Anna after the chipper workout at the NorCal Sectional CrossFit Games Qualifier. If you look like this after EVERY workout, it is not really a good thing. Read on….
“Freddy, I have to get my butt back on track. I haven’t been in and I’m having a hard time getting motivated…..”
I can’t tell you how often I have heard this over the last four years. Often, the folks who tell me this have been training less than a few months. Sometimes, they never get their groove back and I never see them again. CrossFit is hard. Most people have never trained as hard as we ask you to train. We prefer short and intense workouts because the results are amazing, but the toll on the body and the mind is pretty brutal. Pretty soon, staying home and doing nothing sounds a whole lot better than going to the gym and getting your ass kicked over and over again.
You can avoid CrossFit Burnout if you remember a few tips:
Avoid giving a 100% effort every day. I have been doing CrossFit for over four years now. If I was trying to kill every workout, I would have given up CrossFit and started step aerobics by now. On some days, you need to plan on just cruising through the workout. If you are new, I would recommend working in an “every other workout” cycle. One workout I try to give a max effort, the next workout I just cruise or scale the workload. As you get stronger and fitter, you can go all out for two workouts and then take it easy for one. Eventually, you will want to always work hard, but you will know when you need to take it easy.
Avoid taking extended periods of time off. Once you start rolling past a week of time off, getting back to the gym gets harder and harder. Its better to come to the gym and take it easy than to not come to the gym at all.
Strategize. I never do a workout without a game plan. Granted, there are a few workouts you try to do non-stop, but for the most part, all workouts should be thought out. You need to plan on your rep scheme, amount of rest time between reps, weight to be used, etc. If you go balls to the wall right from the get go, you are usually destined to have a bad workout. Having a bad workout every time you come to the gym will dishearten you in no time.
Learn to scale! You have to realize your physical limitations. Rome was not built in a week. You need to take baby steps. If a firebreather can do a workout as prescribed in five minutes, but you take 30 minutes, you are not getting a good workout…. You are simply gutting out a long slow waste of energy. Keep it short and fast. You will see results if you can turn off your ego.
Pick a reasonable time to train. I have seen so many people come and go during the 6:30 am session. Lots of people join the gym and decide that they are going to completely change their life and workout at the crack of dawn. If you are a person who likes to hit the snooze button a bunch of times, 6:30 am is probably not going to work for you. Try coming in the afternoon. If you are trying to rush to the gym immediately following work, and you tend to show up late or not prepared, maybe you should come to the following session. Make consistency as easy as possible.
Don’t get frustrated with new movements. An Olympic lift is just that: a movement performed in the Olympics. People train forever to get in the Olympics. You think you can just walk into the gym and master the movement after a few minutes of exposure? Other movements take strength (muscle-ups, handstand push-ups, rope climbing, ect.) And still others take coordination (double unders). All of them take practice. If you really have a desire to learn something, set apart some time to practice it. If you don’t practice what you suck at, it never gets better. Pretty soon you start to avoid workouts that have movements you don’t like.
Lift weights!!! You can be aggressive with your weight training without taking a huge toll on the body or the mind. Being strong simply makes everything you do in life easier……
CrossFit is good stuff. Yes, it really sucks ass when you are in the middle of the workout, but I think almost all of you who have tried it have experienced how good you feel when you are done and when you sart to see results. I hate to see folks disappear, especially when I see how much potential they have to better their lives. Stick to it!!!