I was recently watching a replay of the 2015 CrossFit Games on ESPN and tried to watch it from the perspective of someone who knows very little about the sport. I imagined I was someone who may have thought about trying CrossFit for fitness, watched a work out on TV and decided it was beyond my capability and too intense for an everyday routine. These types of thoughts can blind someone to the effectiveness of general physical preparedness (GPP), or doing what you want compared to do what you need, and how scaling can change the game for anyone.
General physical preparedness (GPP) will not just help the average fitness enthusiast but can help the specialist looking to improve in a particular field. Building a strong capacity across all fitness domains will assist a non-competitive person in everyday activity and establish a strong foundation for the competitive athlete. Coach Glassman said, “GPP is the most underdeveloped and neglected aspect of athletic training, especially in elite athletes”. I will use the word “athlete” as a broad generalization for anyone from a fitness enthusiast, to a sport specific athlete at any level. No matter what level of sport or fitness you look at, an athlete will have a tendency to do the most of what they need the least.
Not what you want but what you need:
I learned a particular lesson on my fitness journey. To be the best version of myself, I needed to step away from myself. What I mean is, I needed an unbiased assessment of my skills and a program which made me work on my fitness as a whole. It is easy to say you need to work your weaknesses but it is even easier to avoid them. This is where a coach who is in tune with your goals can help push you to your personal potential. Whether you are working towards a higher level of GPP, trying to make varsity in a sport, or make life altering changes to your health to add viable years to the end of your life- CrossFit will get you there.
Is your current training inadvertently creating a specialist?
Chest and back on Monday, Legs on Tuesday, Arms on Wednesday, Thursday shoulders, Friday chest and back. Is something like this familiar in your fitness routine? It was for me. Doing something of this nature, on a cycling basis, with high intensity on the elliptical for cardio was what I used to do. I inadvertently painted myself into a corner as a specialist at weightlifting. Not legitimate weightlifting, which involves the Snatch and Clean and Jerk, but I became really good at curls and bench press. My skewed view point on fitness in my youth was changed after one CrossFit workout. One workout which showed me I was lacking in GPP. One workout which put me on a path to writing this blog post and making the claim: CrossFit is what you need. You being the general person trying to stay healthy, you being the athlete trying to make it to the next level, you being the person who is 150lbs overweight and feels like there is no hope. CrossFit will change you, CrossFit will get you to your goals, and CrossFit is for everyone.
The general population should focus their training at staying healthy and prepared for any challenge which may come your way through life. This was not what my old routine catered to. I would train in a few of the fitness domains listed above, but then completely ignored others and this was not because I wanted to specialize but because I did not know any better! Once my deficiencies were brought to light I needed to start to work on them and this is when I discovered the art of scaling your way to success.
Scaling, not for the weak:
Again, this blog post was hatched from watching replays of the CrossFit Games and trying to put myself in the shoes of someone with not a lot of working knowledge of CrossFit. The general population, the people which need to focus on GPP, may sit there and never even consider CrossFit because they can’t climb a rope, do a pull up, a handstand pushup, or squat to depth. But these are the people I want to walk through the door. I want to show you we can work around anything, any disability, and any issue you may have. You can’t do a pullup? Fantastic, we have ways to get you there through assisted pull-ups, tempo jumping pullups, ring rows, and other scales. You do CrossFit to get into shape, not get into shape to do CrossFit.
I am a CrossFit coach, ex- bench press and curl specialist, who wants to show you our bodies are made to be challenged. GPP will help you develop new skills, refine old skills, and achieve your fitness goals. Maybe you are currently a running specialist, a curl specialist, a swimming specialist, or a couch specialist, and find yourself lacking in other areas. Not to worry, CrossFit can find and fix the kinks in your armor. To find out how to join CrossFit Oshkosh email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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