I have been struggling with CrossFit lately. Not necessarily CrossFit though; it’s more with my weight and my abilities.
Injuries have taken their toll, and after I hurt my back last fall, it’s been a rough road back. Throw in competing in CrossFit competitions against gals 20 years younger than me, and you get the point.
Today, Bergeron’s CompTrain had Elizabeth, a girl CrossFit workout that’s been around since the beginning, programmed. I looked at SugarWOD, the app I’ve had since the very beginning that tracks all of my CrossFit wods I want to remember. The last time I did it was two years ago with a time of over 22 minutes, so I thought, “I can beat that. My ring dips are much better now.”
Squat Cleans 95 for women
So I begin. My time: 13:43. I smashed my old record by almost 9 minutes! I haven’t had a PR this big in at least a year. I was super excited and quite surprised. It’s these rare moments like these that keep me getting up at 2:30 in the morning, working out alone in my garage, doing strength workouts I don’t particularly enjoy, and keeping moving even though I don’t want to.
After six years of CrossFit, it’s all mental. All of it. Sure, there are weights you can’t lift and perhaps movements you can’t do, but those are the extremes. The daily grind is what makes the difference. So keep grinding away even when every moment sucks and you’re sore and would rather sleep and the like.
It’s only you you are against. So defeat yourself every time.
I’ve done quite a few competitions at Castle Rock Fitness. These guys run great competitions, on-time, and they are super friendly.
My daughter and I competed as a team, and I’m proud to say we did not come in last. We beat a few teams actually. A masters and a teen athlete against 20 year olds are to be expected to be near the bottom.
The WODs this time around were not the best. One WOD the other partner had to be able to do all of the moves and my daughter couldn’t do one so we had to stand around for five minutes. Another WOD had wall walks (possibly the dumbest CrossFit move ever). A floater was a 1600 meter row. I can do that one at home. The best was the complex (deadlift, hang clean, and a front squat). I PR’ed my hang squat clean at 140 pounds.
It was fun. Will do again. However, when we signed in, they had run out of our size of t-shirts so we both received the wrong size shirts that we now cannot wear. Given that we had signed up well before the deadline, this was disappointing to say the least.
It doesn’t happen all that often but occasionally it does: the CrossFit Workout that is so perfect for you it’s not even funny. It was like CrossFit Open 20.3 with the perfect amount of reps. Today was one of those days.
First off, it had overhead squats, which I haven’t been snatching since my thumb injury so all of those felt so amazing. Then it was double unders, which I’m good at. I didn’t want to quit, that was how good it was.
I feel so amazing right now. Workout high, that’s for sure!
This week I posted on how frustrated I was with working out and then being too sore or too tired to do anything else. Well, I’ve decided it’s time to pivot my strategy after reading this article.
TAKING REST DAYS IN CROSSFIT
At the beginning of the year, I thought I needed to workout more, to push my body more in order to see the results I want to see. Well, for five months now, it hasn’t been working. I’m stronger mentally (which is important), but it’s not my primary goal.
Hence, I’ve decided to cut my workouts and take more rest days and try that for 5 months and see where that gets me. So I’m quitting HIIT workouts because, although I love them, I’m always physically exhausted afterwards, which is not why you workout.
You work out to have more energy to do the things you want to do, not the opposite.
And I’m adding in a rest day in my CrossFit routine in the middle of the week. For the last couple of months, it’s been challenging to do the whole week so I’m hoping to improve on this as well. I’m hoping to give my body and my brain the rest it needs.
In our last blog post, we talked about ignoring time caps so you can get to the part of the workout you want — the heavier weight part.
In this blog post, we’ll discuss how and why you should not let the clock rule.
BEATING THE CLOCK IN CROSSFIT
Many people get caught up on time in CrossFit. Many CrossFit gyms do as well. You’re always pushing yourself to “beat the clock.” But why?
One reason is because you’ll work harder and get more interval type training when you race the clock down. And there is a time and place of this. However, there also is a time when you ignore the clock and do your own thing.
When you’re not worried about the clock, you go at your own pace. You do the work how you want to do the work. You don’t care how long it takes as long as it gets done. You take short breaks when you need to. You go until you finish.
For me, this is how I work out most of the time. I go at my own pace. I break when I need to break. I don’t stop because it’s been 20 minutes. I go until my body says it’s time to quit. I don’t care what the clock says.
If I want to push myself, I’ll attend a CrossFit class. But mainly I push myself in CrossFit competitions or the CrossFit Open. That’s about it.
I think more people would try CrossFit and do CrossFit if they didn’t have some kind of standard to live up to, say doing 5 rounds in 10 minutes.
Try working out without worrying about the clock. See if you’re more motivated.
This morning I woke up. I’m pretty sure I have a calf strain as my right calf is tight. And my shoulders are sore.
I gave up long ago trying to decipher what it’s from. It doesn’t matter; I’m going to do the same movements again no matter what.
