THE CROSSFIT IDIOT – from a guest speaker
To set the record straight from the get go, the idiot in this case is me, but I guarantee this article will resonate with plenty of people reading it.
Until recently (very recently if I’m honest), I’ve trained with the mentality “If it ain’t broke don’t fix it, and if it’s hurting, fuck it, it’s not broke yet”. This is the mindset of the Crossfit Idiot!
I’m not far off the ripe old age of thirty and whilst I know many of you out there can only dream of being at the top end of your twenties again, years of bad movement patterns and imbalanced training is taking its toll. Due to a mix of stubbornness and a competitive nature, I’ve spent years training through pain/injury in hope that it will simply disappear and I’ll be back to normal in no time. It’s all just part of the journey right?
Let’s clear something up. I’m a Level 1 Trainer, I’ve done my Weightlifting course, I own a Crossfit based clothing brand and I surround myself with, in my opinion, some of the best coaches, athletes and fitness professionals in the country. I should really know better! After all long past are the days where I would frantically run around a football pitch stalking the opposing sides top striker with the single aim of making sure they can’t walk for the rest of the season. As sadistic and exaggerated as this may sound, this was my job and loved every minute of it. My legs were my weapons and if I didn’t add another battle scar to my collection every weekend I would be hugely disappointed. The pain when cleaning out my cuts post match was oddly satisfying. To me it meant the task had been completed, the job was done and my team mates would hopefully be happy with the part I played. I don’t feel this way anymore!
Times have changed and injuries are just pulling me further away from my competition goals. It was high time I started looking after my body and my mobility should be at the forefront of my future plans. You don’t build a skyscraper on shit foundations do you? Resistance bands have slowly become my best friends and you’ll even find me throwing some shapes on the floor of my office or my lounge whilst re-enacting something I’m watching on RomWod. Chasing numbers has always been a thing with me too. Sod the technique and let’s just get it over head.
With a want to better myself and relatively large financial expense, I’ve taken courses, sat in seminars and had my previous technique ripped apart by some fantastic coaches and friends. I’ve sat back and watched other athletes PB lifts with some amazingly high numbers knowing that I was nowhere near ready to join the club. But at long last I’m seeing progress. My numbers are starting to creep up and my technique is so much better. Recently I trained with a couple of guys who I hadn’t trained with for about a year and they remarked on how much my form had changed. I also know this is the case because I’ve got into the habit of filming myself, not for egotistical purposes but to compare my current self to the old me.
One of the reasons I’ve written this article is due to the fact I currently have an injury to my hand which means I can’t hook grip. Needless to say snatching is out and so too are most overhead movements (You could call me the Darren Anderton of the Crossfit world (remember him?)). I can clean but only with a neutral grip which means I can’t go as heavy as I’d like but at least I’m still lifting. Yes I’m frustrated and yes it’s another setback but this time I’m working around it rather than through it. This is the IDIOT taking an educated approach to training and I really do urge anyone that feels my pain…to do something about it so they don’t have to!
I’d like to end with one last thing. I train competitively so to speak. For anyone reading this and thinks the article is simply adding fuel to the fire of the Crossfit & injuries debate, let me assure you that this won’t happen to you in a class format. Your coach’s fundamental concern is and will always be member’s safety. We have it drummed in that if a member can’t complete a movement safely, we create an environment that allows it to be performed, even if only partially or with a lighter weight. We sure as hell don’t start adding weight like the Crossfit Idiot!