Leave no rep behind.
Part 1. Mentality.
CrossFit gives us many things, healthy living, friendships, mental strength and the fitness to pursue other endeavors in life.
But this is about the other side. Competition. More specifically, the CrossFit Open.
Every year in late winter a wod is released, once a week for five or six weeks. In this time frame not much comes into my world besides how my family (Big Mountain CrossFit) and myself are doing on that dang leaderboard. A worldwide gauge on our strengths, weakness and watching the community support system at its greatest.
With such a benchmark test on this worldwide stage often we find ourselves asking “Did I train well enough this year to do better than last?” Hopefully the answer is yes, but sometimes it comes crashing down with a loud “No”. I want to help you avoid the later.
Its mid September, approximately five months before we turn our laptops to games.crossfit.com where undoubtedly our homepage will be set to for the remainder of the worlds largest competition as we know it. Your alarm clock goes off and the first thing that pops into your head is “Ugh I don’t want to workout today” as down in the dumps, sore and totally lacking of motivation, know one thing, your not alone. Everyone has these days, but the choice you make after is what separates those who participate and those on the path to greatness. Don’t fall into this evil trap that sits between your ears, your rest days are programed and you should trust in them. Many times I have walked into the gym sore and un-wanting of that damn wall clock, beeping without a care for my self pity. Start moving, follow the recipe on the whiteboard and I guarantee you that when your done, you will not feel worse, or regret the reps you put in.
Try not to set a “perfection pattern”. This is when you always wear your oly shoes for that specific lift, or rely on supplements such as pre-workouts, or caffeine. Also what time you workout in the day, just because you can’t make your normal 6:30 class does not mean the day is lost. While these things do have a place and help, this pattern can also program your mind so that if any one of the mentioned factors is missing you are already mentally accepting a sub-par training session, or worse yet you won’t even show up. You laugh but I know athletes who have left the gym not to return because they left something at home. These items are not what controls your performance, you are. Take command of your session and don’t be afraid to change things up. Attack those days when something is missing, it will only help build your mental strength and confidence.
Realize not every day will the heavens shower you with PR’s. Shitty days follow us all around like year old knee sleeves. (for real, try boiling them) Know that every rep be it a PR or not, are reps added. And you can only become better by constantly adding these reps to your resume. A large separation from those who are good, and those that are great is “Exposure”. Exposure to the amount of time, reps, weight, skills and drills practiced and trained. (This can be limited by your ability to recover, and will be covered later in the series)
Foresee the day that first wod hits your scoresheet, and realize the time to put in the work is now. Every day you slack off on a warm up, quit on a wod, leave without cooling down or spending the weekend out partying is time lost. Reps left on the floor for someone else to pick up and make themselves faster, stronger, better. At the end of the day you might not have the best score, but be damned if you didn’t work the hardest to get there.
Next we will break down the program, sections A,B,C and D and how to maximize them. Maybe just maybe, pick up some things you may be leaving behind.
-Russel Olofson, Big Mountain CrossFit.