Posts Tagged ‘Strength Gains’

WE DID IT!!! We survived the 2018 CrossFit Games Open!!!

As someone who has done every single Open, no matter how much the workouts change, one aspect of the event remains consistent year after year. There are always first-timers, athlete’s doing it “just for fun,” those looking to compete against their friends, and individuals sincerely hoping to make it to the next level of competition. Regardless of which group you identify with, when coach yells out, “3, 2, 1, GO!” every single person in the gym gives each workout their all. It’s so much fun to watch, and even more fun to coach!

In a post last week, I talked about intelligent ways of planning out how to structure your next year of training. (If you haven’t already, I really think you should check it out!) A lot of athletes have put in countless hours of blood, sweat, and tears into preparing for a five week competition. Between sleepless nights, sore muscles, and redoing workouts, our bodies are tired! If your Open season is over, I’m here to encourage you to give yourself time to relax. It can be tempting to jump onto a new programming or add in a ton of accessory work, but your body needs a break!

Today, I think it’s important to take a step back and breathe.

I often talk about the impact proper nutrition and adequate sleep can have on your performance, your brain needs some time to recover, too! In every other sport, there’s a clear “Off-Season;” a block of time where athletes are almost forced to take a break. In CrossFit, we don’t really have that. Since “going to the gym” is such an integrated part of our lives, a lot of athletes refuse to acknowledge the fact that resting for a few days, or even weeks, might make you better! The whole “No Rest Days” philosophy is something I’ve written about in the past, and will certainly write about in the future, but not today.

Today, I want to ask you to pause, take a few minutes, and reflect.

Really think about what has happened over the last five weeks of your “fitness” life.

And only allow yourself to think in positive terms.

Reflection

 

What did YOU get out of the Open?

Did you finish any workout faster than expected? Were you able to complete a movement for the first time? Did you go “Rx’d” on your first Open WOD? I know several people who are simply happy with how positive they kept their mindset, and how well they kept their nerves under control. The happy things are easy to identify!

Now, it can be easy to look back and only think of the negative aspect of things. But not today! Were you frustrated about anything? Did you not hit the weight you were hoping to on your heavy clean attempt? Did the handstand push-up rule impact your results in workout 18.4? Were your double-unders a disaster for 18.3? Fine. Now, shift your mindset and let’s rephrase how we look at those scenarios.

  • Disappointed in weight for clean
    • “Over the next year, I will work on challenging myself to hit heavier weights when I’m tired.”
  • Handstand range of motion
    • “By devoting time to slowing down and ensuring I’m in complete control of my lockouts, it will make me much more effective at that movement.”
  • Inconsistent double-unders
    • “A few days per week after my workout, I’ll spend some time practicing my doubles. That way I’ll be used to jumping when I’m tired, and when Castro programs that workout again next year, I’ll be fine!”

Today, I want you to think about THREE THINGS you learned from the Open that are POSITIVE. They can be things you’re legitimately proud of, or areas for improvement that you’ve been lucky enough to identify for yourself!

Take a few minutes and really think about your three things. Then, share them in the comments of this post. Let’s help congratulate and encourage one another to celebrate these positive moments!

Only positive thoughts.

Here are my three:

  • This year, I reestablished a healthier personal relationship with CrossFit.
    • I’ve been doing CrossFit for almost a decade. In that time I have gone from working out in a Bally’s (globo gym) after work, to training nearly three hours per day to try and qualify for Regionals (never did, by the way!), to simply viewing CrossFit as a fun way of working out.
    • I workout by myself over 90% of that time, and while that can be really hard for me, I’m starting to appreciate those moments more. That’s where I get to recharge. It’s my hour to push myself. And it’s a block of time where I can make myself better through this crazy workout program. I’m back to liking CrossFit again.
  • I may have conquered one of my GOATS!
    • In CrossFit we call skills or movements that we aren’t good at, or just don’t like, our goats. Thrusters have always been a goat of mine. I’m not great at squatting OR pressing, so when you put them together, I’m double-excited to work out! With the final workout of this year’s Open, though, a workout presented itself that I had already done four times in the past! Instead of letting it ruin my week, I simply made a plan of how to break up reps, stuck to that plan, and survived! Yep… I did a movement I didn’t like, lived to tell the tale, and realized that maybe I’m not as bad at it as I used to be! Just imagine if I trained to get even better at it one day?! I probably won’t, ya know… because it’s thrusters… but just imagine if I did!
  • The Open has sparked a renewed interest in my blog!
    • I put my heart and soul into trying to provide valuable content for people who decide to visit my blog. My “Open Strategy” videos started way back in 2012, and although it’s a (self-imposed) stressful time of the year for me, it’s so rewarding to see messages from those who feel better prepared to attack those five workouts each year. My goal is to keep giving people a reason to come back here week after week! Whether it’s how to approach a workout, general fitness advice, something cool I’ve come across, or just some insight into this crazy brain of mine, I hope you like what you find here!