After three years of doing CrossFit, you get used to the constant soreness CrossFit causes. You expect to wake up and feel some part of your body sore, tight, or overall off. You deal with it (after all, it’s your fault you’re sore). You complain and moan, which doesn’t really help. You hobble around sometimes. Picking up items on the floor becomes painful. All you want to do is sit and rest.
However, there are days (like today) where I get tired of the soreness from CrossFit. I just would like to wake up and not be sore. Just every once in a while. To be honest, I can’t remember my life when I wasn’t like this. I can’t remember how I felt every morning before I started CrossFit training. I have no idea what people feel like who don’t choose to beat themself up constantly feel like.
Soreness from CrossFit is a lifestyle that sometimes I don’t want. I would like to wake up one day and experience what it feels like. That would be something.
Time cap is 10 min. 35 lb dumbbell for women, 50 lb dumbbell for men
This would have been my workout if I would have had strict HSPU. I was hoping to get at least one, which I didn’t. It would have been my first. Am I disappointed? No. Why?
I was telling my daughter who does CrossFit that unless you’re a professional CrossFit athlete, you don’t have time to work on every skill. For me, I have chosen ring muscle ups and handstand walks, which I’ve been trying to get for the past year. I am not doing anything to allow me to get a strict HSPU, and I don’t really care about them — not until I get these other two skills down. Plus, as a woman, it will take a lot of work to get them, just like it is taking hours on the my ring muscle ups, and I just don’t care about them to invest that time. How many times do they show up in a CrossFit WOD? Once. Here. In CrossFit Open workout 19.3. So, yeah, I’m good.
Although it was a short workout, I’m sore — my shoulders especially. Always something with CrossFit.
I was on vacation this weekend and CrossFit Open workout 19.2 wasn’t really a workout when I didn’t make it past the first round, so I was itching for something long and hard. Enter Andy, a CrossFit Hero workout, named for U.S. Army Sgt. 1st Class Andrew T. Weathers who died Sept. 30, 2014.
Weathers was wounded Sept. 28 in Helmand Province, Afghanistan, when he heroically ran to a rooftop through hundreds of incoming rounds to repel an attack of insurgents who were attempting to overrun his position. His actions saved the lives of five U.S. Green Berets and nine Afghan Commandos at his location. Weathers was assigned to the 2nd Battalion, 7th Special Forces Group, at Eglin Air Force Base in Florida.
His CrossFit Hero workout is:
50 box jumps
1.5 mile run
50 box jumps
80 pounds on the bar for women and wearing a weight vest (14 lb for women).
I did really well at this workout. I came in way under the 1 hour I thought it would take me, and it was fun. It was just what I needed on this negative degree morning in Colorado. It gave me motivation and encouragement because when I woke up I didn’t want to do it. Long workouts are one of my strengths, and I sweated and this CrossFit Hero WOD was hard. and it was awesome.
The more I do CrossFit, the more I realize the mental game is much more important than the physical game. Sure, you have to be in shape, but being in shape is an equalizer — the mental game is what will set you apart from others and allow you to win CrossFit competitions and just win your daily CrossFit WODs.
I woke up on Thursday with a plan to do CrossFit workouts that were simple but involved a barbell and burpees. No part of me wanted to do any of it. I was sore and just not feeling it. So, I didn’t. I just rowed and ran, a modified CrossFit Hero WOD Jerry, if you will. And I felt really good afterwards.
This was both a mental and a physical break. I could have done by planned CrossFit workout, but it would have sucked because my head wasn’t in the game. So why bother?
The Main Advantage to Doing Your Own CrossFit Programming
You can adjust your CrossFit programming to suit your needs. I adjust my CrossFit programming on a daily basis it seems. I get up and assess where I’m at. Towards the end of the week, I’m spent, and my CrossFit workouts often change. I believe this is the best part of doing your own CrossFit programming and of working out by yourself. Instead of constantly pushing and tweaking your body and pushing your mental game, you can take breaks. Breaks become especially important as you get older.
If you attend a CrossFit box, know when to take mental breaks from CrossFit. It’s okay to do a different workout than everyone else. It’s okay to let your mind rest, so you can attack the next workout. Doing your CrossFit workouts constantly half-heartedly is not going to benefit you in the long run. Breaks allow you to come back stronger and attack CrossFit workouts when you need to.
CrossFit Open Workout 19.2 was a repeat of CrossFit Open Workout 16.2. It is:
25 toes to bar
50 double unders
15 squat cleans (85 lbs)
25 toes to bar
50 double unders
13 squat cleans (115)
If you finish in under 8 minutes, you get 4 more minutes to do another round with heavier squat clean weight.
I didn’t finish this round, but I was happy with it. I almost did.
After 2 weeks of CrossFit Open workouts for 2019, I’m just not into it. Without Regionals to measure yourself against, you’re against everyone, and being in the thousands tells me nothing of my fitness level. The CrossFit Open used to be a way to measure your improvement over a year. Now, the only way you know if you’ve improved is in your head. Can you do a muscle up this year that you couldn’t last year? Can you string more double unders together? Can you lift heavier weight?
The CrossFit Open to me is not what it used to be. And that saddens me.