How to Work a Weakness to Improve Your Overall Fitness
CrossFit is defined as constantly varied functional movements performed at high intensity. Constantly varied meaning any and all imaginable tasks, and the goal of that training method is to create a well-rounded and general fitness base. But “any and all imaginable tasks” covers a lot of things!
What about the tasks we can’t yet do?
We scale of course, and over time we aim to scale less and less and less. We see examples of this every day as athletes use fewer bands, lift more load, and run faster. Over time, we will be able to do more and more movements, increase loadings, and work capacities; taking the long approach is great for general fitness and GPP (General Physical Preparedness), it might not always be the best way to address a specific weakness.
Let’s use the Double Under's as an example. Instead of scaling with singles every time they show up in a workout or warm up. (and becoming a ninja at singles) Why not spend a little extra time before or after class every week to target the specifics of double under's.
If we want Double under's we need to practice specific steps in a progressions towards them and that often means spending time with rope in hand and consistently trying to improve the movement pattern. It’s not sexy work and it’s not always different and new. It looks like drilling the same fundamental pieces over and over until a new level of competency is reached, jumping up to the next progression or repetition and repeating. It’s a lot of hard work, so why do it?
It all comes back to general physical preparedness. When you get to the point where you can do double under's in a workout without breaking to singles or simply hitting the prescribed number every time, then the level of fitness gained by doing so has increased. More fitness, better health. The Accuracy, Coordination and control you gain through your double under's specific training will also have carry-over to other movements. All movements have some carry-over or transference to other movements. Lastly, it’s fun. Taking a step back and approaching one selected movement more thoroughly allows us to spend more time practicing and perfecting the movement. The little things that you may not be able to point out specifically but you notice the difference when they aren’t there. It’s what gets the “wow” comment and respect from coaches.
What does this look like exactly?
The athlete will spend 5-10minutes three or more days per week before or after group class working through sets and reps of a specific goal. (double under's) They will break down the designated movement into strength and/or technique components and work a very detailed segment of the movement. Some athletes are able to develop a structured plan on their own while others might choose to ask a coach for a bit of guidance.
So what is your weakness and how do you plan to make it a strength?