CrossFit London recently posted on things that we, as CrossFitters, probably suck at (or can improve on).  Using their ideas as inspiration I propose some CrossFit Intrepid New Year’s Resolutions:

  1. Take Rest Days–The whole aura of CrossFit can be very intoxicating.  The bonds built through shared blood, sweat, and tears in the heat of tough workouts with our fellow CrossFitters.  The endorphin rush that follows the intense workouts.  The unpredictable, ever changing workouts that we conquer on a daily basis and the sense of accomplishment we feel knowing we’re pushing our own mental and physical limits each and every workout.  Once you’ve drank the kool-aid it’s hard to keep yourself out of the gym.  With that being said, however, it is of the utmost importance that you allow yourself rest days to allow your body to recover and adapt to the increased stress applied to it (a.k.a. get stronger, faster, more bad-ass-er).  If you do not allow your body to get the rest it needs, it will remain in a state of stress that is incompatible with strength gains, fat loss, and overall increases in work capacity.  Ideally, a 3 on 1 off cycle is the way to train, but sometimes our schedules may not allow us the flexibility needed for this approach.  Other approaches that have had success in different athletes include a 3 on 1 off/2 on 1 off cycle where the athlete takes Thurs and Sunday off to recover.  In the end, our work and personal schedules may dictate how often and when we’re able to workout, but always plan in rest days when developing your individual workout schedules.
  2. Mental Preparation–Mental Preparation should occur in various forms when applied to our workouts.  First, it is important to set goals for ourselves:   Short-term and Long-term goals.  Marcus’ post on goal setting is an excellent resource to begin setting realistic and achievable goals for ourselves in 2010.  Giving ourselves something to shoot for is excellent, but what about the workout you’re planning to do today?  In order to get the most out of our workouts we need to change gears into a mental “ready-state” that helps enhance our performance.  I recently posted how an effective warm-up not only increases our body-temperature but helps us become psychologically focused for the challenging workout that follows.  Let’s all use the warm-up time to not only  get our bodies prepared but our minds as well.  Finally, mental preparation also refers to mental toughness or in CrossFit terms not allowing ourselves to give up mid-WOD, or pushing ourselves 1 or 2 more pull-ups past the point where our inner-voice is screaming at us to drop off the bar.  Mental toughness is not easily acquired and just as acquiring strength it takes time and hard work.  CrossFit workouts are excellent in that they offer us the opportunity to not only build on the 9 physical areas, but our mental toughness as well.  The opportunity presents itself to us on a daily basis in our workouts, but it is up to us to recognize and seize these opportunities if we hope to truly improve our mental toughness.
  3. Running (properly)–It’s true that many of us tend to avoid running…but why?  Is it that running on a treadmill like a gerbil in our past globo-gym lives has conditioned us to view running as monotonous and/or a painful way to tax our oxidative metabolic pathway?  I propose that many of don’t have a fondness for running simply because we’re not doing it correctly, or like Ruth posted, we probably suck at it.  It bears similarity for many to the powerlifts and olympic lifts that we perform; many of us have avoided lifting heavy because we weren’t performing the movement in the most efficient/safe manner and it often left our joints more sore than our muscles.  As with all movements, there are methodologies that teach efficient and safe ways to run.  One is know as the Pose Method of Running, or more simply Pose Running.  Pose Running teaches us to use the force of gravity and body lean to help create the necessary forward momentum needed to propel ourselves forward (run).  Instead of focusing on huge running strides where we tend to overextend putting extraneous stress on our joints by landing on our heels and pushing ourselves forward with a powerful kick, Pose Running teaches us that our feet should strike the ground under our General Center of Mass and we should land on the balls of our feet.  If we properly lean forward from the ankles, all we need to do is simply pull our foot off the ground which will allow us to continually fall (run) with up 50% less impact on our joints and expend less energy because we’re moving more efficiently.  CrossFit Endurance has some helpful videos on Pose Running for those interested in learning more.  A New Year’s Resolution of mine is to attend the CrossFit Endurance Certification which will teach us some new drills, techniques, and ideas to incorporate into our programming and coaching.

WOD 12.16.09

Deadlift (DL) 5-5-5-5-5

3 rounds for time:
10 Snatch Grip DL
50 Double Unders

5 Responses to “CrossFit New Year’s Resolutions (Part 1)”

December 16, 2009 at 1:03 PM

Nice post Ruth. I am definitely trying to be better about Rest Days, and I should work on the mental side of Crossfit and proper running technique.

I’d like to add my own New Years Resolution, something that I’ve seen regularly mentioned the Crossfit Blog, GET BETTER SLEEP!!

I’m notorious for working until Mindnight or 1 AM, then turning on the TV to veg a bit and unwind, and falling asleep with the TV only to be rudely awoken at 6 AM will less than 5 hours of bad sleep.

I need to turn the TV off and make sure I go to bed early enough to get at least 7 uninterrupted hours. That’s my goal. Starting tonight!!!

Michael H
December 16, 2009 at 1:36 PM

Scott go green and set the sleep timer on your TV :) I’m on the same boat, I’ll end the day when most start the next. I’ve slowly been working towards setting aside at least an hour of decompression time staying away from anything that has a plug or battery before calling it a night.


3×5 Back Squat (95×105x135)

4 rounds @ 12:03

10 Thrusters (55lb)
15 Push-Ups
15 V-Ups
10 Dips

December 16, 2009 at 1:50 PM

Yes, Yes, Yes . . .
I need to work on all of those resolutions except the rest day :)
If anyone needs tips on how to rest I have it mastered :p

Training Wheels WOD:
AMRAP 3 rounds 3/1
10 “knee hangs”
10 squats
10 burpees
10 back kicks each leg

FYI: take it easy while working out after having food poisoning b/c the pukey feeling during the wod is bad dejavu . . . lesson learned :-/

December 19, 2009 at 3:52 PM

@scott, wish I could take the credit, but this post was sean’s! as for the TV, don’t even turn it on to unwind if you get hooked by something good on TV (like a re-run of the A-Team) and stay up way later than you need to. Create a new bedtime routine if you can and see if you end up getting more precious sleep!

@stephanie: yikes! I’m thinking working out after food poisoning does not equal resting! ;)

[...] discussed in Wednesday’s post, I’d like to continue with some more New Year’s Resolutions for those of us who [...]