We live in a very goal-based society. Everything we do, from waking up in the morning, to driving to work, to actually doing work, to eating and training, to retreating to bed in a decent hour, is based upon ever-changing models of efficiency. If we can drive to work a little faster, and save a few minutes, and with a few shortcuts at work, we will have an even greater chance of getting out of work early. This gets us to the #Box a few minutes early. If we can push through the #WOD a little faster, we can be home earlier, and maybe get some chores done. Sure, in the end of this packed day, you might end up with a little extra R&R time, but at what cost? You’ve driven fast (placing yourself at risk), your work was probably sub-par at the employer, and perhaps your CrossFit workout was a little short on success because you rushed through it. Is it time to slow down?
Many top CrossFit coaches see this exact issue with their clients, and they say it’s time to make a change! Finding efficiency has helped our species to thrive, but when you’re a little run down, and dreading your box jumps, you may go easy on yourself when it comes to doing cleans first. Training ‘by the numbers’ is an excellent method for making sure you meet your goals. But every repetition is not equal, and the results you’ll see from ‘average’ reps, versus ‘insanely intense” repetitions, are going to be very different.
Try throwing out the clock for one of your training sessions this week. When your goal is to blast your body and attain an insane pump – versus trying to complete a maximum number of repetitions in a minimum amount of time – you may just discover the magical (and often elusive) gift known as “mind-muscle connection”. When you’re knocking out rep after rep of The Snatch, and you FEEL the shoulder muscle fibers contract with every repetition, then you are achieving mind-muscle connection. When your back is on fire and you can feel every fiber igniting with every repetition of pull-ups, you are achieving the elusive mind-muscle connection.
Additionally, you should focus upon QUALITY in everything you do inside of the box. Ask the trainers to seriously critique your form and speed – are you rushing your repetitions? Does it look like you stop before failure? Record your training with video, and see if each repetition is identical to the last. If your form fails halfway through most sets, then you are heading toward Injury Country, a place you do NOT want to visit. Keep focused on those final reps of each set, even as your body’s muscle fibers become engorged with blood and lactic acid and begin to lose their power.
The ultimate goal of CrossFit training is not to move the numbers in such a way that you’ll end up in the CrossFit Hall of Fame. There will always be some natural athlete from some other field that can blow my any of us, thanks to world class genetics. And the goal of your training should not just be “besting some numbers on a paper that you recorded three months ago”. Rather, your intent with each workout should be to improve your body’s look and performance capability. You want to want to grow stronger, faster and more powerful, while increasing your stamina and avoiding injury. So while the numbers you record as you train can be a wonderful tool for tracking which direction you’re moving, you should also keep a keep eye and focus upon achieving that mind-muscle connection. FEEL every repetition as you count them, and the results you wear (and feel) will be superior, in every way!