The very foundation of the training template I’ve created is first based on the mind (mindset used for workout itself) and second on the body (a set of specific, planned stimuli for physical adaptation). IN THAT ORDER.
What I’ve observed over the years is that the mental relationship people have with Crossfit (and other fitness programs) either evolves into a healthy, intelligent, well balanced one or one that devolves with a injury or two or three dozen and/or total mental disinterest. Clearly, there are a number of factors going into a well planned strength and conditioning program. As a coach, keeping athletes mentally engaged is my priority.
At the highest levels of all sport I’ve noticed that athletes work on skills – they don’t force them. I’ve also noticed that athletes at the highest levels know precisely when to, “Drop the hammer,” “Step it up,” “Go for it,” “Beast mode,” “Go balls out,” “Drop it like its hot,” “Teach me how to Dougie,”… What can be learned here is critical: Going, “all out,” happens with focus and clarity towards a designated goal. Equally important, it happens rarely.
I’ve been blessed to know, work with, train, grow up around and be coached by countless Olympic level athletes and coaches. What I’ve been unknowingly (,until recently,) observing since I was an infant is that the best don’t tend to rush the basics. Instead, they are always exploring ways to refine and clean up their foundational movement – whatever the sport or program. Technique, yo! Das wussup!
One example that comes to mind is Michael Johnson (multiple gold medal winner). In the ’96 Atlanta Olympics after demolishing a sprint record that had been held for 17 years (fyi – 17 years in Track is like dog years so we might as well say 117 years, plus or minus depending on breed,) talked about how he, “stumbled,” on his 3rd step out of the blocks! “Stumbled?!” WTF? Honestly, If you saw that race or youtube it, he took 4/10 of a second off da’ freakin’ record! In a sprint, that’s beyond the extraordinary… After the ’96 Olympics Johnson said that Olympic Gold and the world records were merely, “goals,” along the road to what he and his coach were truly after: “The perfect race.” Theoretically, this would have been a race where every aspect was flawless. EVERY SINGLE MOVEMENT FROM START TO FINISH. Johnson, as dominant as he was, understood that he could not control if others outperformed him. He also realized that he didn’t control the clock either. What he could control were the moments (a mere 19.32 seconds) from start to finish. Johnson spent his career pursuing the impossible (as good as he was): perfection. One of the most distinguished track performances in history and he still had more to work on….
Michael Johnson did not run at 100% every day – nor has any Olympic runner – ever. Rather, he along with the best in all sports control their efforts in training to work basic aspects of mechanics, movements, strength and conditioning… Yes Allen Iverson, I am, “talkin‘ ‘bout practice!” Practice y’all. That’s the magic sauce. Track MJ didn’t set records by trying to break his record every day. Instead, he approached it clinically and practiced under control with mindful intent to very specific components of the most fundamental movement to mankind – the run. On my program you will see “Training Days,” 60% of the time. You don’t have to go 100% on these days – more than anything you need to walk away better at the movements I am RX’ing. Effectively, training days could be viewed as an opportunity to let go of the ego, add some humility, to stay in it as a student that, like Michael Johnson, and walk away from the session thinking and feeling, “You know, I am better at ___ & ____ movements.” If you walk away going, “I crushed the person next to me…” You are missing the point and value of this program. (Ironically, and I can pretty much guarantee this, If you are that person – you will be passed eventually… and good luck to you and your fragile ego then….). Save that mojo and swag instead for the, “Competition Days.” On this program you will learn when to be a student, when to be a stud, and when to sack up and just get gritty.