The December holiday is upon us, and this means that the 2019 CrossFit is just around the corner. Now is an excellent time to write down and research on how to improve your performance. The first step to improvement is to evaluate your strengths and weaknesses. Do the RX workouts as an easy reference. Look at the last CrossFit and determine the areas you struggled and those you felt good. Write down the areas you think need the most work. Here are three ways to improve your performance in CrossFit.
- Cardiovascular Endurance and Stamina. Having a good heart will get you far and make up for other weaknesses. If you do not have a high level of Cardio and Stamina, you can be the most technical and still fail. Cardio controls your breathing during the workout. Your heart rate must recover after short rest periods. Stamina refers to being able to do large sets of the same movement. For example, if you can do 5 minutes of max pushups, then you have good stamina. Cardio and Stamina work together. If you cannot breathe, your muscles will get limited oxygen to recharge them, and you will take more extended rest periods between sets. Start doing burpees, running, and rowing to improve your Cardio and Stamina levels.
- Strength. For those training in CrossFit and want to move to the next level, strength can limit your efforts. Most athletes think of their power regarding 1 Rep Max. However, strength is more important if you think of it as sub max loads done for multiple reps. If you increase your 1RM, the sub max WODs will become easier. If strength is preventing you from going the next level, you need to take a step back in some other training areas. Focus your training on programs with enough rest between sets. Get enough sleep and calories between training days. Focus on the big lifts first (squats, pull, press) but also work the small muscles that keep your body balanced to avoid injury.
- Technique and Skill. For every movement we practice in the gym, there is a proper technique. The level of difficulty depends on the athlete and the movement. For instance, learning a snatch requires a higher level of skill compared to pull-ups. However, it is always good to master the techniques in everything. Focus on doing each movement correctly. If you decide to use shortcuts for quicker scores, you will lose when you come head-to-head with an athlete with similar skill, but better techniques. With better techniques, your movements will also be more efficient and the better your performance. Proper techniques and skills also translate to using less energy, lifting more weight, and preventing injury. Practice every day but take some time to practice a skill that you wish to improve. Practice the skills without timing yourself, take ample rest, and ensure you repeat the proper movement.
Make sure that you are wearing the best shoes for training to avoid injury. Women can check out the CrossFitSurvival website for a guideline on the best CrossFit shoes.