The Non-Sexy Stuff: The little things you don’t see the others’ doing.
Coach Alex talks about what it really takes to master the CrossFit movements:
When it comes to CrossFit training everyone wants to be able to lift massive amounts of weight, walk effortlessly on their hands, perform muscle ups; they want to be able do all the sexy movements.
Now while that’s all well and good, in fact it’s fun; you have a good time practicing it and/or performing it… until one day you plateau and you don’t know why. You can’t get any heavier on your snatch. You can’t master any of those muscle ups and you’re getting frustrated. You may be starting to think to yourself, why? Why can’t I lift this weight? Why can’t I get a muscle up? Why can’t a do a handstand for more than a second? Well, this usually comes down to the little things: the little things that are the ‘non-sexy stuff’.
The non-sexy stuff is your foundation. It’s your fundamentals. It is the raw basics of your training. It may not be as fun as playing around with muscle ups or snatches or any other movement for that fact, but it WILL help you make those movements exponentially better in the short and long term. As an example, if you want to be able to do a handstand walk yet in every attempt you make, you keep failing over and over again – have you asked yourself why? Why do you keep failing to stick the hand-stand and stay balanced, switched on and steady. A handstand walk is a very technical skill that takes a lot of practice. It doesn’t come easy and there are a lot of steps you can take to be able to get there (to master it).
Firstly, ask yourself are your wrists strong enough to hold your weight in the right position? Do you have enough range of motion in your shoulders to be able to get into a good position? Do you have enough strength to be able to hold yourself in the upside-down position for a set period of time? Are you able to use your hands and fingers to balance yourself?
As you can see, there are a lot of questions you need to ask yourself before you should even attempt to perform or better the ‘sexy movements’. In truth, you should ask yourself these questions about any movement you want to get better at and commit to performing the small exercises that will enable you to do so.
Sometimes you need to put your ego and hunger to achieve aside, to take one step back in the first instance so you can take two steps forward… then leaps and bounds forwards from there. If you want to be a great athlete or just be better then you were yesterday; you need to do the non-sexy stuff.
Doing the non-sexy stuff WILL make you a better athlete. But, you need to put in the time and effort to make it happen. Chances are you will most likely surprise yourself in how much better you get by doing this type of training. Make yourself the best you can, put in the work do the non-sexy stuff and I promise you, will be on your way to becoming a great athlete.