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How to be Better at CrossFit

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Some good advice from the folks at CrossFit Tital Wave on making your next set of gains by working out smarter.

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Newbie gains happen. You can basically luck into progress just from be de-trained. You are getting stronger and faster, the weight is falling off and BAM! There is the wall. You progress all but comes to a halt. This is where the difference from Beginner to Intermediate becomes apparent. The difference is those that are willing to work harder/smarted and those that just accept mediocrity.

Here are some tips to help you break through some plateaus.

1. Lift heavy weights regularly.
Metcons are all fun and everything but getting stronger will give you a foundation to continually progress. Rarely can the answer not be solved by getting stronger. Ex: Kipping Without a Base of Strength

All you need to do is look at the “for time” direction on “Fran” to realize why kipping pull-ups are more popular among CrossFitters than strict, dead-hang pull-ups. CrossFit rewards efficiency, so you don’t have to look at the two movements long to realize that kipping is faster and more efficient. Folks who don’t have the strength to accomplish strict pull-ups will often forgo the process of getting stronger in the strict fashion and will learn kipping, and with that comes increased potential for injury.

2. Check you Ego and Scale when necessary.
A movement is only as good as the quality of it. Scaling is an integral part of CrossFit training, the means by which you and, say, Jason Khalipa can do the exact same workout and get the same training effect.  Scaling is not only not used enough; it’s also misimplemented. Just because you’re able to do a given WOD as prescribed doesn’t mean you should. Scaling doesn’t exist only to help you complete a workout; it’s also there to get the correct training stimulus.

3Take REST days.
I know it’s an insane concept but you CAN’T train every day.  CrossFit is very demanding and if you want to live a pain free life you better realize that your body needs a balance of stress/recovery. You get stronger by healing….not by hammering yourself into submission.  You are only as good as your recovery.

4. WRITE YOUR STUFF DOWN!
Get a journal and write your weights and times down….today.  You can’t guess what 75% of your 1RM is.

5. Results have stopped ( or have they?)
Most of the time people think results stop when they are in the “Grind”. The grind is when you body is now somewhat comfortable with what you are doing to it and progress no comes in seconds instead of minutes, inches instead of feet, 5 lbs instead of 20. Pay attention (and write it down). 5 weeks of 5 lbs gains add up.

6. Find your weaknesses
and spend 10 mins working on them every class. Could be stretching, double unders, pull-ups, etc.

7. Nutrition!
You can’t out train a crappy diet. Don’t ask about some super secret carb cycling backloading paleo protocol if you are pizza/beering it to bed every night.

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