1. Know when to scale up/down
As much as we all want to be good at everything we do, you can’t walk into a CrossFit gym as a brand newbie and expect that you can snatch, muscle up, kip and double under within your first week of training. Sure, there will be some naturally gifted people who these skills come quite easy too, but for the majority of people, it takes time and patience and working through the progressions of the skills.
Every movement in CrossFit has levels to it that you can aspire too, for example lets take the pull up, there are various scalable options; jumping pull ups, negatives, banded pull ups, and eventually the goal to hit will be the kipping and butterfly pull up, however this will only happen if you respect your ability and the appropriate progression to get there. Therefore know when to scale, know what option you need to take when you see the WOD, choose the most appropriate option that will get you to your goal. Scaling doesnt mean you arent working as hard as someone performing the movement Rx, you are working within your capabiities and still using the same muscle groups. If ever in doubt, ask a Coach, they can provide you with advice and options.
2. Rest Days
CrossFit is a demanding sport on our bodies, there are no other sports that will require you to perform Olympic weightlifting, gymnastic and metabolic conditioning in the one workout, multiple times a week. Listen to your body, if you are feeling tired and run down, then use this time to rest and recover so that you can come back in fresh and put in a better training session. For the record, a rest doesn’t mean not going to the box and going for a 5km run instead!
Mobility is equally as important as performing functional movements, in fact it’s the things that will allow us to keep moving functionally with good form and pain free, but this will only happen if you are proactive enough to stay on top of your mobility and make it a priority. We are all good at getting a ball or roller out when we have something tight or niggly, but mobility needs to be done even on the days you are feeling amazing, if you need advice or suggestions for mobility, ask a coach, they will happily help you out.
4. Eating to Perform
What we eat has a big effect on how we perform. Think of it as energy in versus energy out, if you don’t give yourself the right fuel to perform in a workout, then don’t expect that you will necessarily get a good output. No one is saying you need to follow a strict paleo/zone or any other form of diet, but think of what the body needs to be able to keep you going in a workout and to be able to recover well.
5. You are on your own journey
CrossFit isn’t about what the person next to you is able to do, its about what you are able to do based on your own abilities and your own goals. Don’t compare yourself to others, instead, set your own goals and achievements and chase after them!
Article by Tammy Hicks (CrossFit Westgate Coach)