Sometimes I meet people who have just gotten into CrossFit and they’re super gung-ho about it. (Or maybe they found CrossFit 5 years ago). They’ve watched a ton of stuff on YouTube and watched the CrossFit Games, maybe read a bunch of CrossFit Journal articles. They think know everything and they are unwilling to listen to reason. This is an archetype of a person I have met many, many times.
I just want to grab these people and shake them and say, “Listen!” “There are things that some half-cocked CF Journal article cannot teach you, but you can only learn through time in the trenches.”
You see that stack of journals? Those are 11 of my old training journals, and underneath them a bunch of printouts of workout programs with weights recorded on them. Every single page in that stack is a workout session. And that’s not including the years before that when I only recorded my workouts in the comments section on CrossFit.com, or the years after that when I’ve recorded my workouts in TrueCoach or on Instagram. That’s a lot of workouts.
What have all those workouts taught me? Slow down. Take your time. Have fun and enjoy the process. It’s better to do the minimum intensity for the maximum amount of time than it is to do the maximum intensity for a minimum amount of time. In other words, a 10-minute walk outside every morning for every day of your life until you’re in your 100s is a SUPERIOR fitness program to doing ass-kicking 1-hour high-intensity fitness classes for a couple years in your 20s, beating up your endocrine system, joints, and connective tissues, and then feeling like crap in your 30s.
Basically, I did CrossFit long enough (15 years) to learn not to do CrossFit. There are a lot of guys (and gals) like me out there. We will steer you in a better direction. We will talk to you about ideas like Basic Lifestyle Guidelines, proper intentions, and sustainability. We have made ourselves the Guinea Pigs in a giant experiment around health and fitness, performance vs. longevity. We have suffered so–hopefully–you won’t have to.
The best teacher is experience.