I’ve been doing CrossFit on and off for about a year now. CrossFit really is a lifestyle and a community, not just a workout! It has obviously made me stronger and fitter but has also developed me mentally and has taught me things that I bring into the rest of my life! These are 5 ideas/values that I have brought from CrossFit into my own training. I hope you too can take something from this!
- When it feels tough and you push through, that’s when you really build fitness!
I can’t remember who said this to me or the exact wording they used but the message has definitely stayed with me! This doesn’t mean train through an injury or when something actually hurts but more when you can just really feel the effects of your workout or when it hurts emotionally! The atmosphere and community of CrossFit always makes me train harder than if I did the same workout on my own. I will always go heavier or quicker or keep going when I know on my own I would have given up.
Slowly I’m learning to take this resilience into my private training. I’m learning to enjoy the pain of a hard workout, knowing the benefits that it will bring. It’s those last couple of really difficult reps or extra couple of kg that really build strength. I can also feel myself getting stronger, braver and more resilient as a person.
2. Work on your weaknesses, not your strengths!
I used to look at the WODs online and deliberately avoid the sessions that had skills I couldn’t do (think handstands, snatches and running). When I went into the gym on my own I would work on the lifts I knew I could do heavier and with good technique and I would just never train the things I struggled with. I didn’t like being bad at something so I jus wouldn’t do things I was bad at… I ignored the fact that working on them was the only way I’d get better!
3. It’s okay to fail!
I remember my first olympic weightlifting class at my CrossFit box. I was learning to snatch for the first time and I kept getting scared because I was losing balance at the bottom. The coach told me ‘just go for it! You fall over when you learn to walk and you will only learn to snatch by falling’. This terrified me even more at the time haha but I have since learnt the value in this. You will never find your true max if you don’t go to the point of failure. Obviously do this safely! Learn to fall in a way that you won’t get crushed by a barbell! Or make sure you have a spotter for the heavier sessions.
4. The value in doing ‘a bit of everything’
I definitely used to think it was a negative rather than a positive that I did a bit of everything in training. The fact I didn’t only focus on weightlifting or yoga or swimming meant I didn’t dedicate as much time to each and therefore wouldn’t reach my peak at any right?
It was definitely watching the incredible CrossFit athletes and how rounded they were that inspired me to value doing everything. These people are super strong, athletic, have great mobility, balance, cardio fitness! I now see that every aspect of my training complements each other and adds to my overall fitness. I thrive off of doing everything!
5. Take every session as it comes
Some days you will feel great and hit multiple PBs, other days you’ll feel tired and just showing up is an achievement in itself! I obviously know the value in long term goal setting but I’ve also learnt the value in very short term goals (like hour long short!). Sometimes ‘get to the end of the class’ or ‘hit a weight 10kg lighter than last week’ is a great goal for that day.
I’ve learnt to shut off from work and the stress of the day and any worries and keep the gym as my ‘safe space’ where that session is all I have to worry about. The CrossFit community is so supportive and pushes you everyday. I’ve never regretting doing a session even if it was harder than usual or I didn’t perform as well. Learn to just show up and take each workout as it’s own.