I guess I’d call myself a Crossfitter, I first walked into a Crossfit box back in January 2014, and immediately was hooked. That said five years on, I’m still trying to work out (and workout!) what it is I’m actually hooked on! I’m a big fan of the competitive CrossFit scene but not a big competitor myself; I was already staying up late to watch the Crossfit Games back in 2014, but I’ve only done three competitions in all the time since. I love the beauty of a well-designed WOD, pairing complementary movements to get a full-body workout, and I’ll happily talk for hours of the science of strength cycles & progressive overload; however you’ll not see me posting a sub-four-minute Fran anytime soon & I’m not about to squat 200 kg either.
Like most, if not everyone, I sometimes have a love/hate relationship with my training; little injuries, inefficiencies, frustrations & disappointments aren’t uncommon. Regardless of these however, I just keep coming back! If I’ve not trained for a few days, the last battle with burpees seems to fade and I’m back in the gym ready to go again.
Recently, I’ve thought a lot about what’s driving me, what I enjoy and how I can do more of it. That’s how we end up here….
A self-confessed fanboy – I’m a huge fan of Crossfit as a sport, I’ll talk to you for hours on the latest & greatest vying for the podium at the Crossfit Games or the many guys & girls across the UK who are worthy of a spot on the international stage. I also consider functional fitness racing in this sphere; both derive their sport from functional fitness movements and whilst they differ in approaches & mission statement, they both seek to test athletes proficiency across multiple energy domains.
A student of functional movement – I love functional fitness as a training methodology. Whether it be strict pull-ups, kipping toes-to-bar, isometric presses or tempo deadlifts. I equally enjoy the long game of percentage work in the major lifts to build a base of proficient movement – which in turns enables you to push, pull, lift, throw objects easier, further, longer and (dare I say) sometimes faster. Speed is rarely at the top of my list; I was introduced to the following early in my training journey and it remains my mantra: “Mechanics, Consistency, Intensity” . I might use this to avoid going to that dark place once in a while but for me there’s nothing more satisfying than finishing a workout feeling like I’d approached it well with good movement throughout. This training has also hugely increased my proprioception; I think about my posture, my gait, how I’m moving in day-to-day life. Honestly, I’m fitter & healthier than I was in my 20s and I want to be able to keep up with the next generation when when I’m in my 50s!
The bigger picture – Finally, those that follow competitive Crossfit closely, may recognise that the days of a group of guys & girls turning up at the ranch lifting heavy weights before grabbing a beer & pizza are over. It’s now about grabbing that extra 0.01 % to get ahead of the host other incredible athletes who are just as good at “constantly varied, high-intensity functional movement“. These extra fractions of a percent come from strict nutrition, recovery, rehab/prehab, sleep tracking & visualisation to name a few. Among others, Ben Bergeron is a top-level Crossfit coach. Alongside coaching multiple athletes to Crossfit Games standard, he regularly shares insights into a range of fitness related topics on his podcast Chasing Excellence. Through this I came across the benefits of proactivity, managing expectations & (to do it a disservice by summarising so crudely) taking control of how my experiences in my life define & direct me. For that reason, my fitness journey doesn’t stop when I leave the gym, the desire to learn, improve, share & care is 24/7; it’s just sometimes under-staffed or hangry! It’s also said that sharing these lessons & revelations can help to process them, so hopefully I’ll get something out of it; if someone else does too, even better!
So there we have it; rather than spending hours mindlessly scrolling social media, I thought I’d spend some of it researching what I’m passionate about and putting it (hopefully constructively) on paper – maybe even venturing into other mediums as well.
A very personal piece, very different to my Nano 9.0 Review and recent news article on Function Fitness Racing. Might be a don’t do many of these, maybe I won’t even post this; but putting in on paper, in my books, is progress.