As the saying goes: jack of all trades, master of none. This phrase is applied to individuals that attempt to excel in several fields and instead end up being just mediocre in them all. Occasionally, this is a criticism levied at CrossFit but I don’t get the impression that CrossFit is marketed at making you an expert in every venture you try. Rather it is an excellent GPP (general physical preparedness) program that can expose you to a variety of disciplines that may catch your interest. This is why we have opened up the Intrepid WLC as well as Powerlifting so you can have the training and support in these specializations.
These are not easy fields to master, so if you try them you need to be patient and realize you will not likely qualify for the national team in three months! That’s why one of the guidelines that Ruth posted was to at least dedicate 2-3 months to your journey. CrossFit is a new shiny toy almost every day in the form of a new WOD and that feeds some peoples’ fitness ADD (attention deficit disorder). When you are attempting to specialize, you will need to practice the same lifts — OFTEN — to improve both your form and strength. The best athletes realize that sacrifices must be made to obtain their results. You will likely have to fight the impulse of chasing the daily shiny toy (metcon) you see others doing. I was inspired to write this post after reading an article Mike Robertson wrote on his site, specifically this portion:
2. Stick with Said Training Program For an Extended Period of Time.
The other issue we see with newer lifters is their inherent ADD.
Little Johnny is serious about powerlifting. He’s following a basic routine, and making steady gains in all of his lifts. This is awesome, right?
But wait! It’s the new year – he’s got 1 pound of extra fat on him, and he’s really dying to see his abz again.
So what does he do?
Time to jump programs!
I see it all the time. One month people want to get strong. The next, they want to put on size. The month after that, they want to lean out.
If you can’t pick a training program and stick to it, it’s no wonder you aren’t getting the results that you’d expect.
So much like is mentioned above, it’s very important to make sure your goals are aligned with what you are truly working towards. If you want to Olympic lift, you will likely never see the bench press and will probably not deadlift often. Likewise, if you’re powerlifting, don’t expect to overhead squat or do Filthy Fifty. These are contrary, or at the very least conflicting, with the goals of those disciplines. Mike Robertson also spoke about setting realistic expectations and avoiding conflicting goals.
“The goal is to keep the goal the goal.” – Dan John
Unfortunately, these people are destined for mediocrity. The body isn’t built to adapt to all things at once. You need to focus on one goal, achieve it, and then working on maintaining those gains while shifting the emphasis of your program.
Remember this: If you are serious about one goal, you need to stick to that one goal. Anything else is gravy.
Sometimes, two goals work well together – in other words if you’re serious about getting stronger, adding a little size never hurts. Dave Tate has talked about this numerous times, how adding body weight and improving his leverage improved his powerlifting total. These goals do not conflict with each other.
If you want to improve your relative strength, you might be able to get a bit stronger, or at least maintain your strength, while shedding some bodyfat.
But don’t sabotage your goals by having way too many of them, all of which are going in different directions. The perfect example is the 150 pound kid who wants to put on some muscle and size, but doesn’t want to lose his 6-pack abz.
Keep in mind, this same concept of conflicting goals can be applied to someone trying to lose weight. Don’t expect to get a 6-pack from showing up to 2 CrossFit classes a week. As I’ve said before, diet is going to be your biggest catalyst for change. Accordingly, if your goal is to drop bodyfat but you also have a goal of finishing a case of beer every weekend, you should expect to be disappointed. (Remember what I said about sacrifice?) Keep your eye on the prize and we trainers will do our best to help you get there!
Make Up Day