now.  They too need our support and encouragement to continue their mission of protecting and serving the public, and to drive home change that may be painful for them but will be best for society.

Think about what you stand for.  Is helping others when they are in distress part of it?  If so, we’ve got some work to do.  For now, let’s listen and learn, and then stand up and ask how we can help.

Ryan

CFKI Mythbusters: “CrossFit is not for me”

“I don’t think CrossFit is for me.”
 – My mom

What is CrossFit?  CrossFit is a super-intense exercise program to be done with your shirt off, in a large group, with barbells so heavy they could snap your neck if you look at them wrong.  You have to be able to jump on a box that’s up to your waist and do 10 pull-ups, or don’t even bother showing up.  That is one definition of CrossFit, usually reserved for people that have never walked into a CrossFit affiliate gym, or even more specifically my mom, or your grandpa, or anyone that sees a CrossFitter looking lean and mean and thinks to themselves, “I can’t do that.”

So, if that’s not the best definition of CrossFit, what is?  Greg Glassman (the founder, “Coach”) describes it as constantly varied, functional movement, executed at high intensity.  Sounds a little more tame, and a lot more broad.  Maybe those broad terms can apply to anyone that wants to become a bit more fit, no matter where they are coming from in the spectrum of fitness and health?  We’re still using that INTENSITY word, but it’s important to note that intensity is relative to everyone’s current capacity.  What is intense for an experienced athlete would be foolish, if not impossible for someone first starting out, and so we scale intensity to each of our members, starting almost insultingly easy and building as we get to know your skills and your tolerance for more intensity.

CrossFit is also not necessarily defined as group classes.  There are many people that are not motivated working out in a group — it might actually make them uncomfortable.  Totally fine, and actually this is how CrossFit started!  The first “CrossFitters” were Coach Glassman’s personal training clients at a standard gym with lots of fancy machines, but he had them focus on “functional movements” – things that make sense for the real world.  Pick something up off the ground.  Put it over your head.  Makes a lot more sense than using a machine that focuses only on your groin muscles opening and closing your legs.  Maybe.
The only reason that CrossFit became associated with group classes is so more people that had a similar goal could join in the fun!  But having a trainer that is fully versed in CrossFit training methods design a program for you, and coach you through your own personal workouts?  That is probably the ultimate expression of fitness training, as you will achieve YOUR goals in the quickest possible manner.  I asked a CrossFit Kent Island member that has been doing personal training with one of our coaches for a few months for some feedback, and he said, “It’s going great — only negative thing is I should have started PT a couple years ago.  The workouts are definitely more in tune for me and I feel I’m getting through longer workouts with less breaks.  Plus I’m down 25 lbs since this {expletive deleted} started in March.”

If you are motivated by working out in a group, as many of us are, then our group classes may be right up your alley.  Again, we focus on constantly varied, functional movements – so there is not very many workouts that you will experience multiple times.  If you focus on doing the same thing all the time in your fitness regimen, you will become very good at that thing… and very bad at everything else.  Our goal in group classes is to give everyone a chance to work on their weaknesses by including all kinds of movements and workout formats, so that everyone will be especially challenged at some time (and everyone will get a chance to do things they are good at too!)

Wherever you are starting from, CrossFit is the right program for you.  You get to pick the delivery method.  Reach out to us today to get started.  If you can promise hard work and a willingness to learn new things, we can promise results, and fun!

My Gratitude Journal

“I would maintain that thanks are the highest form of thought, and that gratitude is happiness doubled by wonder.”
 — G.K. Chesterton

One of the things that I’ve written a lot about over the years has been my morning practice of breaking out my journal and writing.  I follow a process that I learned from Mark Divine and Unbeatable Mind, and it starts with writing down what you are grateful for.  I’ll try to think of three things, although sometimes only one comes to mind and I’ll move on.  I do this first thing in my day – I grab my journal and walk into my office and sit down on the floor and think about gratitude.  It frames the rest of my day in this positive light, and I can absolutely tell if I don’t do it, my mind starts racing around instead to all the different things I have to do today, all the stressors and worries start floating up.  I encourage you to take this simple 5 minute step to begin a productive, positive day.

