Random Thoughts from a Restless Mind

Dr. Darrell White's Personal Blog

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The CrossFit Open: How Much Is Enough?

This is the time of year, the CrossFit Open season, when I find myself thinking about volume. No, no, no, this isn’t a ‘size matters’ thing. I’m talking about the volume of work you do to increase your fitness. Have you been following the video series from the Games competitors? I find it fascinating and very enlightening to be a fly on the wall for those discussions, especially the ones about training volume and strategies for competitive WOD’s both in the Open and outside.

Used to be, when we had more like 5-700 posts every day on CrossFit.com, that we would get an equal number of questions and concerns on both sides of the training volume thing. Is the WOD enough? Should I do more? How much do the Rockstars do (Hi Jackie at CrossFit Reload)? Or things like, what if I can’t do the WOD as Rx’d? I’m kinda tired and strung out after 1 or 2 or 5 months of WOD’s; should I take a break? Pretty much an equal number of questions from folks looking for more and folks overwhelmed by the WOD.

Now? Well, at this time of year if you only look at Facebook and the Games site you’d think all of the questions have been answered by the sponsored athletes and those of their ilk. Ya gotta do more, More, MORE if you’re gonna get Crossfit fit. Right? I mean, that’s what we all have to want to do, right? Be CrossFit like Julie or Annie or Jason or Josh?

BZZZZZZT. Wrong. Sorry. Elite fitness is a self-defined term, one that each one of us defines for ourselves. In truth, if we’re doing this CrossFit thing correctly, elite fitness is always just a few more WOD’s away, a few more trips along the neuroendocrine response highway. Face it…for most of us Crossfit is nothing short of the best fitness program (no matter what version of CrossFit we might do) we’ve ever encountered, bringing with it massive fitness returns on our effort invested.

But that’s it. You vs. you. Still.

There’s a quote that came up in a Sunday paper from a non-CrossFit Masters athlete: “if you undertrain, you may not finish; if you overtrain, you may not start.” Pretty good, eh? There’s some genius in that little gem. How much is enough? The answer to that lies in an open and honest evaluation of your own personal goals, your own personal needs, your own personal barriers and boundaries. For example, I have 60-75 minutes 5 times each week for my entire fitness experience, and any injuries I suffer will not only affect my ability to “start” in the gym, but also affect my ability to “start” in my day job. This is true of my everyday fitness journey, and it is certainly no less true of whatever might constitute this year’s CrossFit Open experience. You?

The genius of CrossFit–and it IS genius–and the gift given to us by Coach, is not the competition between CrossFitters produced for spectator consumption, but the competition produced in ourselves. By defining fitness, WCABTMD, Coach, and CrossFit give us something totally new and vitally important: fitness that is measurable, observable, and repeatable. We then have a goal for each workout, to achieve an increase in intensity, an increase in power, as well as a strategy with which to do so (constantly varied functional exercise…).

I love the videos we see at this time of year, I really do. And I love the CrossFit Games,  so far still more fitness festival than commercial convention (as always we will see what this year’s changes bring). But the beauty of CrossFit lives on Crossfit.com, on the CrossFit Community page on Facebook,  and in the 5500 and counting Affiliate gyms where each one of us willingly put ourselves through the exquisite challenge of a WOD in order to achieve our own individual goal. Our own version of of fitness.Our own version of a better you tomorrow than what you were yesterday, through the efforts you make today.

So…how much Crossfit is enough for YOU?


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