“Remember that every movement/skill takes time to learn, repetitions of good technique, following the progressions, maintaining proper positions, and practice to attain.”

If it hasn’t already, the sport of CrossFit will assure you that you can leave your ego at the door.  Sure, you should be excited and confident in your daily workouts, but there is a reason why your coach is telling you to scale back on the weight or modify a high-level movement: it’s for your safety and longevity.  We want you to keep coming back–for a long time!

While some athletes may find that they can learn a skill fairly quickly, many movements in CrossFit take plenty of good repetitions with sound technique before one becomes proficient in that movement.

Take the basic squat for example.  It seems easy enough to “squat”, but let’s break it down into the mechanics: you are sending the weight of your body down into your hips, and pushing it back up to its starting, standing position.  Are your heels coming off of the floor?  Do you find your chest dropping and beginning to face the floor?  Are your knees beginning to cave in?  Those are just a few faults in the basic air squat.  If there are faults there, then there’s certainty that you probably shouldn’t be doing the same movement with 225 pounds on your back, or furthermore, with 135 pounds overhead (yikes–can you imagine?!).

Part of the fun of CrossFit is that we are always building to improve our skill set to increase our fitness.  Even the most elite athletes in this sport have something to improve!  When Dave Castro first introduced the ring muscle up in the 2009 CrossFit Games, these elite athletes–Annie Thorisdottir, Jason Khalipa, even Camille, the Queen of Gymnastics herself–had some difficulty executing these with proper mechanics.  Fortunately, their bodies had been conditioned and trained enough to adapt in the moment, but from there, they learned that this was something they had to then work on after that workout, and for the rest of their training career.  Now, almost 8 years later, it’s like clockwork to their muscles.

This year in the Open, you may not have been able to execute a bar muscle up.  On the other hand, maybe you were great at the dumbbell snatch but could have moved a bit quicker through those burpee box jump overs. Remember that every movement/skill takes time to learn, repetitions of good technique, following the progressions, maintaining proper positions, and practice to attain.

For me, I can think of many movements that had me with my head in my hands and ready to explode as a result of frustration (e.g. ring muscle ups and double-unders) but with the commitment to the programming along with additional accessory and skill work, I was able to gain more proficiency in these movements, and can now perform them with a wee bit more confidence.  Though–my ego is still at the door, and sometimes, not often, I’m able to pick it back up again when I leave.