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How to Achieve Long-Term “Success” in CrossFit

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This post is from Trident athlete Caitlin Parke. You can read more about her at her blog, Crossroads of the Heart.

caitlin

The author setting a new record for herself on the snatch during the The Open earlier this year.

Upon joining a CrossFit gym, new members quickly realize that something different is going on here.  Beyond learning foreign fitness movements and namesakes like WOD, Pukie the Clown and what-the-heck-is Rhabdomyalgia, newbies begin to understand what it means to be included in the CrossFit community.

For me personally, I think it revolves around the following statement.

CrossFitters are heavily invested in not only their own successes, but fellow CrossFitters’ goals as well. 

We want to see each other achieve PRs, get a muscle up for the first time or perform a burpee without a box.  This is the nature of CrossFitters’ minds and attitudes.

It is no surprise that CrossFitters are also successful in other areas of life.  Within Trident alone, we have military personnel, non-profit managers, parents, entrepreneurs, teachers, etc.  Our community is full of the most hard working, determined and motivated people you will ever gosh darn meet.

To achieve success, however, we must first establish what success is for each of us, which to most people includes establishing goals.  Within the CrossFit community, this creates an entirely new beast altogether.

What exactly is a CrossFit goal?

Is it a PR in a specific movement?

Is it a specific movement at a certain number of reps?

Is it showing up each day?

Seriously.

I am going to, of course, give you the PC answer. It is all of these things and more.

The most important factor to understand is the importance of creating goals.  As we progress through our CrossFit career, goals are the one thing that will stick with us through the ups and the downs.  They’ll push us forward as we struggle through the hard days and they’ll celebrate with us as we draw a line through them.  Of course, there are always the elusive ones that will tantalize us throughout our entire lifetime, forever reminding us to keep dreaming big.

This is why it’s so important to have a variety of CrossFit goals on your list, both the manageable ones and the big hairy audacious goals (BHAG) that just make you smile. That includes the tangible PR numbers and the ones full of intangible fuzziness.

Unfortunately, we must all come up with these goals on our own.  This is why I decided to design a framework that will help you start thinking about how to create or modify your own personal CrossFit goals.

If Greg Glassman steals this un-copyrighted piece of property, someone please buy me a beer. ;)

 

The 5 Elements of Crossfit Goals

1. Lifts

Movements include:
-Front Squat -Shoulder Press
-Snatch -Thruster
-Cleans -Deadlift
-Jerk -Bench Press
-Back Squat -Overhead Squat
-Push Press
Types of Goals include:
-PRs -Number of consecutive reps at specific weight

2. Bodyweight

Movements include:
-Pull Up -TTB
-Muscle Up -Ring Dips
-HSPU
Types of Goals include:
-Number of consecutive reps -Progression (ex. 1ab mat HSPU to 1RX HSPU)

3. Skills

Movements include:
-800m Run -Wall Balls
-500m Row -KB Swings
-Double Unders -Box Jumps
-Rope Climbs
Types of Goals include:
-Sub XMin Time -Number of consecutive reps
-Progression (ex. 10 box jumps to 10 bounding)

4. Competition (optional)

Ex. Compete at a scaled competition by January 2014 Ex. Qualify for Regionals by 2015

5. Intangible

Ex. Leave my ego at the doorEx. Be happy with the outcome of the WOD no matter whatEx. Go big or go home!

 

Here are some things to think about when creating your goals:

  • Your list should, ideally, include goals for each of these categories (competition is totally optional).
  • Be S.M.A.R.T!  (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, Time-Bound)  I usually create my goals with a target of a specific month, year.  For example, a 220 lbs. 1RM Deadlift by December 2013.
  • That being said, yes, you should create attainable goals, but also include the big hairy audacious ones.  Hey, I might never make it to Regionals and, honestly, that whole muscle up one is really eluding me too, but it’s always fun to dream big.  Goals are not supposed to get you down because you haven’t accomplished one. They’re supposed to keep you inspired and engaged in what you’re doing.  Lifetime commitments to CrossFit/working out/life in general require us to think about them!

Things to think about when going after your goals:

  • We all have our good and bad days, but when you’re really feeling it, go HARD after your goal!!  I’ve seen people accomplish some miraculous feats within Trident’s walls.  You can do it!
  • Support others goals and talk about them!  This is what CrossFitting is all about.
  • Have fun!

Let’s get inspirational and share our goals/feedback in the comments!  What’s one that you have for this year?  Do you think this is a good starting off point to start thinking about goals or do you use a different method?

Caitlin has been a member of Trident CrossFit since April 2011 after her friend lost more than 100 pounds CrossFitting and following the paleo diet.  She was hooked after her first kettlebell swing.  When she’s not sweating on Trident’s floors, she blogs over at www.crossroadsoftheheart.com.  Stop by and visit some time! 

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