We will whip you into shape. Call or email us today to reserve your space.
Erin and I would like to thank all our members, competing members and coaches for a great kick-off to the Open. The energy in the box on Friday and Sunday for WOD 14.1 was outstanding. It was a real team atmosphere with the camaraderie, competition and team spirit. We're proud of the Whip It family. Just a reminder to stay sharp this week because we're going to do it all over again. And don't forget to document your scores for 14.1 so we can validate them before 7 pm today.
Posted on February 5, 2014 Blog Name: Constantly Varied
At Crossfit King of Prussia, the coaches select an “Athlete of the Month” and feature that person on our workout blog. I believe a good amount of CrossFit gyms do something similar and even the CrossFit Games has a special award called the “Spirit of the Games” to recognize a particular athlete. I’d like to take some time and go over some of the major characteristics that I believe embody an Athlete of the Month, Spirit of the Games awardee, or simply a great CrossFit member.
First, let’s go over what this is NOT. This is not “What Makes a Great CrossFit Athlete?” It is not necessarily a recognition of the “best” athlete as it pertains to performance, or the most outgoing, or the most technically proficient. This recognition actually has nothing to do with absolute performance and everything to do with who the person is in the context of a CrossFit environment.
Emily Pale of CrossFit Explode smiling during back squats at the 2012 Mid-Atlantic Regionals
A good CrossFit member is positive. Not necessarily in an always-smiling-cheerleader way, but certainly not a negative Nancy. They realize that fitness should be fun and enjoyable, and they spread that fun to people around them. No one likes to be around a grouch, so let those endorphins do their work!
Very simply, a great member doesn’t cheat. People who shave reps (I’ve seen particular individuals cut as much as HALF of their reps off) are insecure and typically feel like they need to appear better than they are. A great member is secure in himself or herself and realizes that although we are measuring fitness in a group setting, at the end of the day only their personal performance matters. They also know that cheaters are found out very quickly by coaches and other members and no one likes a cheater.
A solid member doesn’t brag about their results or numbers. I want to make clear that being excited about hitting PRs or progressing to a new level is ABSOLUTELY worthy of telling people and I do not consider that bragging. However, we all know those people who can’t stop talking about themselves, whether it’s how good they are at metcons or worse, telling others that they got bumped down the PR board. In other words, it’s not about whatyou’re saying as much as how you say it (or act). One of the most fun things to see is someone excited about their new PR. I just don’t need to hear about it every day. And if you are in fact “elite,” then your numbers will speak for themselves.
OPEN TO COACHING
This goes along with being humble and from my perspective as a coach, this is one of the biggest factors when thinking about Athlete of the Month. I can have a “firebreather” walk in the gym, but if they bring their ego in with them and are closed off to correcting their technique, no bueno. If Olympians have a coach and are constantly looking to improve, then we all should be. In CrossFit, we do so many different movements that everyone has a “goat,” or a weakness to work on. I realize some people might take criticism worse than others, but you must absorb it and decide if it’s advice worth taking instead of immediately disregarding it.
Brian Quinlan and Steve Pinkerton congratulating each other after a brutal workout at 2012 Mid-Atlantic Regionals
SUPPORTING FELLOW ATHLETES
CrossFit is about community. There are very few other venues where you are expected to cheer on your “competitors” anywhere from Saturday morning WODs at your local box to high levels of competition such as the CrossFit Games. Supporting fellow athletes in class can mean helping a new member learn the 400m route, introducing yourself to out-of-towners, encouraging someone to pick up the bar in the middle of the workout, or going over and cheering them on as they finish a workout. It also means helping them celebrate their successes as much as you would your own.
Hard work. It’s something that everyone at all levels of fitness can accomplish. Giving it your all in a workout, working on technique every day or week, doing “extra” work such as pull ups or push ups after a workout: these are all examples of hard work. If you take a look at any top performer in any field, they have put in thousands of hours of work. I even wrote about the 10,000 hour rule in my post “What Malcolm Gladwell Has to Do with Olympic Lifting.” I’m not saying you have to be a master at CrossFit, but the journey of improvement is more important than the destination. I like this quote as it describes exactly what I’m thinking: “Hard work beats talent when talent doesn’t work hard.”
