I’ve been in the CrossFit game for a solid 5 years now. This by no means makes me an expert, there have been some in the community who’ve been involved in CrossFit for double the time I have. In my time, I’ve seen people follow a pretty distinct pattern of Growth in their CrossFit lifecycle. No matter where you are in the process, take a look at this and see what might be in store for you. How true to your experience is this?
The typical “growth pattern” of a newer member of CrossFit looks like this:
- Hater. Generally speaking many people come into the gym on day one somewhat apprehensive. They’ve heard “You have to CrossFit” about 928219101 times too many from that one friend of theirs who does it.
- Questioner. Once they get a few classes under their belts, there’s an undeniable thought lurking in their heads. “I’ve never quite felt like I have gotten a workout like this before”. There’s so many factors to CrossFit that are different, and regardless if someone’s done Functional Fitness and High Intensity before, they are still left questioning … “Maybe CrossFit works…?”
- Adopter. At this phase, you’re beyond questioning if it works. You’re probably 1 to 3 months into it, and you have noticed changes in your life already. How you look. How you feel. Your understanding of your abilities and your limitations. How you deal with adversity. How to continue working when you mind screams “stop!”. Adopters have come to many understandings and are working on applying them and the concepts we learn to their every day life and workouts.
- Believer. Going beyond just adopting, the believer begins to understand at fundamental levels why CrossFit works. At this point you’ve been doing CrossFit 3-6 months, and you look back at your earlier phases of “CrossFit matrurity” and you laugh at how you thought you knew things, but you were only scratching the surface. At this point, you understand the concepts of good movement patterns, but more than likely you’re still worried about general growth and goal achievement to focus too strongly on them.
- Vocal Advocate. Now you’re about 6-12 months into CrossFit. You’ve seen the effects. Not only on yourself but everyone else you’ve been working out alongside during this time. You know this path of physical and mental transformation isn’t just something unique to you. You’re walking with a little more pep in your step, and you notice the bad patterns of those around you clearly. With this realization you begin to advocate CrossFit to everyone around you – family, friends, coworkers and neighbors. You’ve become to person in Step 1 that you hated, and you don’t even realize it… until about 12 people ask you to shut up.
- Leader. At this phase, you’ve taken a look back and realized talking isn’t as effective as doing. Being the living example of what you want others to find, is the only way to truly advocate. If people you love want to find health and happiness in their own skin, they will seek you out, as long as you’ve served as a passive role model for this ideal. During this phase, you’ll also likely seek out some of your own additional programming – because the general Workout of the Day just isn’t what you’re seeking anymore (As a gym we’ll have an answer for this soon…)
- Coach / Mentor. At this point, you’ve become a person at the box that newer members will turn to for advice and instruction. In almost any community environment, there’s a concept of giving back once you’ve reached a certain level of understanding. You’ve been doing CrossFit for so long (24+ months) that you are able to spot movement pattern deficiencies. You may or may not understand how to cue or relay this information properly, but you’ve developed to the point where you can see the movement issues out of the corner of your eye. The more you practice this, the better you’ll become.
How on point is this with your personal CrossFit experience? Where are you in this and what do you have to look forward to? Do you notice this progression in others at the box around you? There’s no perfect timetable or progression in this – it’s just a general path most people follow. You might accelerate thru some of it, and you might hang out in one spot for a while (forever). It really doesn’t matter.
Workout of the Day:
A.) Thruster – build to a heavy single from rack
1 Power Clean (135/95)
2 Bar MU or C2B
2 Power Clean
4 Bar MU or C2B
3 Power Clean
6 Bar MU or C2B….
5 strict pull ups
50 mountain climbers
10 box step ups
Rest 2 minutes
5 strict dips
Rest 2 minutes
30 Double Unders
1 min plank hold