The Crossfit Progress Continuum
by Annie Berryhill
Everyday at Crossfit, we have the opportunity to reflect on our performance. We get measured not just against others, but against ourselves and this is the best test. As I talked about in a prior blog post about Perfection that level is almost never attained, nor do I believe it should be the goal. But it's important to understand that most average Joe's go through a progression during their Crossfit career/life which is good to understand, because you are not alone, nearly everyone has gone through something similar!
But does that mean we should stop trying or that this WILL happen exactly this way to YOU?
Over my nearly 3 years of being involved in Crossfit as an athlete, coach and competitor, I have seen the Progress Continuum repeated over and over, in varying ranges.
Months 0-3 Body and mind SHOCK! Sore every day..Ears peeled and Eyes wide and focused on everything being taught and done, overwhelmed, nervous before workouts. By month 3, newbie has either quit, or is a raving, lunatic evangelist for Crossfit. They still can't believe the others have such enormous capacity for pain and suffering or that the others are not suffering like him/her.
Months 4-6 Their body is less sore,the movements becoming a bit more familiar, and they are starting to recognize terminology. He reads the blog every night to preview the WOD, and refers to Crossfit.com to review movements on video. He spends time in the bathroom getting rid of nerves before WODs. The need for a cleaner dietis apparent because there are definitely people around them with abs they would like to have! Hot showers and jacuzzi's are saving their lives right now!
Months 7-9 The athlete has cycled through some workouts maybe even having done a couple named and Hero WODs more than once. Has a healthy fear of "The Girls" and absolutely know what it means "To do Fran". People in their sphere of influence are pretty sick of hearing about all the workouts, and those friends have either come to a Saturday workout, or stopped talking to the CF person completely. New gear is being purchased from all the big names, LifeasRx, WOD gear, Crossfit mainsite, Lululemon. This athlete will definitely have earned a scar or 2 from a box jump or pull up or muscle ups!
Months 10-12 They are now flowing, and hitting their stride. Things that were unfamiliar, are now easily recognized and executed. Diet is dialed in, they may have done a Paleo challenge through their box, or the Whole 30 program on their own. Outside competitions are now beginning to be appealing. PR's are being set as form is improving. Mentally, they wake up ready to hit the WOD hard and they fall asleep at night going over the movements in their mind, often waking up their bed mate from the body jerks that occur from the visualizations. Friends and colleagues are noticing the physical changes, and new, smaller wardrobe pieces are being added as a result of fat loss and fitness. They preache the gospel of Crossfit everywhere and carry a little vial of CF Kool-Aid in their gear bag.
Months 13-18– Uh-oh… a wall, a holiday, a vacation, an illness, or a block often occurs here. After many months of progress, something trips them up, it makes them want to quit or forces them to slow down. Progress slips, mental blocks get in the way. It is possible that some proficient skills have slipped without explanation or recovery. This person spends time lamenting over what was and gets deterred from pressing on. Diet slips, attendance wanes. It is Hell-in-a-Handbasket time.
Months 19-24– Springtime of the Mind….with rest, a break, a renewal, a fresh perspective and start, the athlete is once again on the strong Kool-Aid, but this time with new resolve, focus, confidence and desire. A steady stream of growth in strength and skill follows. Often so does a Level 1 Cert, just as a learning experience and out of pure love. At this point, they seek out as many competitions as they can. Though they know it's a long shot, their hearts desire is to make it to the Crossfit Games…and they dream about it regularly and talk about it frequently.
Month 25 and on…….It's up to them…
One thing is for sure. In Crossfit, we never get bored or unchallenged. There is always another goal to pursue because very few people will ever be a "10" in all areas of fitness. It never ends, unless you want it to!
Focus on one or two goals at a time….work hard, but be smart on your training. Remember that this is a long haul situation, not a quick fix.
Crossfit will change you Body, Mind and Strength, but you have to stick around long enough to get through the things that will make you into a new and improved version!
Join me, won't you?
Anne (Annie) Berryhill is a Crossfit Level 1 Trainer, athlete and competitor who owns and operates OC Fitness Revival in Orange County, CA. Services include personal and group training, nutrition classes and counseling and she teaches people how to get the most out of what they've got.
(949) 280-3407 Anne@anneberryhill.com