Over the past weekend, I had the opportunity to attend the CrossFit Competitor’s Course instructed by CrossFit Games Athletes Eric O’Connor, Matt Chan, and Chris Spealer. Despite it being geared for competitive CrossFit Athletes, almost all of the information presented in the course is relevant for just about any CrossFitter. Remember: “The needs of Olympic athletes and our grandparents differ by degree not kind.”
We spent two full days covering this information during the course of which we hit 5 workouts. I’m still synthesizing the materiel and will only hit the biggest takeaways in this post. So here they are:
Recovery is probably the most overlooked topic when it comes to making gains, both physical and performance related. The third takeaway, nutrition, could also fall under recovery but I’ll give nutrition it’s own paragraph. The first and most important aspect of recovery is GET 8+ HOURS OF SLEEP PER NIGHT. Check out this app called Sleep Cycle. Works on iOS/Android. It’s pretty amazing and is the best $1.69 you’ll spend today.
Second for recovery is that taking the time after a workout to flush your body of built-up lactic acid will leave you better prepared for the next day’s WOD. Take a lap around the block, pull down a rower or go on a long walk with your dog after a WOD. Do something. Here’s a cool formula: 20:00 – length of WOD = duration of cool down. That’s right: the shorter the WOD, the longer a cool down you’re going to need. A WOD like Fran, which leaves my forearms LOCKED up, is far more anaerobic compared to Cindy. Both need cool downs though.
Mindset is probably the most overlooked aspect of fitness. I’m one to shun anything of this nature but the more I reflect the more I know it’s true. Anyone who’s ever worked out in a CrossFit gym versus solo can tell you the supportive atmosphere makes ALL the difference. The next time you do a WOD, don’t tell yourself “I think I can finish.” Tell yourself “I WILL FINISH.” Use the positive tense. Think of the difference between “bro don’t quit” versus “bro I know you have it in you.” Here’s a chain of events to digest: Thoughts -> Words -> Actions -> Habits -> Destiny -> Define your character. Set a SMART goal, tell people about your goal. Make progress on your goal. Become the
athlete person you want to be.
Nutrition discussions can quickly dissolve into ones resembling religion and politics. Here’s a framework, which CrossFit provides, that just about everyone can agree with. Eat MV, NS, SF, LS, NS. In that order. Wait, what are we talking about?
Start with eating meats and vegetables (MV) at every meal. This by itself will take care of almost all of your nutritional needs. Add in some quality fat by eating nuts and seeds (NS). Eat fruit in moderation (some fruit, SF), as it breaks down into fructose in your liver and isn’t readily available for performance and easily becomes fat. Avoid eating starchy foods (low starch, LS) like bread and pasta, as they quickly break down into excess blood sugar spiking your insulin and becoming stored as fat. No sugar (NS).
79% of CrossFit Games athletes follow this simple prescription. It’s not perfect though. They can do better and so can we. Enter the ZONE. CrossFit Journal # 21 gives a great primer on starting a Zone Diet for performance. Remember EVERYONE IS ON A DIET but does yours make you move faster, lift heavier and think smarter?
10 Data Points Excel
6/13 – Saturday – NYRR Oakley 10k
6/20- Saturday – 2 Year Anniversary Party
6/21 – Sunday – Olympic Weightlifting with Heather
Gymnastics: The Long Journey Worth Taking – CrossFit Journal
“When You’re Licensed, You Can Charge More Money” – The Russells
Does Lifting Heavy Make You Bulky? Find Out The Truth Here – Girls Gone Strong
IWF Lift the World Weightlifting Documentary