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View Full Version : Pushing yourself/ Finding that next level


Michael Drew
03-24-2009, 05:35 AM
Well after doing crossfit now for almost 3 months I have finally come to grips with the fact that I "used to be a good athlete". Before these three months I haven't really worked out much more than a hand full of times in almost 8 years.

Where I once pushed through the pain and kept going. I now find myself quiting too early and finishing workouts disapointed that I could have gone harder. Yet when I come to my next workout nothing really changes. Mentally I am thinking I need to take it easy on this exercise because if I go to hard I will never get through the next exercise/ round.

How do I get out of this funk?

Peter Dell'Orto
03-24-2009, 05:41 AM
My answer to this would be a question - "Are you still making progress?"

No? Yeah, you might be in a funk and need to learn how to push harder, or learn to vary up your intensity so you can improve over the long haul.

Yes? What's the problem? If you're training hard enough to show improvement over the short, medium, and long haul then it doesn't matter if you've gone all-out and pushed through some barrier of pain and discomfort if you've pushed enough to get better.

There is a pretty frequently discussed topic related to this - going all out vs. pacing, and varying intensity. You can find those discussions here and on the Crossfit boards pretty easily. I'd check them out - it'll be food for thought about your own situation.

Peter Dell'Orto
03-24-2009, 05:43 AM
In fact, here's a very recent discussion on the subject that your post reminded me of:

http://performancemenu.com/forum/showthread.php?t=3909

Michael Drew
03-24-2009, 06:07 AM
Peter,
Thank you for your response. Am I making progress? Not sure, as far as weight loss is concerned I haven't dropped any more weight from my initial 10 lbs, I probably still need to drop another 10 - 15.
Performance wise is difficult to measure, I haven't really repeated any workouts yet. How else can I measure my performance?

Garrett Smith
03-24-2009, 06:32 AM
Get stronger. More heavy lifting, less metcon. Read about hybrid training and you'll improve.

Michael Drew
03-24-2009, 08:21 AM
Get stronger. More heavy lifting, less metcon. Read about hybrid training and you'll improve.

Garrett, I'd like to. I know that CFSB (a hybrid) says that its for intermediate to advanced lifters. Is this valid, I would still probably consider myself a bigger when it comes to any type of metcon.

Derek Simonds
03-24-2009, 08:53 AM
I think that is kind of Dr G's point. Some of the people who go straight into Crossfit struggle with performance mainly because they don't have a sufficient enough strength base to complete the workouts as prescribed at a high intensity. One of the guys I am working with who was completely detrained, started with a real basic SS approach then we added in short met-cons and just recently after 6 months have added in met-cons of up to 20 minutes. We still prefer the shorter met-cons but will throw in the longer ones when appropriate.

When I started Crossfit years ago I was just blown away by the workouts and couldn't imagine ever being able to complete them as RX'ed. I made progress but it wasn't until I started a linear strength and O/Lifting program (see the CA WOD) that I begin to make any true progress as far as the main Crossfit workouts.

Main thing I would recommend is to have a definite goal whether that is weight loss, strength or performance on the core WOD's from Crossfit. That is the only way to judge if you are improving. If you look at the training logs on here most everyone sets their goals for the year, then shorter term and constantly redefines them based on current situations and life factors.

Above all have fun and enjoy it. If you aren't enjoying it the workout whatever it is isn't doing you any good.

Michael Drew
03-24-2009, 09:30 AM
Thats a definite possibility. Thank you.

Dave Van Skike
03-24-2009, 09:45 AM
Garrett, I'd like to. I know that CFSB (a hybrid) says that its for intermediate to advanced lifters. Is this valid, I would still probably consider myself a bigger when it comes to any type of metcon.


I will caveat by saying I'm an average lifter without an abundance of talent for this stuff. I don't do "crossfit".

But, I've made a lot of mistakes and have observed that only way to for a strength athlete to progress ( an yes, I'm loosely affiliating crossfit with strength athletics) is to work a semi focused program of bringing up weaknesses.
Sounds like you've been doing the WOD and lots of extra stuff and you need to retune and simplify a little.


My read of the stuff Gant does and the other hybrid programs like Rut's progressions is that it's about doing Less, not More adn cuttign out anythign nonessetial. Smart core instead of hardcore. It's seems absolutely perfect for a rank beginner. You don't need a ton of expereince do fewer number of things really well. In fact that's exactly what you need. Hell that's what we all need.

Steven Low
03-24-2009, 09:47 AM
Weight -- post up your diet.

The rest (performance) you gotta play around with sleep and workout structure beyond that. Might be good to switch up to a strength focus like previously stated.

Derek Simonds
03-24-2009, 09:48 AM
Hell that's what we all need.

See Dave's signature line for clarity!

Donald Lee
03-24-2009, 10:08 AM
Maybe you need to take a step back. CrossFitting can get boring and unmotivating if you do it day in day out. Personally, I don't think a beginner needs to do more than 1-2 metcons per week to make gains. Much more than that is just overkill.

Michael Drew
03-24-2009, 11:31 AM
Steven,

This morning pwo I had a 3 egg spiniach omelet with a grapefruit and coffee.
lunch I ate 1 stuff pork chop and a troth of lettuce, tomatoes, olives, half an avacado. ~20 almonds.
Dinner
Large cut of rib roast and vegetables. I'll have to find some fat somewhere.

Thats a pretty standard breakfast. I pack everything. My gym recently moved, previously I had to come home after and shower before work. I would normally cook a 6 egg omelet with 4 slices of bacon and a piece of fruit. But now my wife makes the omelet to go, in her portions.

