So you just want to sweat and be tired?

So you just want to sweat and be tired…One of the things that separates our program from the rest is … instruction. Specifically around how to challenge and improve the 10 general physical skills. Each of those skills critical to becoming an awesome athlete (used synonmously with human being). Whether for sports performance, staying out of the nursing home or just trying to be healthy you’ll need all 10 of these skills in varying degrees DAILY.

Our gym is dedicated to ensuring our athletes (the human beings who train with us from age 12-89) all know where their weaknesses lie and also know those weaknesses will likely haunt them in their favorite physical pursuits… eventually. So better we tackle them sooner than later.

Sharpening the Axe…

If exercise, health and sports performance all came down to just how hard you worked there would be millions more people in this country at a reasonable weight and fitness level*. Alas, millions of people go and sweat for 30 mins to 2 hours on an elliptical or treadmill and to their disappointment their fitness progress peaks 2 weeks after beginning never to improve again. UNTIL! Until they LEARN how to do something more productive with their energy (which in my experience is generally years of frustration before they come to us). Abraham Lincoln once said… “give me six hours to chop down a tree and I will spend the first four sharpening the axe.” Preparing your tools is the absolute best value of time spent in nearly every endeavor because it continually improves the efficiency of the effort you’re putting forth. 

So what are the fitness tools?

  • Knowing what fitness is, and having a goal (or 3)…
    • Right off the bat I can tell you with 100% confidence fitness is not how much you sweat. How out of breath you are. How exhausted you leave the gym. I wouldn’t be a training professional if I did not try to combat this mindset every time I’ve met it. If you don’t know the scientific definition of fitness start here. If you don’t have a concept of science (observable, measurable and repeatable data) there’s no sense in conversing about sweatiness or tiredness after a class. You can go to Orange Theory Fitness. AKA bang your head against the wall to burn calories club. There you can enjoy your sweat and lack of fitness.
  • Picking the right movements… functional movements.
    • They are capable of moving large loads long distances quickly (aka high power). You’ll start with basic ones… because they’ll build the foundation for the far more technical and important movements as your training progresses. As you advance… technical details will become more important than just participating, as with most things to see continued improvement refinement is needed. In training, going “harder” usually means wasting time and energy. Doing 300 air squats will take you far at first. However, 1 single Front Squat at the right weight has the capability to improve your fitness significantly more, and in far less time. There is no amount push ups you can do (after you can do one) that will improve your upper body strength as much as a 1RM Bench. Strength is part of fitness and you won’t sweat or be out of breath from a single rep. Just think how much less time you need at the gym too… 1 hour on the elliptical or 1 rep of a bench press… it’s called efficiency).
  • Using those movements with the appropriate methods. There is a vast world of training methods. There is not a single one that pursues a scientific definition of fitness like CrossFit though. What is even better though… CrossFit is whatever accomplishes fitness. That’s what we do.

How do you sharpen these tools?

  1. Get a Coach
    1. They’ll teach you how to do all of these the right way…
      • Air Squat, Push Up, Sit Up, Pull Up, Front Squat, Burpee, Deadlift, Shoulder Press, Push Press, Kettlebell swing, Wall Ball, Thruster, Box Jump, Run, Row, Jump Rope, Toes to bar, Clean, Snatch.
    2. You’ll learn, practice, get feedback, improve, repeat. With the help of a coach.
      • If you don’t get to feedback, then make improvements to the program you WILL also plateau. The shorter the feedback loop, the faster your improvement. This is true of most learned and trained skills.
    3. Shorten the learning curve with a coach… a good coach knows:
      • When to make a modification.
      • Which modification to make
      • Which method works best to train that energy system
      • Knows the difference between training and exercising
      • All the millions of other details and variables that come up in life during training.

Simplified solution

Yours truly,

Brian Zimmerman

Owner, CrossFit Jungle Gym

*(by the way we know the singular metric to tell who is fit… and we test it using 15 categories. Coaches also read between the tests to find other weaknesses that speed up results)


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