Women exhausted after a long workout at 2012 CrossFit Mid-Atlantic Regionals
Angela Lee Duckworth is a psychologist who left a high paying consulting job to teach 7th grade math. She has since become a professor at University of Pennsylvania and is the leading expert on “grit” and self-control as it pertains to youth. Instead of focusing on standardized test scores or grades, Duckworth takes a look at a more subjective characteristic in people: grit. She defines grit as “perseverance and passion for long term goals.” (2007) A great CrossFit member is gritty. They ignore the short game of “winning” today’s WOD. Instead, they focus on the long game of improving their technique, strength, and metabolic conditioning. They don’t let a bad day ruin their attitude toward fitness. They don’t let obstacles get in their way of at least trying. A great member does not give up easily because they know a big piece of CrossFit is mental fortitude.
These are just a few of the main characteristics I consistently see in our Athletes of the Month. Typically these characteristics have been ingrained in our stellar members even before they joined CrossFit. However, I think the context of the CrossFit environment allows for these characteristics to really shine. I also think that that they are malleable. In other words, if you think you can work on being more humble, or practice technique more, then do it! There’s no time like the present to start being a great CrossFit member.
With the Opens beginning, I have heard a lot of chatter about, whats a good score? What people need to realize is everyone is different, some of us have been doing crossfit for 3 years and some for 3 months, everyone has their strengths and weaknesses. What is a good score for me, may not be a good score for you. All you can do is do your best and be proud of whatever score you get. For some people getting 1 single rep is an accomplishment to be very proud of and will set you apart from those who got zero reps. People sign up for the Opens knowing that there may be movements in a wod that they have not been capable of doing but when that wod comes up they are going to fight like hell to get one rep of that movement. Maybe its a double under, pull up, heavy lift, etc. all you can do is try and give it your best and be proud you tried! So whether you scored a 4 or a 400 on 14.1 be proud of your hard work! I personally think its a bigger accomplishment for the person thats never gotten a double under to get one rep, than watch someone get a bunch of rounds! Keep up the good work and celebrate your accomplishments, they are well earned!
Get your stretch on with Naja. No charge for members with unlimited and 4 x's membership. $10 for members with limited plans. (Well worth the $)
If you haven't signed up for the Opens yet, you have one more day! As we begin the Opens, I encourage EVERYONE to go to the CrossFit Games site on Thursday nights, you can watch the live release of the wod that we will be doing each Friday for the next five weeks. In the past they have had CrossFit Games athletes go head to head to complete the wod. More importantly, they will post a video explaining the wod and the movement standards. Whether you are doing the Opens or not I strongly encourage you to watch these videos. As many of the participants from last year can remember, these standards will make or break you! Last year during the 13.3 wod (150 wall balls, 90 double unders and as many muscle ups as possible in the remaining time) many of us soon found out that our squats may not have been low enough or our wall ball was not hitting the target every time and we received so many "no reps" that it was easy to feel defeated because we didn't even finish the wall balls before the time cap. But you better believe that many of us worked on our wall balls this year and now get low enough and hit that target more consistently! If you are cheating the rep, you are only cheating yourself because in situations like the Opens or competitions when you are judged, these reps wont count, so train your body to do all movements to the standard!
In CrossFit all the movements have standards that you are expected to adhere to, however, there are times that unless you can see yourself or someone is cuing you, it is easy to think you are doing it to that standard when in reality you may not be. As coaches, we understand that not everyone has the same range of motion and some of these standards may be difficult so just try your best. If your are capable but not always adhering to these standards you are only cheating yourself because when it comes time to compete these reps will not count!
Again, if you haven't signed up yet, do it NOW! The Opens are a great way to get the extra push to find out how strong you really are both mentally and physically! Last year many of us accomplished things we didn't think we could do and it was a great feeling. If you have any questions about the Opens ask one of us, we would love to talk to you about it. Don't be intimidated by the wods, they are meant for
And here is one more inspirational story, if you are still looking for motivation!
Join us Friday this night at 5:30 to do the wod and celebrate the Opens!