Recently, I had a conversation with Jay that I thought was important to share. A couple of years ago, prior to one of the events in the 2016 CrossFit Games, his competitors were talking about how much they train. Even though almost all of them had a life outside of CrossFit, things like families, and jobs, most of them trained for 2-2.5 hours per day. One trains for 4-6 hours a day. When Jay told them that he trains for 60-70 minutes per day, Monday-Friday only, they all got quiet. One piped up, “How the heck did you get here?” Actually, the language was a bit more colorful, but you get the drift.
Recently, there was a Facebook post asking, “What one piece of advice would you give?” Jay’s answer to that relates to the answer he gave in Carson.
“Train with intent.”
He thinks it’s the reason his one hour equals 2 hours of training by others.
It’s how he is able to train all year, for years on end, without significant injury.
It’s why he may get beat by a CFG athlete during the year, but very rarely during the Open.
Training with intent means that every movement has a purpose. There aren’t any junk reps or wasted movements. When he warms up, he is focused on exactly what he is doing, how it should feel, and why he is doing it. He doesn’t just go through the motions while he jokes around.
Are your arm circles moving through the shoulder with the elbows locked feeling all the muscles in your shoulder light up, or are you swinging your arms around while blood pools in your hand?
As you march back and forth during the warmup are you feeling your glutes warm up?
When you start with the barbell, are you paying attention to your stance? Back position? The pressure in your foot? Your shoulder positioning? If your hamstrings or your quads are dominant? Hip extension?
One of the cool things about CrossFit is the mindfulness is can create: the focus on only what you are doing as you do it.
Mindful training means every rep of every movement in TRAINING means something. If you are mindful during your training, you are getting stronger in the right way, in the right positions.
If you workout mindlessly, you are holding yourself back…even if you are higher on the whiteboard!
You won’t improve as fast.
You risk grooving improper default motor patterns. Those sloppy reps show back up during the Open each March as no-reps by a judge.
They also contribute to “energy leaks” across the kinetic chain that lead to injury that slows or stops your progress.
You’re only here for an hour; invest it wisely.