Often times in CrossFit, athletes who are seeking to take their fitness to the next level will attempt to add more volume to their personal training. They think that doing longer METCONS or brutal lifting sessions will leave them more prepared for the next time they are presented with a difficult workout. While it will help at first, over time this could lead to fatigue or result in injury. A much simpler way to improve your overall fitness and CrossFit abilities would be to spend some time working on your weaknesses. The CrossFit Main Site defines weaknesses as, “a certain skill that is lacking relative to an athlete’s proficiency in other areas.” (CrossFit.com) With that said, by spending time working on those certain skills that are lacking to you as an individual athlete, you will notice improvements in your overall fitness and health.
So what is the best way to address these weaknesses?
Through normal programming, you will be presented with many opportunities to work on weaknesses and skills that you have identified in yourself. It is vital that when you see what you perceive as your weaknesses in the next day’s WOD, you embrace it and use it as a way to work on it. Allow your weaknesses to tell you what you need to do, it is in those moments where the most improvement is to be made. The days you think, “this is going to be a struggle,” are the days where you need to be in the gym the most. The best way I can describe a weakness is, like wrinkles in your CrossFit armor, taking the time to iron out those wrinkles over time will result in becoming a better athlete, and will also make you that much more confident when attacking workouts. A lot of thought is put into our programming which covers everything needed to build a well-rounded athlete, and at the same time, you might benefit from working on a specific set of skills on your own. For instance, if you struggle with double-unders, spend ten minutes before or after class practicing double-unders, and before you know it your weakness is now a strength. No one starts out doing CrossFit perfect, the reality is you will always be learning and evolving, that is the beauty of Crossfit and why I love it so much, there will always be something that you can improve on.
One last thing I want to share before I conclude, if you spend the time working on these areas it will also improve other movements and skills you already can do. For example, if you are working on handstands and/or handstand pushups; you will notice any movement that requires the overhead position is going to feel a lot stronger. That’s because there is a direct correlation to other movements as you start adding to your arsenal of skills that you can successfully do. Keep working on those things that initially you want to avoid, and over time you will no longer be hesitant to attack any WOD that is placed in front of you.