Just forget what you think you know, I’m begging you.
I have to admit, there are times when it is frustrating to be a purveyor of fitness and health. There is a ton of bad advice out there, and even more well intentioned people giving bad advice to people genuinely wanting and needing help.
This came back to my consciousness a few weeks back when reading a fun Mark Rippetoe article:
It is hard to try to be well informed about stuff and then have anyone who has ever watched a YouTube video be the “expert” that you are.
All I can say is trust the process. If we schedule a day where it is meant to be pretty low key, with bench press and strict gymnastics work, it is intentional. It is meant to be something you can hit the next day with intensity.
You can’t go “ham” on Fran or grinders every day and see results you want. You can’t. And here’s why this is so tricky:
When you are starting out with functional training, just about anything that you do will make you better. You’ll see rousing improvements across all of what we measure as fitness. Even if you cherry pick and make your own workouts and decide not to do the auxiliary work in lieu of “lets do Annie” because it feels like a good burn., you’ll likely see improvements in muscle growth, times, skills, all of it!! MORE IS BETTER!!! Right?
Here’s the catch: eventually this approach starts to not work. And not work in a detrimental way. You’ll start noticing joints are more sore. You don’t recover as well. Your lifts aren’t progressing much anymore and damn it where’s my Muscle up?!?! You get frustrated and then you think “well maybe CrossFit isn’t working” or “Maybe I should try this program…”
I’ve seen it for just short of a decade now, and every time I hope the light pops on for my athletes making them feel like it was their choice to do the things that will make their hard work actually more progressive and not digressive. But sometimes it doesn’t. And I can’t make them make that choice. However, I’d assume if you’re one of my readers who reads to this point, maybe you’re listening. I promise what is on the board and what is programmed for you comes from a lot of experience and effort on our part to make you better without causing detriment and injury. Without causing burn out or mental/emotional/(adrenal?) fatigue.
Your body isn’t meant to be beat to exhaustion daily. If you’ve been following me for a bit you know you only have so many tokens to spend on your fitness. And unfortunately the more is better mentality will make it so every workout is just blah (both in feeling and results) and you will hit your ceiling far sooner than you should.
Warm up with integrity and intention. Workout with the intensity required for the day. If we ask for 8 strict knees to elbows give me the best 8 you can possibly do that day. You don’t have to do more than that. Because then when I ask for your best Fran ever you might just surprise yourself, as you’ll be ready to perform and strong enough to execute.