For the third year in a row, I’ve celebrated Thanksgiving by doing a CrossFit WOD called
Murph. A hero workout named for Lt Michael Murphy, who died in Afghanistan serving our country, it consists of:
1 mile run
100 pull ups
200 push ups
300 air squats
1 mile run
This is one of the most famous CrossFit workouts and is traditionally programmed for Memorial Day around the country. However, I began doing this on Thanksgiving as well three years ago to commemorate the Fallen.
The weather was perfect: 55 degrees and sunny. I invited one friend and it was him and me who performed it. It was fun. It wasn’t my best time, but I wasn’t pushing all out. It was, again, just doing the movement and enjoying life. Thank you to all who have served our country and especially to those who have made the greatest sacrifice and given their lives. Words are not enough.
I never realized the importance of having moves you dominate in CrossFit until my last competition. Called in your wheelhouse, these CrossFit moves are vital to winning workouts and, if you compete, to competitions.
CrossFit moves in your wheelhouse are moves you dominate every time they show up in a workout — moves you are really, really good at. I made up time in my CrossFit competition when one showed up in one workout, and I won the event where both moves were in my wheelhouse.
In CrossFit, advice is often given on how you need to focus on the moves you’re bad at, so you improve those. This is true. However, you need to make sure you don’t forget NOT to practice the moves in your wheelhouse, so you don’t lose those in sacrifice to others.
The fact of the matter is: you will improve those moves you’re not so good at, but they will never be like the ones you’re naturally good at, the ones you like, the ones you dominate.
CrossFit Moves in My Wheelhouse
As you can see, I’m not very good at most CrossFit moves. But these ones are popular and when thrown into a CrossFit WOD can make all the difference whether you win or lose.
CrossFit is constantly-varied, functional movements at high-intensity. Every CrossFit workout you do, you’ll get better. Know what you’re good at and add to them if possible — all the while improving all the other CrossFit movements. This is the key to winning at your box, in your heat, in your mind, and at CrossFit competitions. Good luck!
Last night, I went to bed at 6:30 pm. I was physically exhausted — something I am definitely not used to.
After a 2-day CrossFit Competition, and I worked out yesterday morning with no rest day (I squatted and did a workout with a run, hang power snatches, and burpee box jumps), I was dragging all day at work and when I came home, I was tired. I couldn’t even eat dinner. I just went straight to bed.
CrossFit Competitions will wear you out — emotionally and physically. You want to do your best, you’re disappointed when you don’t do your best, you stress over the details like the drive down and when to eat, and then there’s the actual workouts themselves, which are bears to get through.
The Importance of Sleep after a CrossFit Competition
All of this equals exhaustion. When this happens, listen to your body and get some rest. Sleep is so important with CrossFit to let your body heal, recover, and rejuvenate. Here’s my advice after a CrossFit competition or some other grueling workout, such as a Tough Mudder or Spartan Race:
Get extra sleep. This will allow vital tissues and muscles to recover and recuperate after what you’ve just put them through.
Drink more than you think you’ll need. I usually lose about 4 pounds every CrossFit competition. Most of this is water weight. At a CrossFit competition, you usually don’t drink much because you don’t want to have to go to the bathroom, you forget, or you’re just too nervous. Afterwards, you need to replenish. Drink extra water and recovery drinks for optimal muscle recovery.
Take rest days. I’m a hypocrite. I don’t do this. I don’t like to get behind on my training. Yet, you usually suffer if you don’t (or you’re so tired you lose a whole night!). Give your body some well-deserved time off.
Take inventory of what you’ve learned. I learned a lot from this last CrossFit competition. I learned once again I’m stronger than I think I am when I flipped a 300 pound tire multiple times. I learned I need to practice on a bar that I can’t touch the ground on. I learned I can still kick ass when the I have to, especially if the moves are in my wheelhouse. I learned I still have the fire to compete that I thought I had lost from burn-out. I learned I’m just as good as others, if not better.
The whole point of CrossFit competitions is to learn from them, push yourself, and be proud of your achievement. You probably won’t win them all. But within each competition, there will be a personal victory — either a move you did you didn’t think you could do or a workout you annihilated.
Keep in mind why you compete in CrossFit, and you’ll just keep getting better and better.
If you’re like me, getting out of bed in the morning can be rough, especially if you’re exhausted, sore, cold, and sleep deprived.
This morning, the absolute last thing I wanted to do was workout. I’m sore still from heavy snatches. My wrist has been hurting for some reason. I just have no motivation, and my mental capacity is not there.
3 Tips for When You Don’t Want to Get Out of Bed
Have a motivating factor. For me, this is coffee and my space heater. I heat up the bathroom and sit in there for a few minutes. Then I drink coffee.
Go over in your mind your day. This helps me get started when I think of all the things I have to do that day, and all the things I just want to be over (like heavy snatches).
Keep in mind the end game. I love it when I’m done for the day, and I just get to sit and do my own thing (like blogging!). Work is part of life but we all live for play — whatever that looks like for you. Get work over with, so you can do what you want to do with the rest of your day.
3 Tips for When You Don’t Want to Go to the Gym
Do your own workout at home that caters to your needs. Today, I didn’t want to do anything heavy or any pulling. So I came up with my own workout of the day (WOD): 200 m run, 10 sit ups, 10 push ups, and 10 air squats for AMRAP 20 (as many rounds as possible in 20 minutes). It was perfect as an active recovery, and what I needed that day.