Today, I wrote about being grateful for such a good start to our outdoor classes this week.  They’ve been super fun!  And then I thought about why they have been successful, why I have enjoyed seeing everyone’s smiling faces these mornings and evenings.

I am grateful for our health.  I write this a lot in my journal, because in my family just like in yours, we all go through periods of health issues, injuries, or just generally scary times.  This has a lot to do with finding the silver lining when it seems like things are rough, but also with reinforcing the things we have been doing, and should keep doing, to stay as healthy as possible.
For our collective CFKI community’s health, I am thankful that as I see many of my friends again for the first time in a long while, I see a fit, confident athlete, ready to work.  Not a person that seems to have been ravaged by sickness, injury, or pandemic stress.  We have generally come out of this quarantine situation in a very positive way, and I’m proud of you all and grateful for our good fortune.

Which leads me to our next collective quality I am eternally grateful for — our resilience.  Not that I am surprised by this, because it has happened so many times within our community, but I am so grateful for the fact that in the face of great uncertainty and fear, we have supported each other and stayed positive.  It has happened when individual members battled disease and needed our emotional and financial support.  It has happened after the tornado that ripped away many of our homes and possessions.  We always lift each other up.  This time, even though we all individually needed support, we looked away from ourselves and looked toward each other and thought, “who needs my support right now?”  The resilience that you all showed individually reinforced the strong bond that we all share, and we’re all still here ready to keep fighting through this.  As Rudyard Kipling wrote in The Jungle Book, “The strength of the pack is the wolf, and the strength of the wolf is the pack.”

With this health and resilience comes an opportunity that I am grateful for — our opportunity to be good role models for others in our families, our broader communities we are a part of, and indeed our country.  Let’s continue to support each other, and show love and support to everyone around the world that needs it just as much as we do now, so that the idea that we can actually become more of a global community out of this crisis comes to fruition.  I can’t even watch the news anymore because of the divisiveness and tribalism being shown by our leaders, and other political leaders across the world.  But they will not always be in power, and we can show our young leaders that the days of scarcity and “we’re going to solve this for ourselves and leave others out” is not the way to move forward.

So, in the end, I am grateful.  And I encourage you all to focus on what you are grateful for as well, first thing in the morning and then throughout the day let it help frame your mindset and your decisions.  Let your friends and family know why you are grateful for them, and ask what you can do to support them.  The fate of humanity might just depend on it!

Ryan

One Day At A Time

“It is during our darkest moments that we must focus to see the light.”
 — Aristotle Onassis

We are all going through a tremendously challenging time right now, being locked down without a lot of constructive outlets for our energy and our desire to connect with others.  During these “darkest moments”, it can be very difficult to maintain a positive attitude.  And when we’re constantly bombarded with negativity, that can make us focus on the negative aspects of our lives, furthering our downward spiral.  It’s very normal to feel like we are losing control, and have fallen away from achieving the goals that we had set out for ourselves, whether they were established as a resolution B.C. (Before COVID), or after, like “I am going to workout every day during this lockdown.”

Isn’t it amazing that it there are people out there that seem to have not lost a step?  They are maintaining progress toward their goals, and maybe even thriving during quarantine.  It is true that some people or some industries are set up well to profit from this crisis, such as online retailers and app developers!  But many people that are thriving are facing just as dire of a situation as we are.  What makes them different?

My theory is that they have structured their lives, or maybe even a small part of their lives, to avoid negativity and achieve focus.  It all starts with what they do when they wake up in the morning.