And I am 29 - 6' and ~195lbs

And I do the wod 5-6 days a week. Soon Sunday (Day 7) will be come Oly Practice.

Liam Dougherty Springer
03-24-2009, 12:00 PM
I think Hybrid programming is perfect for beginners check into Gant Grimes stuff it is what I use myself at times and it is what I use in some form for all my clients.

For someone who doesn’t practice it specifically Dave was right on in my opinion.

Eit:For the super beginners all lifts are technique drills or higher rep type form work untill they become proficient then I load em up while paying attention to integrety and recovery. Just wanted to state that as to scaling in hybrid programing.

Arden Cogar Jr.
03-24-2009, 01:14 PM
This is awesome spot on advice in more than just responsive to this thread.

All the best,
Arden

I will caveat by saying I'm an average lifter without an abundance of talent for this stuff. I don't do "crossfit".

But, I've made a lot of mistakes and have observed that only way to for a strength athlete to progress ( an yes, I'm loosely affiliating crossfit with strength athletics) is to work a semi focused program of bringing up weaknesses.
Sounds like you've been doing the WOD and lots of extra stuff and you need to retune and simplify a little.


My read of the stuff Gant does and the other hybrid programs like Rut's progressions is that it's about doing Less, not More adn cuttign out anythign nonessetial. Smart core instead of hardcore. It's seems absolutely perfect for a rank beginner. You don't need a ton of expereince do fewer number of things really well. In fact that's exactly what you need. Hell that's what we all need.

Brian Stone
03-24-2009, 01:28 PM
And I do the wod 5-6 days a week. Soon Sunday (Day 7) will be come Oly Practice.

Michael, based on your skill level this may not be enough rest. Especially with adding the 7th day of more work. Dedicated REST days of often overlooked when constructing a program and are arguably as important as the workout days.

Dave Van Skike
03-24-2009, 02:15 PM
Michael, based on your skill level this may not be enough rest. Especially with adding the 7th day of more work. Dedicated REST days of often overlooked when constructing a program and are arguably as important as the workout days.

Ho
Lee
Shit.

Michael,once you've had some proper rest, as in half of that volume, you're going to feel like a million bucks...

Michael Drew
03-24-2009, 02:44 PM
I was thinking I was being a pussy and I need to work harder and I need to rest? and possibly eat more.

Timothy Holmes
03-24-2009, 03:32 PM
I was thinking I was being a pussy and I need to work harder and I need to rest? and possibly eat more.

Yes, that's the jist of it. Less volume, more quality... I'm totalling guilty of that too ATM.

Kevin Perry
03-24-2009, 04:50 PM
I was thinking I was being a pussy and I need to work harder and I need to rest? and possibly eat more.

Rest, controlling stress, enjoying life more, and as has been mentioned; lifting heavy things a couple times a week and eating lots of good food.

Don Stevenson
03-24-2009, 06:13 PM
All the advice so far has been good but one thing that I think is worth mentioning in regards to motivation is the need for a focus in training.

Any fitness program is good but a lot of the time people end up going round incircles or performing at a sub optimal level because they don't have a single driving force behind their training.

Despite being a strength coach and having a good reason to stay fit I found that my training was pretty ordinary last year because I didn't have a single focus. Sure I had arbitrary goals for certain lifts but I was easily distracted both during workouts when things got tough and in between workouts when i need to prioritise my schedule.

This year I've entered a strongman comp and i've got a laser like focus on what I need to do. I don't think i've missed a workout since early December and the quality of my training has gone through the roof. I'm hitting PRs every week or so and when the going gets tough I'm even more motivated to train.

One of my clients has been in the same boat too. Trained at a pretty decent level of fitness but wasn't pushing himself until his daughter was born and he realised that he now needs to be fit and healthy for the next 20+ years. He's now pushing himself much harder and sorting out some of the lifestyle issues like work and diet that were holding him back.

Short version - enter a competition, set a single specific goal or find a great reason to train and get at it.

Steven Low
03-24-2009, 06:38 PM
Please take at least 2 rest days a week. As people have said... more quality, less quantity.

Diet looks to be okay. Do need more fat though probably.

Michael Drew
03-25-2009, 05:20 AM
Please take at least 2 rest days a week. As people have said... more quality, less quantity.

Diet looks to be okay. Do need more fat though probably.

Steve I took off today just for you guys. Steven I am working on the fat. I think I am around ~150 grams per day. Also working on getting a little more protein I am around 150 grams right now.

Peter Dell'Orto
03-25-2009, 07:40 AM
Performance wise is difficult to measure, I haven't really repeated any workouts yet. How else can I measure my performance?

Even if you're not repeating workouts yet, you're almost certainly repeating exercises. That's a good way to judge. If weights go up on your lifts, if times go down, if you can handle more reps in a row without a break, etc. you're making progress. It's easier when you are doing a linear improvement routine like Starting Strength - you are adding weight to the bar each workout, so you know it's going up or not. But even in a varied program like Crossfit you can track improvements in performance.

I didn't do crossfit for that long - maybe a few months? But even so a lot of workouts repeated themselves, and pieces came back over and over - squats, pullups, pushups, thrusters. I could judge my progress not only by times for workouts but also by how many thrusters I could do without a break, or how short my rest times were when I did take a break, etc. When strength-based workouts came up, I could tell if I improved by how much weight I could lift. If it didn't at least stay the same as the last time, I knew something was off.

Just some things to consider - you can always find some kind of performance metric. If you're training at a crossfit facility, talk to the coach there and see if you can't work some out together.

***

Oh yeah, and the advice on rest is spot-on. :)