Dispelling Some Myths

We’ve been training people for a while and there are several misconceptions that people adhere to when they train both in our gym and in other boxes. We’ve learned a lot of what works and what doesn’t along the way. We all still have a lot to learn, but I think people forget some things when they train.

Volume/Rest – Most people get attracted to CrossFit because they hear of a workout like 300 or the Filthy Fifty.  A lot of people think it’s really cool to do 30+ minute long metcons, hero workouts and epic sounding things.  And, yes those workouts are cool.  The truth is more/longer doesn’t mean better.  Remember we train various shorter time domains because we believe that training with intervals and shorter duration (but higher intensity) transfers to longer time domain tasks.  Long workouts put a lot of strain on your body and require a excessive level of recovery. You don’t get better because you train more; you get better because you allow yourself to properly recovery. That means getting enough sleep, eating properly and doing… MOBILITY.

Body Image – I’m always surprised to hear people say they are not happy about body image changes. To be frank, get your nutrition in order and be patient. Stop drinking so much. It’s really easy to fix your body if you adhere to strict guidelines.  Working out isn’t a magical potion, but CrossFit + our nutrition recommendations will get you the results you need.  And if you want to look like a model on the cover of shape magazine or Muscle Man, starve yourself or do steroids.

Progressions/Cycles – The reason we don’t do totally random programming: it doesn’t work.  Go talk to any elite level CrossFitter.  All of them do cycles for a reason: because they work.  In order to get stronger you need to plan a strategy for doing so. In order to get better at a skill, you need to break it into its components and work on the individual pieces.  Each workout, lift and movement requires specific skills. We implement a lot of random stuff into workouts, but having a goal produces much better results.

PRs – PRs really mean nothing if your form is bad. Not only do bad-form PRs increase your risk for injury, they convince you that you are better than you really are. Sure, in the short term, 20 pounds on your deadlift might sound awesome, but what about the long term when you subject your back to a mistake?  I’ll bet we’ve all been there at one point. I know I have.

Intensity – Intensity is the shortcut to results. Sometimes, you have to sacrifice your ego, drop the weight and go at something so you keep moving.  It’s hard to be intense on longer workouts; it’s hard to be intense if you haven’t eaten enough and it’s hard to be intense if you have the wrong mindset.

Weaknesses – Embrace them and seek out workouts that challenge you.  Enough said.


4 thoughts on “Dispelling Some Myths

  1. Good thoughts Kyle.

    To me, at 10 minute AMRAP or Helen elicit a very different response than Murph or the Lumberjack 20. A fight against time vs. a fight against completion each drive you, but in a slightly different way, but the time domain modifies how you approach the work output. Anyone can work for 10 minutes, but knowing you have 30+ minutes to grind through forces you to pace and strategize. The rest required after either of these domains though I think is more a metric of heavy vs. light as opposed to total volume. I am crushed for longer by a heavy short WOD than a long bodyweight one. But that’s for me.

    If you’re in this to look good, do P90x.

    Cycles are important, but I have sometimes allowed certain skill aspects to weaken excessively on one or more of those cycles. The essence of Crossfit is BROAD. Focus will make you stronger and faster, but over emphasis will make you lose focus on the big picture. Unless you just want to do a certain thing well, such as power or OLY lifting, in which case go for it full stop and be amazing!

    Being hurt sucks.

    The important thing to remember about intensity is that all of us is more capable of doing more and faster than our minds often allow us to do. Being aware of what you are actually capable of, as opposed to what your brain is telling you are capable of, is a really important step in the process of being awesome. Your brain is in the business of protecting your body, but your body is in the business of destroying everything put before it. Find that balance, and you will do well!

    I’ll go back to my mountain now,


  2. totally agree dude, that’s why we vary our cycles, pick a focus for a few weeks and scratch, reset.

  3. Love the quote: “And if you want to look like a model on the cover of shape magazine or Muscle Man, starve yourself or do steroids.” So damn true. That’s one of the things I enjoy about CrossFit – the focus isn’t on working out to get the awesome body. It’s on bettering yourself and pushing yourself in ways you didn’t think possible, and the results – improved self-confidence, increased strength, and better overall health – are measurable and exciting.

    1. Emily Anderson March 3, 2011 — 4:55 pm

      “And if you want to look like a model on the cover of shape magazine or Muscle Man, starve yourself or do steroids”

      LOL — is that your official advice?

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