Today I did Diane: 21-15-9 reps of deadlifts at 155 and handstand push ups. I was 4 minutes behind my PR (personal record) of a year and a half ago. And I thought I was pushing it.
The only thing I’ve PR’ed lately has been DT — only because DT is heavy weight.
I’m stronger than I was a year and a half ago, but not faster.
Facing a VO2 Decline with Age
VO2max declines with age (about 2% per year after age 30), which measures the body’s efficiency at producing work. I’m doing HIIT workouts to try to increase this VO2max and stop the decline — or at least slow it down — but we’ll see.
If I enter CrossFit competitions with no master’s class, odds are, I won’t even place. There is a big difference between 28 and over 40. This is fine, but it still is a hard pill to swallow.
My consolation? I’m still moving, still improving, still being challenged, and still striving to be my best. CrossFit is a competition against myself. That’s all that matters.
I’ve done at least two dozen local CrossFit competitions, and usually in each one, there are some of the same pitfalls:
Unfair judging. With local competitions, you get judges who are graciously volunteering their time, but most of them have no experience judging CrossFit competitions and thus make mistakes. This ends up affecting the podium, and I have lost several times because of this.
Inconsistent judging. Again, due to lack of experience, athletes are not held to the same standards. Even though everyone knows the standards for a burpee, some competitors will cheat if they can get away with it — and a lot of the time, they do. No one likes to be the bad guy and “no rep” others. Hence, some athletes cheat themselves to the detriment of others who play by the rules, who have integrity, and who want to win fairly. I see this a lot, which is honestly, sad.
Improper equipment. Having to deadlift with a guy’s bar 20 kilos as opposed to 15 kilos) when you’re not used to it is a disadvantage to women whose bars are thinner and weigh less. When you’re outside in the blazing sun at 90 degrees and you’re trying to grip a guy bar and your hands are sweaty, it’s tough.
Unbalance programming. Due to time constraints, most of the CrossFit workouts are short. This plays to those who are sprinters and not to marathoners. Furthermore, the CrossFit programming is at the whim of the host box and is sometimes inconsistent as well. For example, one CrossFit competition I attended had no gymnastics work at all (pull ups, double unders, muscles ups, handstand push ups, etc). This is a separator for athletes and puts those who have these moves at an advantage. Same goes for one I attended that was all heavy bar work. That puts those who are strong at a disadvantage to those who are agile. Ideally, there should be balance in the CrossFit workouts at CrossFit Competitions.
Poor management/getting off schedule. There have been some local CrossFit competitions where the CrossFit competition has run way off schedule and ended up finishing an hour or more behind — which sucks when you got at least an hour drive home ahead of you.
TIPS FOR BETTER CROSSFIT COMPETITIONS
Balanced programming. Workouts don’t need to be complicated, but they should challenge the athletes and test them across the ten CrossFit fitness domains.
Invest the time in finding good CrossFit judges. Ideally, you’ll want your judges to have taken the CrossFit Judges course. If not, to have at least some experience in judging CrossFit competitions. This eliminates disgruntled athletes who may be disinclined to attend your next CrossFit competition because they feel cheated at yours.
Adhere to your schedule. Hiccups happen out of your control the day of the CrossFit competition. However, you can plan ahead to minimize these as much as possible and stay on schedule. Make sure heats are not too close together to wear athletes out. Test your workouts with members of your gym of all fitness levels to figure out how much time you’ll need to complete them. Consider recovery time, set up time, time for awards, and time for lunch as well.
Have the proper equipment. This doesn’t mean you go out and buy all brand new sandbags for your CrossFit competition. It does mean you borrow what you need from another local box or you program to what you have on hand. Trying to jerry-rig something from nothing will only give you poor impressions and a high likelihood no one will return the following year.
From an athlete’s perspective, I’ll return the following year to one with good programming, one that’s run efficiently, and one with at least judges who do CrossFit. I’ll stay clear of the ones where lackadaisical attitude toward the CrossFit competition by the box ruled.
Sitting on a rower for 30 minutes is not exactly easy.
After 20 minutes, you’ve had enough.
After 25 minutes, you’re about to scream.
After 28 minutes, you convert minutes to seconds and just keep going.
Then try 10 minutes on the bike right afterwards.
I strained a muscle in my right arm again, so I’ve been doing no heavy weight. Today, I decided to row for 30 minutes and bike for 10 minutes for active recovery and because I felt like doing nothing else at the end of a long (and frustrating) week.
It’s been a while since I’ve done a 30 minute row. And, afterwards, I remember why.
Still, it strengthened my mental fortitude — something I need in CrossFit right now with the CrossFit Open right around the corner.
No part of me wanted to deadlift. I had done a HIIT workout the day before, ran 3 miles, and was sore.
But I did it anyways.
It got me thinking, “What part of me does these things when I really don’t want to?”
Why You Don’t Do Things
People wait until they “feel” like doing something. Somewhere along the way, we’ve all bought into the idea — without consciously realizing it — that to be motivated and effective we need to feel like we want to take action. Yes, on some level you need to be committed to what you are doing — you need to want to see the project finished, or get healthier, or get an earlier start to your day. But you don’t need to feel like doing it. The solution: just do it.
Fear of failure. The unknown is fear of the things you can’t control. Focus on what you can control.
It’s hard. No one really wants to work. We all would rather spend out days, lying by the pool or reading a good book with a cat on our lap. Instead, set a deadline. If “such-and-such” happens, then I’ll….
Perfectionist. You have to fail and learn from your mistakes; waiting for the perfect moment will never happen.
Comparison. Stop comparing yourself to others. There will always be someone better than you. Let go of that fact and just do it anyways.
Stuck in a rut. We’ve all been there — the same ol’ every day. What has to change is the same ‘ol. Switch it up to get a new routine going.
Lack of planning. You must plan out your time or time will plan you, and before you know it, your life is over.
Seeking validation. Who cares what others think? Just keep moving.
Push through your mental blocks to accomplish your dreams; no one else will accomplish them for you.