It is a familiar feeling for many Crossfitters, but here are 5 things that I have learned from my training that are helping me to progress.
1. You feel pretty strong – but reality check: you have so much more to work on!
Trust the progress and be patient. Kipping Pull-Ups are working, the first handstand pushups have finally arrived – and hey – even the double unders are an easy exercise now. Yes, I´m feeling stronger than ever, but there´s still no muscle up or handstand walk or 80kg Clean & Jerk, for example.
I have to admit, in my head I was already thinking about some heavy workouts, but I´m still not able to do what other athletes consider easy. Keep working because it won´t happen today or tomorrow, but you will get better every day as long as you work for it and trust the progress. For this to work you also need to believe in the programming of the coaches at your Box. You need to know and feel and trust that you are on the right path.
2. Accessory/Strength Work is absolutely essential
This one is pretty easy and simple. Don´t forget your accessory work – it will help you to get stronger and better.
Here are some tips:
- Work on your core. Implement it in your warm up or session before the workouts – Hollow body rocks, tuck ups, v-ups, GHD-Situps, normal Situps, planks
- Do strict movements like pull-ups and ring dips. Don´t forget to practice them, because they are the base to get stronger.
- Dumbbell presses for strict handstand-pushups
- Single leg squats from the box or bulgarian split squats for pistols
- Work on your grip strength!
- Wall walks for handstand walk
3. Workout with people who push you and are stronger than you are – both mentally and physically
This one is all about motivation and working harder. If you know your gym buddy also started from the PVC, you will see what is possible.
There will always be someone facing you who can do this one more rep or movement you can´t do.
With the mindset and trust in your own abilities, just keep chasing the day when you can win the one workout you couldn´t even do all those months before!
4. Nutrition matters
We are not Games athletes – drinking alcohol, eating cake or fast food and partying is what normal people can and want to do, because our performance in the gym is not how we make money. This will of course have an impact on your training. Thing about your exact goals, and make sure that your lifestyle supports them. Otherwise they will not happen, no matter how hard you work.
Always keep in mind:
- The lighter you are, the easier bodyweight and gymnastic movements will be (simple rule and fact)
- Alcohol is toxic for the muscles. Your body won´t recover properly and your performance and maximal strength will suffer. Your metabolism won´t work the same way as without it.
- Don´t forget your protein. Protein shakes or protein powder, eggs, meat, fish, diary products, peanut butter etc
5. Don’t hold back: Go Rx and try the movements!
Some people will never touch the rings or even try to get a feeling for how a ring muscle should be because they always think that it is impossible
Whatever movements feel impossible to you, whatever standard you are at, try not to put any single movement on some special pedestal. It could be handstand push ups, bar muscle ups, kipping pull ups, anything. Mentally frame ALL exercises as those that you will be able to do if you put in the right about of intelligent and dedicated work.
This sounds like an obvious recommendation that no one needs to talk about. But I´ve seen a lot of people who don´t even try the movements or the heavier weights simply because they think they can´t do it.
Now go for it!