You are standing there with a barbell in front of you, hands chalked, favorite tunes blaring, pumped up and ready to destroy a WOD…3-2-1 GO! You tear into the WOD like your life depended on it! Once you get into the double digits of the bar going from ground to overhead you start to realize, at about the 47 sec. mark, you are not quite the athletes you see highlighted on main site…and to make matter worse, the workout is a 20 min. AMRAP…Bummer!
I know I have been in this situation too many times before, especially in my early CrossFit days. Actually, I am not even sure I completely remember the first time I did Fran (my first CrossFit workout ever) because I was too busy trying not to puke and black out all at the same time.
That is how my CrossFit journey started – I was all go. The all go mentality is brutal, and the reason why so many people are terrified of CrossFit. What’s worse is being all go is not even a good strategy or training methodology. Approaching workouts like a blitzkrieg, made me great at workouts like Fran, Grace and Diane, but once you throw in some 20 minute AMRAPs or long duration chippers, I was borderline useless after five minutes.
It took about a year for me to realize I needed to take it slow, which can sound like a bad word to some CrossFitters. However, Jason Khalipa, in the 2012 CrossFit Games Open week five WOD demo video says, it is better to not fully reach your threshold in the middle of a workout.
I don’t mean I take it so slow to the point where I am not challenged or tired after a workout…I don’t mean that at all! I just look at a workout, know and understand my capabilities and actually create a quick mental strategy on how I want to execute the workout.
My CrossFit journey has progressed – I now take it slow (aka I pace myself). I have found building slowly is the way to go, because in some circles, my “taking it slow” is the other guy’s “all go”. Especially if you are nearing the end of a 20 min. AMRAP and you realize you’ve got a good amount left in the tank, and the other guy is already burned out.
The CrossFit learning curve is steep. First, you have to learn enough acronyms to fill a small dictionary. Second, you have to do a bunch of movements you have never heard of or even seen before. Now, the learning curve of what works best for your body is a constant battle that changes just as much as you do. I’m in for the CrossFit long haul, learning what does and doesn’t work one day at a time.