How to stick with CrossFit

Sunday morning there was an article on the CBS network show of the same name.  The reporter described CrossFit and showed some video of people running down the side of a road with dumbbells in hand.  He explained it to those who had not heard of it.  Then he said that it works.  But he also said that he could not keep it up and called into the owner of his local box and quit.

This is a typical outcome for many CrossFit customers.  And it does not have to be.  Before I start my suggestions as to how anyone can do CrossFit with their modifications, I would like to say some good things about CrossFit.  There certainly was functional fitness training before CrossFit. I did it in the 90's by climbing football stadium stands with chains around my shoulders and waist.  I was training for backpacking and mountaineering in the Rocky Mountains.  And I did this strenous training every other day.

But back to CrossFit.  I want to congratulate CrossFit for making functional fitness as popular as it is now.  After all, what are you getting fit for?  The answer is to DO something.  And that of course is what CrossFit teaches.   Greg, the owner of CrossFit, has talked to me via email in the past.  And I sincerely congratulated him on his success.  And I wish to offer my sincere congratulations to him and his team for their success.  They have worked very hard.  They deserve their success.

Back to me for a moment.  Between 2006 and 2011 I did CrossFit pretty much as prescribed on their website for 3 days on, and 1 day off.  I was 55 in 2006 and turned 60 in 2011.  Toward the end of the 5 years, it got to where I was not getting enough recovery from the hard workout 3 days straight.  So what I did was alternate between a "heavy" and a "light" workout for those 3 days, and then take the recovery day.  One 3 day set would be heavy, light, and heavy, and the next 3 day cycle would be light, heavy, light.  This worked for a year or so.  

But after I turned 60 it no longer worked.  I visited my local CrossFit box and talked to the trainers.  I presented them with this idea:  Work out every other day.  Do whatever I feel like.

And that is my advice to you.  Do not quit CrossFit.  Just modify it to suit you.  I highly recommend doing a workout that suits you every other day.  Remember, something is better than nothing.  There will always be exercises and workouts that you cannot do.  We are not all top athletes.  So use your own judgment and filter the prescribed WOD through your idea of what you can do.  Here is the most important point:  Do whatever workout you can do that will enable you to do another workout in two days.  Do not do anything that will make you so tired, sore, or plain old burned out that you will not work out day after tomorrow. There is much more training advice on our training page.

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