Between attending the CF Endurance Certification this weekend, Carl Paoli’s Gymnastics Seminar 4 weeks ago, and ramping up the volume on my current training for the 2012 CrossFit Games, a lot of thoughts have gone through my mind on what I need to work on, how I need to train, and what steps I need to take to get a podium spot in the Regionals next year. I’m writing these notes here, because I have no where else to record them and it will be useful for me to write them down. They are in no particular order.
-Training versus testing. Previously there was a big gap between sessions for training and sessions for testing. I believe now that there are sessions I can do that are between the two. Sessions that mimic testing, but emphasize improving movement (not getting it done by any means necessary) and developing pacing, breathing etc…rather than giving it everything I possibly have for the day. These sessions can bridge the gap between the training and the testing, giving me plenty of opportunities to fix and improve holes I find in my capacity without burning myself out or teaching my body inefficient movement patterns under fatigue.
-How strong is strong enough? Some may say that the stronger the better, and I don’t disagree…but at some point you get diminishing returns on time and energy invested in gaining strength that takes away from being balances and improving other aspects of fitness that may need more attention. In various sports and endurance sports, it is not uncommon for there to be a set maximum weight that once athletes can lift, it no longer improves their performance in the sport to work on getting stronger. While I don’t think this is completely true within CrossFit, there is definitely some people who are “strong enough” for their goals and focus too much on additional strength work to continue setting PRs where more energy could be more usefully spent in other directions.
-Breathing and relaxing the extremities,while keeping the midline under tension is key. Need to break down every single common movement and practice breath timing for each, and maintaining the necessary midline tension until it becomes second nature, as well as the ability to change breathing patterns moving from one movement to the next.
-Thinking is for training, executing is for testing. Need to become more consistent with turn off the think tank and executing the plan when in testing. Keep the brain on while training. Mark Twight wrote to me “Overthinking in underrated”. I’ll keep that in mind when training and analyzing my movement/pacing/etc…day to day.
-Need to work on creating verbal cues to remind myself the purpose for a given training session. If my goal is breathing practice, something as simple as “breath” should do…as long as it is consistent.
-Running technique, while decent for me fresh, is still not where it needs to be under fatigue. Need to train technique and cadence drills until it becomes my natural movement when tired. Including a metronome for cadence for training sessions should help as well.
-Technique for box jumps, rope climbs, and ctb pull-ups still need refinement and practice…in a similar fashion to running.
-Double Unders, Muscle-ups, hand-release push-ups and GHD Sit-ups are lacking in capacity and need training workload to ensure the capacity is built outside of CrossFit-like “WODs”
-Overhead Squats are coming along. Sets of 5 seem like the biggest bang for the effort on these, and they will continue along with mobility work to ensure I can overhead squat anything that I can jerk overhead before Regionals. Positioning and midline strength is everything.
-Grip Endurance is coming along, although needs work to make other areas easier. Will be adding “grip work” at end of days before rest days to ensure the additional work has minimal negative effects on my other training. May need to purchase gymnastic grips to keep training volume higher for movements involving high grip strength.
-Film more. What your doing is not nearly what you think you are doing. Only having a coach or a camera will there be a way to see what exactly is going on. Need to film more workouts and see what problems come up, as far as movement, facial expression, breathing patterns, body language, movement transitions, etc….
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