Focusing on The Process

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CrossFit is about results. We want to measure and track everything. Empirical data proves we are getting fitter. If we improve our back squat we have gotten a little bit fitter. If we beat our previous Fran time and we know that our fitness is moving in the right direction.

But, focusing too much on the results can take away from developing into a better athlete.

Being a results-based athlete means that our be all and end all rests on whether or not we beat our previous score, or whether or not we beat someone else. But is that affecting our overall fitness?

For example, we do the following workout:

4 Rounds:

10 Toes to Bar

50 Double Unders.

We can perform singles on toes to bar and a few double unders. So we decide that we are going to do the 10 toes to bar all as singles. Because we are not confident in our double unders we decide to do singles for the workout. Plus they are faster right and I can get a better time!

What if we switched our thinking a little bit here. What if instead of doing 10 singles on the toes to bar we lowered that number to 5 and attempted to string reps together? What if instead of not doing any doubles we decided we would do 10 each round and then finish with singles?

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Now, we may or may not get a better time from this as we have modified the rep scheme. But what we have for sure done is put ourselves in a position to improve. So, we may not get the best score on this workout, but if we continue doing this when these movements, and our other weaknesses, come up we will improve in the long term. 6 months from now when we are stringing those 10 toes to bar together and consistently knocking out double unders we will see the benefit.

You see, being only results based is a short-sighted approach. In CrossFit, we use the term productive application of force. This means that if we learn to do one muscle-up we have just improved our fitness because we have learned how to productively apply the force (our body) in order to achieve a new skill. When we can do 2 muscle-ups the same applies.

Focusing on the process also means focusing on the quality of our movements. The better we move, the more improvement we will see. If we focus on results we can often time forget about form and again we suffer from lack of progress.

It is easy to get caught up in the scores and results on a daily basis, but if we focus on better quality movements, stringing reps together, and developing new movements we will see much more benefit in the long term, and then if we are a results-based person we will see results we have never seen before.

Joseph TownsendComment