"Why aren't you posting the workouts this week?"
Above has been the dominating question at the gym the last two days so I wanted to take a few minutes on tonight's blog to give you all a clear understanding of why we decided to do it. This isn't a short post, please read the whole thing, thank you in advance.
1. This was my decision (Sean), it has the support of the rest of the management and coaches. It is not something we decided on without great thought, conversation, and time.
2. We write individual fitness programming for over 100 athletes world wide including 13 CrossFit Games athletes. We have used this "blind week" method with many of them. The best athletes in the world at their core are no different than any of us. They love doing what they are great at and hate doing what they are poor at. Just last week we programmed Turkish Getups for a male athlete who finished in the top 10 in this year's games. He HATED doing them. But he did them. He complained, he asked why, we listened, and we answered... he did them. He did them again this week, and he is better for it.
3. We know better and we have a plan for you. We know how mentally difficult it is to come in and do workouts that don't look appealing, or don't fit your goals. We ask you to trust the process. Keith earned the right to program for the gym by immersing himself in fitness culture for the last 10 years. He is not just a good athlete. Keith studies fitness and the science of it. He has other great coaches to bounce ideas off of, and everyone on our staff brings something different to the table. Every workout he writes has a purpose for every one of you.
4. For those of you who played sports, try to think back to your days on the team. How many team scrimmages do you remember vividly? Probably not many, but when you were in the moment these were the most fun days in practice. Now, how many instances do you remember when your coach made you drill the fundamentals? Whether it was doing forward rolls in your college years for your gymnastics team, taking ground balls and batting practice until your hands bled for your high school baseball team, or working on running technique until your feet were sore for track, it was these days, the days we drilled fundamentals that most athletes still tell stories about. It is difficult to drill fundamentals and have the time of your life at the same time, but it is the manifestation of these fundamentals that allows us to celebrate small victories in the gym every day. We cannot have one without the other.
5. We don't want you to get a muscle up. We want you to HAVE muscle ups. We don't want you to get your first double under. We want you to HAVE double unders. What does this mean? It means we don't want your success to be a fluke. To elaborate on the point above, if you master the fundamentals, you can always fall back on them when you are tired. If you have mastered the fundamentals, you will understand why you succeed sometimes and why you don't others. We don't want you to skip workouts that don't look like they are fun because they are based on focusing on fundamentals. We know when people aren't going to be in the gym based on what we program. Turkish getups (midline stability, proprioception, and mobility), long runs (endurance that people feel like they could do on the board walk), long rowing (endurance that hurts your butt), gymnastics skill work (meant to improve positioning, awareness, and strength), and double unders (skill, technique, timing, and endurance) are all cause for an emptier gym when on the schedule. You are not going to get better at these things when you don't do them.
6. Injury is a big reason why people will skip workouts. "It hurts me when I...". This is the most logical reason not to come to the gym that I can think of. You have access to our rehab office to ask questions and get advice for free. People email us every day from all over the world asking what to do when it hurts when they ... Walk over, and let us help you. Advice is free. Our coaching staff is also well educated on how to modify movements for you to make them more functional for your needs. Instead of staying home on these days, take advantage of the people who have dedicated their lives to helping you through exactly what you struggle with. We are here for you.
7. We love your critical feedback. This has been the best most forthcoming week you guys have ever had regarding telling us what you do and do not like about the way we run the gym. I tell all of my patients and everyone who sends us emails the same thing - "Never hesitate to ask 'why'". If you don't understand something, if you think something is stupid, meaningless, or frivolous, ask us "why did you program that?". We will answer, you will either like the answer or you won't, but either way you will understand.
Maybe the most important thing I ever learned about owning a CrossFit Gym is that as much as we might think we are in the business of getting people fit, that notion is bullshit. We are in the business of cultivating relationships. You could get fit anywhere. I measure the success of the gym not by how many people join, how well our team does, or how many PRs we set, but by how late people stay after class and the enthusiasm people bring with them to the gym. If you are staying after class when you could be somewhere else and you are done improving your fitness, it means the gym is a place you enjoy being at. That is what we strive for every day. Yes, we get you fit along the way. No, we won't always agree on how to get where we all want to go. But bet your ass, you will get there if you trust our process.
Thanks for reading this. Now get your gym bag packed with everything you might need for a workout including high socks, a variety of sports bras, as many shoes as you might wear based on programming, and whatever else you think you need because you have a workout to do on Wednesday. It's going to be hard, and you are going to be better for doing it.