Sunday 8.16.15 – The #1 thing you can do at your next workout to improve in CrossFit!

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A goal achieved, any goal be it fitness related or otherwise, is a motivating experience!

When it comes to our goals, a lot is talked about the setting of the goal (writing it down, setting a deadline, etc) and the actual achievement of the goal, but what about the part in the middle?  The hard work that goes into accomplishing the task? That sometimes gets left out, as if only the setting of a goal will result in its achievement!

Too many of us set a goal and then sit back and expect the diet program. fitness program, or whatever, to magically produce those results.

Consider this example: Athlete A wants 10 handstand push ups, and Athlete B wants a body weight overhead squat. Both are athletes at the same gym, and therefore are doing the exact same program 4-6 times per week. How will each athlete achieve their seemingly opposing goals doing the exact same program? Now consider this example from the coaches’ perspectives. How can we help 50-100 athletes achieve 50-100 different goals with the same program?

The answer begins in the warm up time at the beginning of each class.  At The Compound,  the first ten minutes from the time each class starts and the time instruction officially begins is your warm up. This time accounts for about an hour each week, or 56 hours over a year’s time. That’s a lot of time, and it’s time that can be put to great use!

If I am Athlete A in pursuit of 10 handstand push ups, I should walk into the gym at least 5-10 minutes before class starts to take care of signing in, putting my stuff somewhere, etc. On the hour, I will do something quick to break a sweat: 400m run, 500m row, 2:00 of jump rope, etc. I then have 8:00 to perform mobility and warm up drills specific to my goals.  I can get myself upside down and practice my handstand push ups. Some days I may do full range of motion handstand push ups, some days I’ll just do static holds, some days I’ll go to the tumbling floor and try freestanding handstand or handstand walks. I’ll switch it up based on what the workout of the day has in store for me, but I’ll be doing something to get me towards my goal every time I’m at the gym.

If I’m Athlete B who wants a bodyweight overhead squat, I’ll do the same thing to break a sweat.  Only after the 2:00 to break a sweat and get the blood flowing, I’ll be doing shoulder pass throughs with PVC to increase my shoulder mobility, I’ll work deep overhead squats with an empty bar and really focus on the technique and staying on my heels with an upright torso. I’ll work active shoulders and load the bar with increasing heavier weights in order to teach my body to handle heavy weight in that awkward position. I’ll ask a trainer or another athlete to check my form and I will focus on my shoulder mobility.

The point of these examples, is that after I set a goal, I use any free time available to me to work towards that goal. Too often I see athletes who can’t do pull ups, but if pull ups aren’t programmed that week, they literally won’t touch the pull up bar until a workout tells them to, and then they get frustrated about their lack of ability to perform a pull up. If you want pull ups, spend your warm up time on the bar. If you want to be able to run more efficiently, work some POSE drills. If you want to be able to run an 400m or 800m without stopping, run a little farther each warm up until you’re hitting 800m consistently.

Proper utilization of the ten minute warm up time (at least) will not only get you to your goals faster, but will also get you fully warmed up for the workouts of the day, and help prevent injury by getting blood flowing through your muscle tissues.

When was the last time you saw a muscle up programmed in a workout? Do you want to do them but can’t? It’s all in the warm up! If you don’t have a specific goal you’re shooting for (shame on you if that’s the case!), you can still use the warm up time to your benefit.

Coaches are at The Compound, and most gyms, will put you through a great warm up that prepares you for the workout if you don’t know what to do.  But it might not necessarily fit your goals!  So get into your gym early, get situated, and get to warming up. Then smash some PR’s!

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