So…. what are your three? I’d love for you to share them with me!

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A few days ago on this blog I mentioned how I’ve seen athletes push through fatigue to the point of getting injured because they convinced themselves it’s better to be able to put the #NoRestDays hashtag at the end of their Instagram posts than it is to take care of themselves properly. I made that comment kind of in jest, but it’s also true. It happens more often than you might think, and people will often push too hard because they see others doing the same.

NoRestDay1

To be honest, I don’t really have a problem with the #NoRestDays philosophy. What I do have a problem with, is people thinking that No Rest Days means that a person should lift heavy weights and push themselves to the max 7 days per week. I do not support that prescription. Instead, let me tell you what I do encourage. Doing things to promote recovery (such as self-guided stretching, mobility, and/or yoga), performing active rest (such as going for a slow jog, easy row, or casual ride on the Assault Bike, or body weight movements done at a low intensity just to keep the blood flowing, etc), easy skill work that doesn’t tax the nervous system too much, and self care (like massage, cupping, dry-needling) are always thing I support.

NoRestDay2

If you’re a Type-A personality that’s convinced that you absolutely must do something every day, then it’s fine. But, when you wake up and can barely get out of bed, or when it’s hard to get off of the toilet at work even when you use the railing in the stall, and when you walk around with your shoes untied because it hurts to much to bend over to tie them… then maybe you should simply rethink what it is you can do to still be productive. For those athletes who push their bodies hard all the time, remember that your body needs time to recover. You’ll see more even more gainz when you give those muscles time to rebuild stronger than before.

NoRestDay3

So next time your friends peer pressure you into doing “that one WOD I saw Rich Froning do four days ago” or when you decide to see if you can test all of the Wodapalooza workouts… in a single afternoon “just to see how you stack up,” ask yourself if the potential risk of getting hurt outweighs the ability to say “I would have placed third to last” to your friends. If your body is telling you that you should rest, usually you should listen. If you absolutely cannot take a “Rest Day,” then tell yourself that the 20 minute ROMWOD flow you picked out is your work for the day. When tomorrow comes, you can crush those weights all over again!

Stay safe. Keep your body as healthy as you can, since you only have one. Dedicate time to proper recovery. And as always, if there’s anything I can do to help, please let me know!

It’s a new year! That means that lots of people establish new fitness goals for themselves. Do you have any?

I do. The big one for me is to GET STRONGER!!

That made me think of some things, though. First and foremost, many people think that getting stronger means gaining MASS. I have zero intention of gaining size. In fact, I’d even like to lean out some more (and an improved diet should help me do that).

The thought of the day today is to remind people getting stronger doesn’t mean looking like Leonardo and his friends below. (photo obtained from 9laughs.com)

crossfit, smashby training, mutant ninja turtle bodybuilder

Who wants to get "Turtle Power" Big?

And as a woman, lifting weights doesn’t mean that you’re going to “turn into a man”, either. I use that example because that’s hands-down the #1 reason I hear female friends say they don’t want to lift. Check out the image below (from this site), and see what actually happens when most women lift weights. 🙂

crossfit, smashby training, whatwomenthink

I think most people prefer the bottom image.

So…. 2012, the year of getting STRONGER.

Anyone with me?