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Old 08-09-2010, 09:53 AM   #1
Katherine Derbyshire
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How to fail at Crossfit

I've been reading the boards around here for a while, so I've had a chance to see people come and go, and the chance to see some common mistakes over and over. Please consider this a bit of friendly advice, and a chance to learn from other people's mistakes rather than your own.

I'd say the overarching mistake that people make is doing a complete 180 from their previous lifestyle, without giving their bodies a chance to adjust. Yes, I know Crossfit is life-changing and you can't wait to get started. Yes, I know that your previous diet was terrible and you want to start shedding pounds Right Now. But please, for your own sake, give yourself time to ease into it.

If instead you actually *want* to see your Crossfit experiment collapse into a heap of rubble, here's how you do it.

* Eat too little. "Grains and dairy are terrible, and I'm dropping them from my diet starting tomorrow." Great! Except they may very well have accounted for half your caloric intake. If you don't replace those calories somehow, you'll hit a low energy wall in a matter of days.

Or, alternatively, "I want to get strong, but I don't want to gain any weight." So you double or triple your exercise load, but don't eat any additional food. This one's a little more insidious -- you might go a few weeks before you realize that you aren't making any gains and you're having trouble dragging yourself out of bed.

* Do too much. "Ten minutes? How can ten minutes be an adequate workout? I definitely need to throw in some extra running, and probably some strength work, and I still want to play my sport all-out three days a week, and I'm training for a military selection program, and..." Chill out. Yes, depending on your goals, you might need to do more. But you might not. If you're just starting, you don't know yet. Crossfit workouts are HARD. Give your body a chance to see how hard they are and how well you respond. You can always add more later. (And eat more. A LOT more if you're going to pile more work on top of the main page.)

* Succumb to ego. "Scaling is for wimps. I've been working out for years, I can do 95 lb thrusters all day." Maybe... but maybe not. One of the strongest guys I know DNFed his first Fran. He could move the weight like it was PVC, but the cardio intensity crushed him. On the other hand, if the weight is close to your max, your form *will* deteriorate during a WOD and your chances of getting hurt will go way up. Plus you'll be insanely sore the next day. If you can't work out for three days because you insisted on doing the workout unscaled, you're not going to be able to make steady progress.

So if your goal is to convince yourself that you can't get fit, no matter what you try, just follow these three easy steps. Within a month, you'll be back to tell us that Crossfit doesn't work.

Katherine
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Old 08-09-2010, 10:25 AM   #2
Jason Wallis
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Re: How to fail at Crossfit

no need to call me out in front of everyone like that...
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Originally Posted by Katherine Derbyshire View Post

Succumb to ego. "Scaling is for wimps. I've been working out for years, I can do 95 lb thrusters all day." Maybe...
Katherine
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Old 08-09-2010, 10:50 AM   #3
Ron White
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Re: How to fail at Crossfit

Incredible! All of that is so true and fits me to a T last year when I started.
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Old 08-09-2010, 10:51 AM   #4
John Stone
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Re: How to fail at Crossfit

Quote:
Originally Posted by Katherine Derbyshire View Post

* Succumb to ego. "Scaling is for wimps. I've been working out for years, I can do 95 lb thrusters all day." Maybe... but maybe not. One of the strongest guys I know DNFed his first Fran. He could move the weight like it was PVC, but the cardio intensity crushed him.

Yeah I had that happen to a friend. He was much younger than I, much stronger, and much faster, and the next day in much pain. CF is a sport -- you can't just go from your couch straight to the NFL (or any other sport) -- it takes practice.
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Old 08-09-2010, 10:52 AM   #5
Mark Kosmowski
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Re: How to fail at Crossfit

"It's better to walk to success than run to failure." - Matthew A. Ritchie, LTC, Virginia ARNG

My biggest challenge is learning to push myself mentally while at the same time respecting myself physically. Back in high school ... well, I'm not in high school anymore and I'm not current. My plan is to, when in doubt, do less today and come back tomorrow for a little more.

In fact, maybe I should just "gently" build my conditioning back up, gain some strength and then work on the mental game when I know my body is good for it.

Thanks for giving us new folks this thread to think about things with.
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Old 08-09-2010, 11:24 AM   #6
Shannon Mullens
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Re: How to fail at Crossfit

Quote:
Originally Posted by Katherine Derbyshire View Post
I'd say the overarching mistake that people make is doing a complete 180 from their previous lifestyle, without giving their bodies a chance to adjust. Yes, I know Crossfit is life-changing and you can't wait to get started. Yes, I know that your previous diet was terrible and you want to start shedding pounds Right Now. But please, for your own sake, give yourself time to ease into it.
This. The hardest part of Crossfit for me (and I'm really new, I've been doing it less than 2 months) is patience. I am not a patient woman.

Nice post. I like it.
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Old 08-09-2010, 06:48 PM   #7
Darrell E. White
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Re: How to fail at Crossfit

Very well played, Katherine. Tons of meat on this bone. Thanks.

--bingo
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Old 08-09-2010, 07:48 PM   #8
John McBrien
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Re: How to fail at Crossfit

Katherine, I might add to that, "Trust the programming." So many people want to make CrossFit main site, CFE, CFFB, strength-bias, SS, Catalyst Athletics, SEAL Fit, Military Athlete, etc. etc. etc. better by mixing all of them to make something they think is the ultimate program.

If beginners stick to a program and its tenets and be patient then the program can work.
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Old 08-09-2010, 07:53 PM   #9
Jamie J. Skibicki
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Re: How to fail at Crossfit

What john said. If you have to ask if your programing will work, it won't. Also, pick a program that suits your goals. If you aren't sure, ask.
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Old 08-09-2010, 07:53 PM   #10
Mark E. Wallace
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Re: How to fail at Crossfit

Quote:
Originally Posted by John McBrien View Post
If beginners stick to a program and its tenets and be patient then the program can work.
Kindly let me thank you for being one of the few people on this (or most any) forum to not spell that it's.

I have honestly gotten to the point where I cringe when I sense the possessive form of it coming in an online sentence.

- Mark
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