Nearly every day I get into a conversation with someone about their goals, their pursuit to make themselves better, programs, training cycles, and inevitably it always comes down to what more they can do.
When discussing someone’s pursuit to become a better them, different training cycles come up, and different training programs come up. There are many options out there, so many that it starts to become so confusing on which one to follow, or even worse what if you follow multiple programs all at once. What happens when programs start to overlap, you need time off, miss a training day, where do you pick up? It comes down to one thing in the end, and to take a quote directly from the founder of CrossFit, Greg Glassman:
“Typically the worlds best athletes are minimalists when it comes to their training. They work hard and fast with few exercises. They master the fundamentals and work with them for years. This is the secret that no one wants to hear.”
There is no magic program or cycle, there is no crazy movement that is better than the next, and most likely a weighted Muscle Up + Ring Handstand Push Up + Front Lever is not the answer to all of your problems. There is no glory in the basic air squat, and you sure don’t see anyone posting about how awesome their mobility session went, and how they got an even better torso position in the bottom of their squat; but these are the things that make you better. There is no complex movement or secret program that will, if you follow to the exact letter and pound, will guarantee that you beat Jason Khalipa (2nd fittest man alive) at the next CrossFit Games. Hell, he posts everything he does, why don’t you give it a try.
Hard work is the separator between novice to beginner, beginner to intermediate, intermediate to advanced, and advanced to top competitor. At each stage there is a level of hard work that needs to be put in to make it to the next. Unfortunately there is no exact measure and it varies of everyone. The difference however, is that hard work is uncomfortable, time consuming, sometimes costly, inconvenient at times, frustrating, and to be the best you must put it all aside to reach your goal.
Before CrossFit, I was a wanna-be bodybuilder with high aspirations to competing in an elite level as a natural bodybuilder. While I was in this phase of my life there was one lifter that I especially admired; not because he was a champion, but because he worked harder than everyone else. He had an upper body similar to the rest of his competition, but wheels (legs) like a god. He had legs so great that he lost shows because he wasn’t proportioned correctly; his name, Tom Platz.
Tom’s mentality was that every time he set foot in the gym he was at war. He was at war with the weights, his body, and his mind; he refused to surrender. When he couldn’t get a full rep, he did some forced reps, then he did half reps, quarter reps, and before he was done he just held the weight against gravity. Every muscle begging for mercy, but he would not lose. This mentality is what gave Tom the best legs (to this day) in all of bodybuilding.
Rich Froning, fittest man on the earth (3 times, in a row), says that he will not be out worked. He may not be the strongest or fastest, but he will never be outworked. This isn’t talking about the 4 days during the CrossFit Games, or the 3 days at regionals, or the 5 weeks during the open; this is every single day.
One day you will wake up and all the excuses will be gone. One day you will realize that your body is capable of so much more than what your mind ever could dream. One day you will walk into the gym and go to war with yourself, and not be outworked by anyone. Once that happens the achievements you will make with be nothing less than astonishing; and this is how you become a champion.
Written by: Coach Kris