A few weeks ago I spoke about the differences between competing, training and practice. Practice is the foundation underneath quality training and competing. Competing is going against your own personal bests or against someone else (whether in the gym or an actual competition). Training being the middle ground between the two, but also the hardest to define; it is the point where we’ve already dialed in the form and consistency, and start putting more intensity into it, but without a focal point in terms of the result time/score-wise. The sole purpose is improving and adding intensity (typically in the physical effort).
Once we hit that point where the form is on point and to a place where your muscle memory is dialed in with that movement to the point you can consistently perform the movement well, that’s where we take it up a notch. We add weight, we add more reps or a quicker pace to the reps programmed. This is where we get to have the good ol’ CrossFit version of “fun”. The laying on your back gasping for air and cursing at your friend for making you show up for that workout type of fun.
Once we hit that point, there shouldn’t be a need for a second workout, or a long run, or whatever extra conditioning piece you’re thinking because what you just did “wasn’t enough”. Hit the programming hard. Trust that your body is ready for the intensity being added. You’re not trying to beat anyone, but you’re stepping on the gas to the point you are training how far you can push your body in a safe manner.
The last year or two there’s been a craze in CrossFit that more is better. More metcons, more additional work, more this, more that. This may be true if you’re Rich Froning (and even his version of five workouts per day is grossly misunderstood by most). But raise your hand if you’re a CrossFit Games athlete that needs to train high volume? Anybody? No? I’ll even add a shocking revelation…Games athletes are starting to realize the flaw in volume being king when it comes to training, in fact, 2nd and 3rd place that the Games this season on the men’s side train about 60-90 minutes per day (the bronze medalist, Patrick Vellner, even spending plenty of days hitting class workouts like everyone else).
More is not better. Better is better. Better form, better consistency, better intensity. Show up, do the work, eat right, hydrate, sleep well, lather, rinse, repeat….and you’ll get where you’re wanting to go.