By Craig Hysell
I have been writing workout programs since the early 2000’s. I spent 8 years writing them for myself and then, in the fall of 2008, started writing them for other people. Now I write them for people all over the world and offer tips in a variety of magazine articles like this one for example.
My theory for you, my peeps, when programming is this: nothing is absolute, but staying in certain scientifically proven guidelines has proven the most effective at sustaining The Practice of training and provides the most longevity, ergo: the most beneficial results.
The longer you stick at something, the more you learn and improve.
But that something must allow you to make progress in some aspect of your physicality as well as your understanding of the larger universe and cultivate a stronger spirit a majority of the time or that something is not functioning optimally.
Dips and Struggles provide the platform for a higher level of understanding, so don’t mistake this training philosophy being discussed as: your training program should be “sunshine and rainbows” all the time! In fact, if it is, it’s become detrimental to your improvement. You need hardship to improve!
“Quick Fixes” are not our bag at CTF. Yes, you will feel better immediately (disregarding the muscle soreness that comes with beginning) once you begin training. But almost any training program can benefit you for the first 6-12 weeks, maybe even months, because it’s NEW!
Hans Seyle’s General Adaptation Syndrome is popular amongst trainers and coaches because it explains the phenomenon, and the secret, perfectly. The popularity of some DVD “do it at home” workouts work, because it shocks the body. But if you did the same DVD over and over again, just hitting replay every 30-90 days, your body would adapt, cease to make change and possibly regress or suffer injury.
The same is true of CrossFit. Any CrossFit will offer you immense changes in the beginning and a new tribe of friends. It’s an awesome feeling and a radical atmosphere!
Bad CrossFit will begin to break you down after your body’s indoctrination period. Inflammation in improperly laid out programming produces negative results over time. Resulting in regression or, most likely, overuse injuries. Bad CrossFit communities will be rife with coaches who don’t care, who can’t spot improper movement or articulate fixes in a positive manner. Rep shaving and other such “cheats” by members, a steady stream of injuries, lots of drama, and feelings of negative self-worth by you will also be indicative of this. This is a leadership issue and you need to go look for a new leader.
Good CrossFit will allow you to continue to improve over the lifetime of your membership. Good CrossFit communities will guide you, push you forward, pull you back if necessary to regroup you and make you even better (Like a Terminator built out of Awesomesauce), make you feel like you were at a friggin’ rock concert every day, inspire you, fill you with positivity, make it okay to learn new things without feeling foolish, and do things outside the gym together as play or to raise money or awareness for charities.
The programming and the community are not separate, they intertwine. They affect one another deeply. A great CrossFit gym must be adept at both. You should look for great, not just good.
The Practice of great CrossFit takes time. Programming could even seem slow or “boring” at times. Community will ebb and flow at times. Greatness is an evolution and comes from failing forward. It must be earned and it takes time. But time will not feel like a waste in our immediate gratification culture if progress is constantly made in physicality, community and spirituality by you.
Progress is the secret to happiness and empowerment.
So how do we provide this at CTF? Stay tuned for Part II!
P.S. Keeping a sense of humor never hurts! 😉