To be productive and to achieve your goals, no matter if it’s COVID-time or not, you have to start your day by recommitting to those goals.  Remind yourself that whatever happened yesterday and the days before is in the past.  It’s done, and really nothing can be undone.  What you can do is take your life in one-day increments.  One Day At A Time.
As part of your morning practice (a daily ritual that you have, right?), review your purpose and your current goals.  I like to have one major goal at a time for each role in my life.
Write down:
1. What you can do today to move yourself closer to your purpose
2. One thing you can do today to advance the ball toward one of your goals

Now you’ve committed yourself to at least two actions today that will be positive developments in your life, and are aligned with your purpose and goals.  The next step is to take those actions.  Schedule them into your day if they are specific tasks that need to be done.  Or if they are more general, like “I’m not going to drink any alcohol today,” cement in your mind the positive result you will get by sticking to that plan all day.  “I’m doing this today so that I will continue toward my goal of losing 10 pounds.”  Then later on, when you start mentally wrestling with yourself about overturning your plan, tell yourself, “STOP.  I’m doing this today because…” and remind yourself again about the positive result, the goal you are going to achieve and the good feelings that will accompany that.  I’ll follow that up with a simple mantra that is meaningful to me and will put me back into an aggressively positive mental state, like “Stay on the Path,” to remind myself to stay true to my purpose, or “Easy Day,” to reinforce that this is not really a big deal, I’ve done a lot harder things in my lifetime and there are people going through much worse at this very instant.

Remember as well during your morning practice and as you’re taking positive action during your day — you’re not committing to this action for the rest of your life.  Stop looking ahead and scaring yourself with stuff that hasn’t happened yet.  Look down at your feet and move one in front of the other.  One Day At A Time.  Tomorrow you’ll wake up and have the same choices.  But if you get on a roll and start stringing positive day after positive day together, it does get easier to make those choices.  You don’t want to mess up the streak, and it feels good to succeed, you know?

“We are what we repeatedly do.  Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.”
 — Aristotle

Durability

“I’m losing so much strength.”

“I’m going to get buried under the barbell when we go back to the gym.”

“I miss weightlifting!”

If you or someone you know has been afflicted with these thoughts, you might be a CrossFitter during COVID times!  But not to worry, this pandemic will eventually pass, and you will be united with your long-lost friends made of steel and vulcanized rubber.

Many of you in the CrossFit Kent Island community have been requesting MORE.  More workouts, more volume added to the programming, more repetitions in the workouts themselves.  We’re trying to create more intensity that we perceive as lacking by punishing ourselves with more work.  And you’re right that we are working out with a bit less intensity now.  It would not be safe or wise to consistently train each day at home the way we are able to in the gym (with a coach watching your technique, being a second pair of eyes to keep you safe and push you when appropriate to dial it up and find more intensity).  But within reason, we can ratchet it up once in a while, like the Deadlift/Double-under workout programmed for Tuesday — 5-10 minutes of good livin’, right there!

When we try to replicate the intensity of the gym by adding more volume of CrossFit workouts, what we’re looking for is results and the familiar feeling of exhaustion, I know, but what we might run into instead is overtraining and injury.

What we would be wiser to focus on now, while we have the opportunity, is improved bodyweight strength through gymnastics and core strength exercises, performed at low intensity with maximum control.  What we also need to pair with that is more flexibility work.  Having a stronger, tougher, more flexible and pliable body is what we call DURABILITY.  It makes you harder to injure.  These are the additional sessions that you’ll see the best athletes adding to the end of their training sessions.  Skillwork, static holds (squats, planks, hollows), and even endurance work like running or jump rope practice, again performed at lower intensity with maximum focus on technique and control.  Get a few AMAZING looking reps in, rather than 200 more sloppy-looking air squats.  Spend 15 minutes with targeted stretches that will help you relax and recover for your next training session tomorrow.

Your coaches have some great ideas on what to add to your programming, based on your goals and the equipment you have available.  And again, most of these durability-creating movements require no equipment at all!
Let’s spend the extra time we find ourselves with now getting tougher and more flexible, rather than more prone to injury from overuse.  Let’s get DURABLE!

Ryan