I feel like people identify a “good” workout by the amount of pain or sweat or how long it was. That concept probably comes from the deep, intense, and painful Open workouts. CrossFit tends to be known for that pukey feeling. I am right there with ya, in a really strange way that is the feeling that I love too, and it’s why I love CrossFit so much. Intensity opened a new door for me and my fitness. I found a love for the hurt locker, and a love for the hard work.
There’s value though in the stuff that gets you better in movement and skill. And that is the stuff I want to talk about today. It doesn’t hurt as much, certainly won’t make you sweat as much, and you won’t be laying on the floor exhausted as much. In fact it is really healthy for your body!
Teaching people the value of a workout that doesn’t get them sweaty is a very interesting journey though. This is a tough thing to break though, it takes education and a lot of trust in your coaches.
We need to learn what it’s like to find value in SKILLS and value in improving MOVEMENT. If you left the gym with tired arms from some skill work and that is it for the day, you would probably leave wanting to do more. During regionals training one year I spent 30 focused minutes just forcing myself into proper depth for a decent 1-arm dumbbell overhead squat. I left that session angry, but the next day so sore. And after that was able to do them. I won that event that year.
It takes a wide perspective to see that improving fitness in skill and in movement are breakthroughs and people undervalue them. Just zoom out for a second and recognize that you move way better now than when you started. Did you ever celebrate your movement improving? Or just your weights?
I guess it comes down to quality versus quantity. Yes, we NEED intensity and the days we go hard I encourage you to go really hard, but the days that aren’t about intensity take a step back and focus on value.
Sometimes I look at my training and I get a little bummed because there’s nothing super long and sweaty or gut wrenching. But when the day is over I’m content and in full trust that my program is taking me where I want to go. More is not always better.
To wrap it up- trust your coaches to help you. Allow them to guide you through seasons that will help you improve in many different ways. Trust your program- short workouts, long ones, fast ones and slow ones, skilled ones and work horse ones. Find ways to dig and excel that extra 1% no matter what is programmed.
Always quality over quantity.
Then and only then.
Always intensity over volume.