By: Carlo Saggese
It has been three years since Coach Molly tried to kill me on the sidewalk at the Carlsbad Box – I felt like dying that day – In fact I think I did die, the old me died, and the new me was born that day! It’s been three years almost to the day, and I thought I would share some things I have learned on the three year journey. As I have learned these things, I have realized our coaches have been telling us these things all along – it’s just taken me three years to string these all together!
It’s all about the Squat
Yes, it’s all about the squat, master the squat and the rest just falls into place. What I have come to realize that almost all movements in Crossfit have some element of the squat movement – It took me over 2 years to learn how to squat correctly after countless “motivational consequences”. Seriously, wall squats suck, but they work to get your form right. Workouts become a lot easier when you can squat!!
You’re competing against yourself
Crossfitters are by nature “A” type people – highly competitive and they like to earn the top few positions on Wodify ….Work to your own capacity before working at the capacity of the person next to you. Go at your own pace. Let the intensity find you. You need a solid foundation of strength and flexibility in order to progress into more demanding workouts. Start light, get your form down, and then increase gradually. This doesn’t mean you can slack off during workouts, there is always someone else out there trying to keep up with you – make them work for it! With every workout, it’s not how you start, it’s how you finish the workout that makes the difference.
Don’t be too proud to scale, you know you want to be the stud and lift more each time, you have to learn to know your own body and its limits, use common sense always , listen to the coaching staff! A good example, don’t start a new 6 week cycle where you left off on the last one – use the first two to three weeks to focus on form.
What You Eat Is More Important Than What You Lift
When you’re first starting out, the quality of your food is far more important than the quantity. As Casey says “eat clean”!! As you progress, the quantity needs to be dialed in as well – you will see bigger gains in lifting and stamina when you eat right. I have felt it in the workouts when I have had a bad day of eating… It’s like your body is weighted down by the junk you ate that day.
Ask lots of questions – Research the Movements!
Learning the mechanics of certain movements like the squat, deadlift, or any of the Olympic lifts takes lots of practice and critique from a trained eye. If you need help, just ask. Don’t be afraid to ask for clarification if you don’t fully grasp the movement, even if you think you are holding up the WOD, I guarantee that someone has the same question and is too afraid to ask.
It Doesn’t Get Easier, It Just Sucks Less
The longer you immerse yourself in Crossfit , the less it sucks, but it still sucks!! Don’t pick your workouts – do the ones that you think suck, that way, next time round they will suck less! The end goal – which may be unattainable – is to be able to finish the WOD and then do it again… right away!
Every day at Crossfit is a Good Day
Even if you’re having a bad day and the intensity just isn’t there, you can still get a lot out of your time in the gym, through hard work. Don’t skip a planned session just because you don’t think you’re going to kill it, instead, do the workout – record the workout and learn from it for next time. You can’t PR every day, heck, you may not PR for weeks! There is no better feeling than having just completed a tough workout , get out there and get after it!!