By Mike Minium
Peformance Matters, But So Do Goals
Knowing the target you’re aiming for is important.
To follow up on Nicole’s post from a couple of days ago, I’d like to discuss one of the finer points of performance and goal-setting.
It may seem like the world’s biggest "duh" statement, but it bears mentioning nonetheless: Your goal(s) will determine how you perform (and more importantly, how, and if, you use performance in a workout as an evaluation tool, as the end itself, or some combination of evaluation tool and end result).
So what does this mean, exactly? It means that your approach to the WODs (as posted on CrossFit) will determine, in large part, how quickly you make fitness gains in all ten general physical skills (as defined by Jim Cawley at Dynamax): endurance, stamina, strength, flexibility, speed, power, agility, accuracy, balance, and coordination.
Basically, there are two approaches one can take in using the WODs:
1. You can use the WOD as the end itself.
2. You can use the WOD to diagnose weaknesses and then take specific steps to address said weaknesses.
Approach 1 is the easiest to implement, will provide the most bang for the buck for those new to physical training, and will lead to general health and well-being better than any program out there.
Approach 1 treats each workout as the ultimate test and the goal is to perform one’s best on each WOD that comes up, and let the beautiful template of the workout program take care of the rest.
Approach 2 uses the occasional WOD to gauge (or benchmark, if you prefer) one’s current level of fitness. This approach is particularly useful when evaluated against the backdrop of the ten general physical skills because it allows one to clearly identify where he or she is weak. After this evaluation is performed, one then engages in a more focused program that directly addresses those weaknesses.
Approach 2 can be employed when an athlete is trying to jump from one performance level to another (within the context of a CF workout; e.g., trying to move from a sub-10-minute Fran to a sub-3-minute Fran) but won’t be able to get there without some dedicated work (e.g., the athlete could do Fran using 135# thrusters and a weight vest for pull-ups, engage in a pull-up training program, etc.).
Either approach is valid. Both will yield results. Most (all?) of you will engage in both methods over the course of your training life. It simply depends on what you’re looking to achieve in your training.
With that in mind, now is as good a time as ever to read through Coach Glassman’s Fundamentals, Virtuosity, and Mastery.
And after you finish reading, post to Comments the approach you’re currently using in your CF training and give the reason(s) why.