It is time for a change. I need to try something different than “constantly varied functional fitness performed over a broad domain with high intensity”. I think that is how it goes, right? I love CrossFit and what I will be doing, in many eyes, will be seen as CrossFit, but it will be CrossFit with a focus.
I have been doing CrossFit on and off since around the Fall of 2010. I got much more serious with it around the Summer of 2012. Without a doubt it has made me stronger and more fit. I don’t run as many 5k runs, but when I do I continue to get faster and run better times (for those of you that think running = fitness). However, at this point, I am not getting stronger. Sure, my deadlift continues to go up and I think that it just because it is still so much lower than it should be. People tend to me amazed when I tell them that my max deadlift is 335 – they think it should be much higher looking at me.
My overhead movements haven’t moved for nearly a year.
My back squat has increased by 25 pounds in the last four months, but that has come only with strict focus doing Smolov Jr. cycles. (And, frankly, I would hope it would go up higher, faster.)
My other squats aren’t going up and I have been working on a muscle-up for months and months and haven’t made progress. (Yes, I still work on the rings two or three times a week in various capacity to build towards a muscle-up.)
Something needs to change. I need to focus more. “Constantly varied” has run its course. Or so I think.
It seems the world wide web has been inundated with articles like this one, and this one, and this one on a weekly basis for the past few months. They all make perfect sense. I am continuing to exercise daily, but am not really doing anything to help me work towards a goal. Especially if I always use the prescribed weight in the WODs listed on my gym’s website (never going higher, just always doing 95, 135 or maybe 185 when they are prescribed).
I have dabbled in a few of the CrossFit.com WODs and done a few [dozen] of the Outlaw Way WODs. I think the CrossFit.com is still too “constantly varied”, but would make me stronger if I did more 5×2 or 1-1-1-1-1 days, for example. Outlaw would certainly make me stronger, but it is too focused on the Oly lifts. While cleaning 225 is an immediate goal for me and snatching 200 would also be awesome, those are not my only goals.
Then you have the crazy volume sites like NCLab, but I, unfortunately, don’t have the time to spend a few hours daily in the gym. There are days when I could go twice and mornings in which I could spend 90 minutes in the gym, but those aren’t frequent enough to keep up with this site. And, besides, I would need a track once a week and it is supposed to a high of 10 degrees in Denver twice this week. While I have a track less than two blocks from my house, I am not running in freezing temperatures.
This all takes me to Task Force Black. I have known Leo Jenkins as a coach and an amazing athlete since I first found CrossFit LoDo in the fall of 2011. LoDo really got me hooked on CrossFit and Leo played a large part in that. As I got better at CrossFit I started to do some of their strength training after the WOD while waiting for the shower to become available. I am not positive, but I think Leo did all of the programming at LoDo when I was there. He is obviously knowledgeable about gaining strength as he has used his own body as a testing ground and made huge strength gains. I love that he programs to a percentage of your one-round-max rather than 95/135 that so many sites program (this keeps it individualized and should continue to push strength gains rather than just getting good at deadlifting 225 whenever deadlifts are programmed).
I love my box. I love – LOVE – the people at the box. Everyone is so great, so nice, so fun, but if I lived closer to CrossFit Cuspis I would have to switch gyms. CrossFit Crush is great, especially since most of the members are in the same place in their lives that myself and my family are (it’s so nice that my kids can come to the gym with me, watch me, hopefully want to be like me, and still play with kids their age), but it is time I get stronger and I bet that would happen at Cuspis.
So I am doing all TF Black Competitive programming this month. It will be a little weird going to Crush and while everyone else is doing the WOD programmed for Crush I will be hiding in a corner doing TF Black programming, but I need a switch. I need something more focused. If it goes well for a month, I will keep doing it. I read on the NOMAD website a while ago that you must stick to one programming and not skip around, if you want to get better/stronger/fitter. So a month of TF Black I will do.
I am sure I will still do a few of the Crush WODs. Probably the Saturday WODs that involve a partner simply because they are fun and I do want to always have fun with my fitness. However, Monday-Friday for the rest of 2013 will be all TF Black.