It is the most common feedback that we hear from our athletes at Power Grid; “Give me more/harder/longer WODs!” When I saw a variation of this question pop up on our comment board this week, I had so much to say but that piece of paper is so tiny. So here we go…
Do you feel like your PRs just don’t come as rapidly as they used to? Maybe you’re stoked to see how far you’ve come since Foundations, but you’re ready to take the next leap and become an “RX CrossFitter”. It happens to all of us as we move past our initial phase of training (typically the first 6-18 months of CrossFit attendance 3 or more classes per week). We’re so used to beginner gainz and PRing every time we so much as look at a barbell, that we get a bit let down when our numbers start to level out.
I’m almost ready to stop blabbing and actually answer the original question, but first, imagine this:
One Saturday afternoon you hear that the world’s most accomplished darts player is in town, visiting the local pub. Since you’ve always dreamed of being a world class darts player, you scurry down there right away (world class darts and pubs in Oakland, super relatable example amirite?). You’re thrilled to learn that he promises to make you a better darts player if you follow his training, and he’ll do it all for only the cost of a pint!
Right away the darts champ asks you, “what is the first goal you want to accomplish?”
You reply, “well, I always see it on TV, so I guess I’d like to be able to hit a bullseye every time.”
“No problem” says the champ “here’s how the training is going to look...”
The champ goes on to tie a pretty heavy blindfold over your eyes, spin you around several times, and then simply says: “now throw it!”. You’re quite skeptical at this point but you launch the projectile anyways, only assuming the worst when you hear shattered glass almost immediately after letting go.
As your mind fills with panic, the champ’s voice sneaks back in. “Great work! Now do that drill once a day for the next year and you’ll be able to hit bullseye whenever you want!”
OK back to reality now. You hopefully realize that the above is example is a ridiculous way to illustrate that random training will never help you achieve your specific goals. Well I refuse to be that same irresponsible coach to you all as CrossFit athletes. Here are a couple more effective methods to achieve your goals:
INTENSITY IS KING
The daily programming we follow at Power Grid (W.O.D.) might seem random from an outside glance, but variance is not to be confused with randomness! A lot of thought goes into making sure that over the course of several weeks/months/years you are exposed to a broad and inclusive range of fitness. We always tell new athletes that if you simply show up to the gym 3-5x per week and complete the workout, you will see results. But as those beginner gains fade, we need to make sure that Intensity is our priority in the WOD.
If you finish the daily workout and you immediately bend over to start breaking down your barbell or jump into a conversation about how “tough that was”, chances are you’re just not working hard enough. This is the simple and very inescapable truth of CrossFit: if you’re not pushing yourself to the point of gasping for air/lying in a heap on the floor at least a couple times a week, you progress will stall. There are no shortcuts. Stop looking for the magic solution, just work harder. Embrace the suck.
After getting your intensity to the level it needs to be, your body will need to adapt. You may find you’re extra sore or need more recovery. Listen to your body as it quickly gets acclimated over the course of a couple weeks. Again, don’t add in more work until you’ve prioritized intensity!
ATTACK YOUR WEAKNESSES
Now you’re ready to start adding in more volume, but it’s important to be intentional. Write down your S.M.A.R.T. goals, or sit down with a coach to go over areas you can improve upon. Choose one or two areas to focus on, and diligently train these weaknesses each week. These should be skill based sessions with a focus on virtuosity, rather than intensity (you’re already getting that from the WOD, remember?). Switch out your goals every couple months or so, to make sure you stay well-rounded.
Luckily, we make this easy for you with our speciality programs, included in your membership:
OLY Foundations (Thursday @ 5:30pm, Saturday @ 10:30am)
Focus on the basics of the Olympic lifts: Snatch and Clean & Jerk
Endurance (Mon/Wed @ 6:30pm, Trail Runs on Sunday)
Become a more efficient, less injury-prone runner and build your cardio engine
Mobility (Thursday @ 6:30pm)
Avoid injury, increase performance, reduce pain, and increase relaxation. Focus on the most neglected part of your training.
Gymnastic Foundations (coming in January!)
Master the basics of human movement. Recapture your ability to move freely.
Beyond the classes above, there are a number of resources available to you online that offer programming with varying levels of personalization and cost. Here’s a couple that our coaching staff enjoys:
If your goals don’t fall in line with our speciality classes, or your timeline is accelerated (“I want a muscle up… and I want it tomorrow!”) you need someone who can give you the specific tools for the job.
Talk to your favorite coach, or reach out to us to arrange personal coaching sessions with one of our staff. Personal coaching sessions are great for:
Talk to us today, and we’ll make sure you are working with the coach best suited to your area of interest!
Strive Valiantly. Dare Greatly.