Join Date: Oct 2006
I wrote an article partially relevant to this subject on my blog a few days ago:
Training has been pretty lackluster for the last two weeks. Lack of sleep, stress, schoolwork, all combine to mean poor recovery, which leads to overtraining at first, and undertraining later. I miss the good old days of last year when I could train hard much more frequently since I was doing almost entirely metabolic conditioning workouts. Every workout was hard, challenging, and rewarding, yet I would usually wake up the next morning ready and raring to go again. With heavy lifting, gymnastics, and sprinting, which I am less used to, I am not able to train as hard, as regularly. Consequently my training is less psychologically rewarding. It is worth it however, because though last year I had great endurance, I struggled with 205 for 6 in the squat and my deadlift had gone nowhere for two years, in addition to flexibility and form problems. Now I am more flexible, much stronger, and my metcon has improved in some areas and stayed the same in others. Not a bad deal. But I still miss training all metcon all the time. Coach Glassman said "Optimal physical competency is a compromise, a balancing act; a compromise between not only conflicting but perfectly antagonistic skills. The manner in which you resolve this conflict defines the quality of your fitness and is the art of exercise prescription." This compromise is the essence of Crossfit, and it is also the essence of the problems that most people have with Crossfit. This includes myself. I am naturally predisposed to endurance efforts by both talent and taste, yet I know that progress comes through training my weak points. Training a weak point sucks. You're not good at it, it takes a lot of concentration, and because you are less skilled, you ultimately can't push yourself as hard, which means that it is less mentally rewarding. Furthermore you must cut back on training your strong points all the time. Effective training must be mentally rewarding, yet it also must address weakpoints. You must be strong and powerful, yet you also must have a high degree of endurance, if you want to be good at Crossfit, and also if you want to be fit for most physical challenges. Another problem is that I have this idea in my head that I must do a certain amount of volume of work to stay fit, regardless of whether my results are improving or not. Power training is so much less volume intensive than metabolic training, and thus when I do it I feel lazy even if I am making progress.
While my training this Fall has not been exemplary, I have done some things right. I got my overhead squat up to 155 X 6,5,5,4, got up to 90 lb. one arm snatches for a triple each arm, doubled 205 in the split jerk, improved my hip flexibility, finally cut the sugar and processed carbohydrates completely out of my diet, improved my rowing a bit, improved my front lever, got up to 75 X 5 in the weighted ring dip, rowed at 250 watts for 12 minutes, did triples with 265 in the back squat, and sets of 5 with 305 in the deadlift, ran 200's on 45 seconds for 7:30, and improved the grip of my left arm. I have no idea what I can do on the main crossfit workouts like Fran, Fight gone Bad, Mary, Grace, etc., and that thought scares me. On the other hand I know intuitively that the training that I've done will prepare me well for training in that style when I return to it. Maximal strength improves strength endurance, and I have been training my metabolic conditioning, though I have not been making it a priority and I have not been training it consistently enough in the crossfit fashion.