"Be impressed by intensity, not volume." -Greg Glassman
The workouts that we write are designed to create a specific stimulus from the training. In the sport of CrossFit, we program for the best athletes in the gym, and then scaled based off of your abilities for you to achieve an appropriate response! If the workout is scaled it doesn't make you LESS of a person or athlete, it just means your fitness level is different from others in the box. Many times the hardest thing to do is control our ego. If you scale the workout appropriately you'll get a better response and progress much faster. You should never scale to make the workout "easier", always scale to your ability. A long-term goal of scaling is creating the ability to perform workouts "Rx".
That being said, sometimes the scale of the workout is a time cap. It is OKAY if you time out of a workout. When we put a time cap it was discussed and decided that we didn't want you working on those movements for say, longer than 12 minutes. Or we wanted you to scale the weight or movements appropriately enough so that you can finish the workout within that time cap and bring the intensity that is desired for a workout. This means the intensity is higher and the response from the stimulus will be appropriate.
A few weeks back, I attended the CrossFit Games Mid-Atlantic Regional competition. There was a workout where 40 men competed, and only a handful of them finished it. These are the best male athletes in the region or even world and only a few men finished the workout, the rest timed out- so, don't be discouraged or allow self-doubt to creep up on you next time you are capped.
To get the best response out of your workouts, discuss with your coach an appropriate scale and your physical response will be better. For more in depth information, check out this CrossFit Journal article.
I recently was listening to a podcast with the prestigious coach Ben Bergeron who spoke about nutrition and he said it this way, "We compete in the sport of fitness. The primary test of what we do are metcons- metabolic conditioning-right?" This is where I don't think people see the connection here with nutrition. "So, when you break down the word "metabolism, it is our bodies ability to take food and turn it into energy." In a sense, we are really competing in the sport of eating food and turning it into energy. Whether your goal is to lean out, improve health markers such as cholesterol, get your first muscle up, or better overall performance, dialing in on nutrition can help you realize and obtain those goals.
The CrossFit pyramid, is a visual representation of the elements that go into the pursuit of health and fitness, with Sport being at the top and Nutrition being at the bottom. "This model has greatest utility in analyzing athletes’ shortcomings or difficulties.We don’t deliberately order these components but nature will. If you have a deficiency at any level of “the pyramid” the components above will suffer” (What is Fitness, CrossFit Journal, October 2002). That last sentence “If you have a deficiency at any level of “the pyramid” the components above will suffer” should remind us that we can’t out exercise the food we put into our bodies.
All pathways to improved health and fitness go through nutrition.
“Everyone wants to live on top of the mountain, but all the happiness and growth occur while you are climbing.” -Andy Rooney
Often times we hear the words “trust the process” when people are referring to a certain path that they are on. This path may be through fitness, lifestyle changes, nutrition, or career change. Those words are often thrown around by many stating that good old fashion, “eyes forward approach” of just doing the work and not worrying about anything else.
I do think that this is the right attitude to have, however I also believe that you have to enjoy this process. Each day you need to wake up and realize the opportunity you have and what you get to do. From there you can step forward with the work that needs to be done and OWN it.
With each of your goals, or pursuits, find the joy in the everyday climb. Search for your growth and happiness in the effort that you put in. There are no grades to your work. There is no right or wrong. There is only the guideline of “did this get me closer to the top?” If it didn’t then, “did I learn from this?” From there, “time to move forward.”
Ownership leads to accountability which leads to progress.
So, learn to find the happiness in the daily climb to your mountain top, and search for the areas of growth. Through that you will always find yourself on the right path.