If you’re not there mentally, take a rest day. Today there was no way I was going to accomplish any workout cause I needed a mental break. Sometimes you don’t have to push yourself. Rest days are okay.
Go for a walk. I find being outside — no matter what I’m doing — is more exhilarating than a workout sometimes. Take a walk, listen to nature, and ponder the universe. We all need to do this occasionally.
You know yourself better than anyone. Listen to what your body needs, and don’t stress about a change in routine. Your mind and body will thank you!
Since I’ve been working out by myself a lot, I’m in no rush. It’s become about the work, not the time.
When a heavy barbell move is programmed into a CrossFit WOD, I usually do one rep at a time.
I did a CrossFit workout programmed by Bergeron he named Jump City:
800 Meter Run
80 Double Unders
21 Hang Power Cleans (155/105)
400 Meter Run
40 Double Unders
15 Hang Power Cleans (155/105)
200 Meter Run
20 Double Unders
9 Hang Power Cleans (155/105)
The hang power cleans were heavy for me, so I did them one rep at a time. During the hang power cleans, I kept asking myself, Why are these so hard? They shouldn’t be this hard. I started paying attention (since I wasn’t in a hurry to finish–I had no time crunch).
Why my Hang Power Cleans were Hard!
I noticed the same thing my daughter noticed with my bar muscle ups and ring muscle ups–my left wrist does not rotate. In essence, I have a death grip on the bar–a common fault for all of these moves.
This was the first time though I’ve become aware of this doing hang power cleans in CrossFit. It makes sense as to why I’d fail occasionally on my left side and why it would be hard–because I was stopping the upward momentum of the bar by not allowing the bar to rotate around.
For the rest of the CrossFit workout, I tried to be cognizant of this but, of course, like everything performed multiple times incorrectly, it will take a while to reprogram it.
I can’t believe it’s been three years doing CrossFit. It seems like such a long time when spoken out loud, but in my mind, it doesn’t seem that long at all.
I had no expectations going in. I began CrossFit because, honestly, I was at a level of fitness that wasn’t progressing doing the typical “gym routine” of exercise classes, cardio, and circuit training machines. My personal trainer suggested I try CrossFit — which I did — and I was immediately hooked.
CrossFit has grown into a lifestyle for me. I can’t imagine life without it, honestly. My life beforehand seems dull without it.
After three years of CrossFit, I’m happy with where I’m at except for one thing: I don’t have my ring muscle ups. It’s a bit depressing really.
So what did I get from 3 years doing CrossFit?
What 3 Years of CrossFit has done for me:
Given me an amazing sense of accomplishment. I’ll never forget the first time I climbed a rope or got my first pull up. Feats of strength most women only dream of — and I did them.
Given me a body I never dreamed I’d have, didn’t think I ever wanted, but now that I have it, I can’t imagine not having it.
Given me a self-confidence that intimidates others (so I’m told). I know what I want, and I either go do it or go get it. There’s nothing in-between.
Given me a focus that allows me to accomplish an amazing amount of work in a short time period.
Opened up possibilities of what is possible. I’ve learned everything is possible if you can overcome your mental barriers.
Honed my competitive skills. I love to compete, and I think I’m better at competing since starting CrossFit.
Made me different. We’re all unique in our own ways, but there’s something about those who CrossFit that is different than others. I not only look different; I am different.
Given me a determination that translates to all areas of my life. When I set my mind to do something, it gets done.
CrossFit is a Lifestyle
CrossFit is definitely a lifestyle. A lifestyle 3 years ago I never would have imagined or thought I needed.
Now, I need it like the moon needs the sun to shine. I’m smarter about it. Don’t go so hard. Try to minimize the tweaks and such. Because I want to still be CrossFitting in 15 years.
Yesterday, I did a workout that was 5 minutes of work with 5 minutes of rest for three rounds. It involved a 400 m run, pull ups, and a bike. It was a great workout and I really pushed myself.
Today, I just finished a workout of 30 power snatches, 1 mile run and then 30-20-10 reps of kettlebell swings and thrusters.
Both were great workouts. But the first one I pushed myself, went really fast, but had rest. The last one I concentrated on doing the reps of the snatches, a run, and then directly into the other reps with no break except to change weight on the bar.
Both felt great but I got different benefits from them.
BENEFITS OF MODALITIES IN CROSSFIT
Mental conditioning. Knowing a rest was coming allows you to push yourself more because you know you get a break. Knowing you don’t have any rest is more of a marathon/pace workout where you don’t want to run out of steam too quickly.
Physical conditioning. You need to work all your metabolic pathways (Short distance training- anaerobic training and Long distance training- aerobic training), which makes you better at both.
Constantly-varied, high-intensity workouts. The reason CrossFit is so successful is it is constantly-varied and you get an amazing workout. You constantly keep your body guessing as to what it will be working and you never get bored, so you’ll be more likely to stick to your exercise routine.
Pushing yourself is important if you want to progress. Equally important is finding your pace and sticking it when you need to–so you can push your long-distance (aerobic training). You need both in constantly-varied movements to accomplish your fitness goals. Happy Training!