Every night before you go to bed you set your alarm clock to wake you up the next morning.
Why is that?
Well, if you don’t then you wake up late, your kids don’t get ready for school, you miss a meeting for work, things spiral out of control for the day.
Setting your alarm clock is the framework of preparing you for the day. Without it, things are unorganized, hectic and very tense. By setting your alarm clock you are setting up your day to be successful.
Let’s take that same approach with CrossFit. Here are seven ways to set yourself up for success.
Get warmed up
We all have our own tweaks, aches and pains. What needs to be warmed up for one person may not be the same for another. Using five minutes before class to foam roll, do hip mobility, a light row can do wonders in getting you prepared for a class.
Know what you’re doing
You’re in the third week of a back squat cycle. Know what weight you have started and finished with the previous weeks. Have an idea of how much you’re going to increase the weight each set. Putting weight blindly on the bar week-after-week will not get you anywhere.
Have a plan for the WOD
The WOD is ‘Fran’ — 21-15-9 of thrusters at 95 pounds and pull ups. You can do both movements pretty well, but how are you going to do it? Have a plan of how you’re going to break up the reps, are going to take a rest break before going to the next movement, are you going to chalk up every time you start the pull ups? Have an idea of how you’re going to attack the workout and don’t let the workout attack you.
You just did the WOD Rx. Great, you can put Rx by your name, but what was supposed to be a 7-minute workout turned into a 20-minute workout for you. Meeting the proper time domain is going to be more successful for your training than putting Rx next to your name on the whiteboard. Set yourself up for success in the long road by doing lighter weight, less reps or modifying the movement so the WOD can meet the proper time domain.
Don’t go all out in every workout
How many times has this happened to you? The WOD starts and you’re doing every rep unbroken, you’re moving quickly to the next movement, you’re beating everyone and then after about 90 seconds you slow down. You can barely do one rep. You’re just staring at the barbell. You just gave 100 percent effort in a 15-minute workout and now 90 seconds into the WOD you are exhausted.
A better strategy would be to go 85-90% effort where you are still moving quickly and efficiently, but it’s not to the point you have totally exhausted yourself in less than two minutes.
You’re going to be more successful in the long-haul, a week’s worth of workouts, when you stay in the 85-90% effort than trying to do 100% effort all the time. A 100% effort everyday, every WOD, every rep is eventually going to wear on you physically and mentally.
Have your equipment ready
There’s nothing worse than that feeling of being rushed as you warm-up or you’re still putting the clips on your barbell and the coach yells 3,2,1, Go!
If the workout calls for a lot of squatting and you need to put different shoes on, have them on before class. You’re going for a 1-rep max, have your belt nearby. You need to wear gymnastics wraps for pullups, have them on your wrists ready to go. These little things will save you time and the anxiety from being rushed. Let’s face it, you’re under enough pressure to just do the WOD.
Watch what you eat or don’t eat
Not eating all day and then trying to do ‘Murph’ in 90-degree heat is not a good idea. Chugging a Starbucks latte 20 minutes before you do ‘Fran’ is not a good idea. Drinking margaritas and then doing ‘Grace’ is not a good idea.
Try to avoid going long periods without food and then trying to workout. If that happens, grab a protein bar or shake before you workout. You can certainly eat before you workout, but be wise with your food choices. A cheeseburger and Twizzlers is not a good idea. But you could do a salad from Moe’s.
— Coach Brandon
Great advice Coach!! But now I want a Twizzler!!!
Great article! The section on eating is so true. A Cave Man bar is a good middle ground pre work out snack… Jay Bell