An athlete came up to me the other day and asked me some of the most beautiful questions a coach can ever hoped to be asked (other than how do we manage to win the attractive lottery?). This athlete said to me, “I can now do many of the basic crossfit movements. What should my next goals be? How do I even pick?” Dear reader when I heard these words I almost cried, but I also freaked out a little because these are such a BIG questions. What SHOULD you work on next? Is there even a SHOULD in your fitness/athletic journey? This post is the first of a series of posts on goal-setting. Read-on for 3 steps towards identifying and setting up a game plan for tackling your goals.
In order to know where you would like to go, it is helpful to understand where it is you currently stand. As coaches we have come together to draft a google questionnaire you can find here, that will give you a good idea of your athletic abilities in 3 major movement categories. The weights are based on RX+ weight. Fill it out, request a copy of your responses, and see where areas of strength and weaknesses. Below are MY responses to the questionnaire. The blue line signifies that “yes” I can do this movmeent at x weight during a wod, and the lack of color means I have not yet met that standard. I clearly need to spend more time on my gymnastic skills!
If you prefer to brain storm rather than fill out questions, below are some prompts to help you figure out where you are starting out. This is an opportunity to get SPECIFIC in identifying your athletic abilities.
-What movements can you do confidently without even thinking?
-What movements require a ton of conscious effort?
-What movements are you able to get only when the magical movement fairy blesses you with a rep or two?
-What movements can you do RX? RX+?
-If there are no prescribed weights for a particular movement, what is your 1RM in that movement?
-If it’s a gymnastic movement, how many can you chain together? How many can you do strict?
Once you have identified what you can, the next step is to figure out what area you would like to target: i.e. gymnastic, oly lifts, pwr lifts, kettlebell..etc. This is where as athletes, we really need to pull in the reins. It does us no good to focus on 5 different skills: there is simply not enough time to dedicate specific skill work to all of these interests. Instead, think of how you may have approached the Quidditch Cup with your patronous. It took nearly 5 weeks of dedicating 30 minutes for 2-3 days to improve or achieve your patronous.
In order to get higher-level CrossFit Skills, you may find that you will need time outside of regular class to practice and hone your skills. I recommend taking-on 15-30min of skill work practice about 3x per week. I’ve personally seen the most success when I have dedicated no more than 15 min to a specific skill. I find that when I surpass 15 min, I start getting fatigued and lose the form I am trying so hard to perfect. This is not to say that you can’t be touching upon other skills, but the point of this is to purposefully FOCUS on a few things in order to get really good at them.
Below is an example schedule of how you might add skill work to the WODs you already do.
|2x/week gym goer||3x/week gym goer|
Tuesday: 4:00-4:30 skill practice on pistol squat and chest to bar + regular class
Sunday: 12:00-1:00 community + staying after for 30 min to work on pistol + chest to bar
Tuesday: 4:15-4:30 Chest to bar skill + regular class
Wed: 4:15-4:30 Pistol skill work + regular class
Sunday: open gym 2:00-2:15 Chest to bar + pistol skill work.
Now you have an idea of how you might go about 1) figuring where you currently are at with canonical CrossFit movements/standards 2) deciding a few skills you might want to work on and 3) scheduling-in time to work on them. If you need any help going through the 3-step process, feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Stay tuned for the next post in the goal-setting series, where I will get into some of the nitty-gritty progressions that will help you achieve some of the CrossFit movements/standards on the questionnaire.