“My attitude is that if you push me towards something that you think is a weakness, then I will turn that perceived weakness into a strength.”
– Michael Jordan
On Wednesday, I came into the gym with my son. He loves to have the long straight section to run at full speed and race. Prior to quarantine, when we ran, I would get 1 or 2 laps around the gym and be winded. This week I was able to run much longer and faster without being out of breath. Cardio endurance has always been a weakness for me. During grade school I was the kid who would get a side stitch during the mile run in PE. I even chose to participate in sports that didn’t require more than 100 yards of running at a time.
What Was Different? Since we got back in the gym, Jon has programmed WOD’s designed to reestablish a base level of fitness. Guessing most people struggled finding a regular workout routine at home during quarantine, he thought this the best place to restart. This getting back to basics included a number of workouts that were heavy on the cardiovascular intensity. Knowing this is my weakness, I have done more of the Thursday, cardio intense workouts than I would usually do. In a short time, I have found a significant improvement in my cardio endurance. Can I run a marathon? Absolutely not, but am I less fatigued when I run around with a 5 year old. YES! For me the metric of running with my children is a much more realistic goal than the marathon. Also it is a bigger motivator.
So What? Most of us workout to get more fit. We want to be more fit because we want to be healthier. Health means, not being overweight, feeling good, being able to move as we get older, or fill-in your blank… Whatever your reason for being in the gym, you want to improve. As we have all had to start over or rebuild our fitness levels, keep an eye out for your weaknesses. What is the activity or type of activity (cardio-respiratory endurance, stamina, strength, etc.) you would least like Jon to program.
“You are only as fit as you are proficient in your weakest skill.” –CrossFit Journal
What Can I Do? Did this week’s programming of heavy deadlift and overhead squat show a weakness in your grip strength (holding the bar during a heavy deadlift), ankle mobility (keeping your feet flat on the ground during an overhead squat), or endurance (do burpees kill you). Or is your weakness in some component of fitness (balance, coordination, agility, accuracy) that is more neural in nature like double unders. It is nice to hit a heavy PR in our snatch, but it is also important to have a deep squat with our feet planted flat on the ground. Whatever the weakness, come talk to the coaches and ask what can be done to lessen those weaknesses.
For a more detailed analysis and methodology for quantifying your weaknesses see this CrossFit Journal article: http://library.crossfit.com/premium/pdf/CFJ_Williams_WeakBias.pdf?e=1591473083&h=880722857f5e5a7ad1c37bb56deb7333