We all know that functional fitness is pretty intense. It’s common to encounter beginners who faint or vomit in the middle of the workout and experience major soreness days after. That’s normal though as a lot of people are not used to pushing their body beyond its physical limits. After a week or two, you will get used to moving and will no longer feel a lot of pain (aside from the soreness, of course, which is a constant). After a month or so, two days a week will become three and eventually four or five. As you gain strength, each of the workouts will be enjoyable.
Often, CrossFit boxes follow their own programming but because each coach and CrossFitter values “safety first”, movements in the WOD can be scaled down to fit your fitness capacity.
After doing it for months though, you will eventually shift states from “being in pain” and “surviving the workout” to “completing the workout”. As a result, you might experience a sort of plateau which will make you ask yourself if it’s time to intensify the workout.
Before we dwell into how to intensify your workout, it is important to leave your ego at the door and check your intentions why you want to intensify your workout.
Are you trying to meet an unrealistic aesthetic goal? Are you trying to force your body to become stronger for a competition?
The difference between an athlete and an amateur is that an athlete trains intelligently. Too fast too soon is a formula for disaster. So here are some stuff to remember as you intensify your workout:
1. No pain is a good thing. When you begin to get comfortable with the workouts, focus on your form and make sure you get each movement perfectly. The right form minimizes chances of getting injured and maximizes the growth of each muscle.
2. Build on your victory and learn from your failure. After mastering the form you can gradually increase the weight. At this point, you need to listen to your body and increase the weight gradually and find the weight that’s comfortable for you.
3. Increase the days. The top CrossFit athletes have rest days. You can workout four, five or six days per week but make sure you also focus on recovery and nutrition.
4. No comparing with others. They are only there to show you what is possible. As a CrossFitter, your only competition is yourself. The slow track is the fast track. Having a solid foundation to build upon and a lot of small victories will amount to you achieving your big goals, just be sure to give it time while your do your best.
As you get comfortable at being uncomfortable you can slowly expand your comfort zone. Don’t be embarrassed to decrease the weight. Remember what we said at the beginning about leaving your ego at the door? Yeah, that’s important. Aim for consistency. Listen to your coach and more importantly, listen to your body.