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I don’t think I know a single person who enjoys every aspect of CrossFit. Everyone has one movement or another than they dread. Because our body types are different, some of our bodies are built to be better weight lifters, others are built to be gymnasts, and some are even built to be runners. The runner and the gymnast are probably going to dislike heavy weight lifting days just like the muscular weight lifter is going to dislike running or performing the body weight gymnastic movements like muscle ups, handstand push ups, or even pull ups.

It is human nature to gravitate toward those things we are good at and to shy away, or even outright avoid, those things we are not good at. If I despised long distance running, which I don’t, why would I want to go out for a 5k run? If we don’t find enjoyment from an activity, we aren’t going to want to do it. This is exactly the opposite of what we SHOULD do.

The amazing thing about CrossFit is that it does not produce athletes who are trained in one specific area like some other fitness routines. CrossFit is defined as: “constantly varied, functional movements performed at high intensity, across broad time and modal domains.” There is no focusing on just weightlifting. No emphasis on long distance running. CrossFit incorporates everything and produces an athlete who can lift more than a runner and run faster than a weight lifter.

If you walk into the gym and every day you are doing a different working, some longer than others, but all containing different movements, you are going to become much more well-rounded than someone who goes to the gym and does chest and tricep workouts on Mondays, back and biceps on Wednesdays, and legs and core on Fridays. But you’re still probably going to have weaknesses and things you avoid because you don’t like doing them. That’s where the mental work comes in. If you want to be better, if you want to be a more well-rounded athlete, you need to recognize your areas of weakness and take it upon yourself to improve in those areas.

I avoided rope climbs for the longest time because I have never been able to climb the rope comfortably. Finally a few months ago, in between a couple classes, I was speaking with another coach who explained a method that finally made sense to me. I tried it and it was easier and felt more comfortable than before, so I decided that I needed to work on it more. After a couple weeks of climbing the rope a couple times every day I was in the gym, I became comfortable with it. Would this have happened if I just wrote rope climbs off and never gave them a chance? No!

We all have weaknesses, whether they are due to body composition, injuries, fears, or lack of understanding, no one can say they are the best in all aspects of CrossFit. Even the 2012 CrossFit Games Winner, Rich Froning, admits he has weaknesses. So the next time you finish a workout and realize it kicked your butt because it contained something you aren’t good at, remember what it was and practice it! I know we all have weaknesses, currently mine is in the gymnastics area. I dread workouts with ring dips, muscle ups, and handstand push ups. What are your weaknesses?

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Me after my first muscle up… Need more practice!

 

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