CrossFit defines itself as "constantly varied, functional movements executed at high intensity." Functional movements are exercises which can move large loads long distances quickly, or generate a high power output. High intensity relates to high power output, the idea is that the more weight you move, and the quicker you do it, the more effective that workout will be in getting you results relating to better fitness, better body composition, more strength, etc. Over time, varying the exercises, reps, time domains, workout styles, etc. in a thoughtful, strategic manner will help to broaden your fitness horizons and prepare you for an incredibly wide variety of physical demands.
The definition of fitness, per CrossFit, is "work capacity across broad time and modal domains." This means the ability to move weighted things, including the body, using a wide variety of techniques against gravity for short, medium, long, and even very long time intervals. CrossFit takes fitness one step farther and defines health as "fitness across all the years of our lives." The goal, then, is to improve work capacity by reducing the number of areas in which we struggle, to be able to do the same workouts faster or with more weight, and in general to be able to move ever more quickly no matter the task at hand, even as we age.
Injury is a glaring impediment to these goals. If we are injured, our ability to move weight with the injured body part goes to nothing, and our work capacity in that particular domain becomes zero. Our fitness is reduced partially, or even completely, depending on the severity of the injury. Injuries aggregated over a lifetime can lead to being pretty near incapacitated if not properly treated and rehabilitated, and even if properly treated can lead to some pretty serious stuff over time.
Partially with injury in mind, CrossFit also teaches a progression from Mechanics - learning the proper technique for a movement; to Consistency - performing the movement correctly every time, and working out consistently; and finally to Intensity - working to increase power output by going faster and/or adding more weight. When our coaches at Arena Ready suggest slowing down, reducing the external load, reducing the reps, or any other means of making the workout easier, it's typically because we see a fault in the athlete's mechanics, or in their consistency - the movement is different each time, or the athlete hasn't worked out much recently. Inconsistent workouts don't mean an athlete shouldn't come back to the gym, but if it's been awhile it's critical to come back cautiously knowing that some capacity for moving heavy weight and/or doing lots of reps will be temporarily lost. It's also very difficult to know how much is too much if you haven't done the movement recently.
Our primary goal for our athletes is to lay a foundation for a healthy lifestyle - we want our athletes to know how to and be able to move safely, effectively, and efficiently no matter whether they're in the gym, carrying heavy boxes, playing other sports, or anything else their lives demand. We want to introduce CrossFit at a rate which enables them to learn the movements safely, and build work capacity while also building range of motion, and kinesthetic awareness. It's a difficult task as a trainer to hold an eager athlete back, but please trust that our interest is in keeping you healthy long enough to get fit.
So often people get injured because they pushed themselves against their instincts - they added weight even though they weren't sure how to do the movement, they worked out when they knew they should rest, they kept going for extra reps even though they could feel their form failing. Our trainers can tell when your form is breaking down, but we can only do so much to advise you to concentrate on your movement, do each rep as well as you can, back off when you need to, and generally leave a little on the table in the interest of being able to do this tomorrow, next week, and for years to come. Please listen when we advise you to back off, and even better, please listen to your instincts. It's important to build into things slowly. One pull-up shouldn't become 20 right away, just as a snatch doesn't go from 135 to 200 overnight. Build slowly, keep track of your progress, know where you're at, and improve your work capacity across all the years of your life.
Be smart, move well, and get healthy... and some day you may even be able to levitate.
WOD for 06-24-16:
Alternating EMOM for 5 Rounds (10 Minutes):
Minute 1: 3 Push Presses, Climbing
Minute 2: 10 One-Arm Kettlebell Hang Snatches (alternate after 5 reps), For Quality (pick loading)
3 Rounds For Max Reps:
1 Minute of Dumbbell Burpee Over Box @ 24/20 in (pick loading)
1 Minute of REST
1 Minute of One-Arm Kettlebell Hang Snatches @ 53/35 lbs (alternate R/L every 5 reps)
1 Minute of REST