Labor Day and Training Thoughts

It is Labor Day Weekend. I’ll be working on Labor day but there is a different feeling in the air on three day weekends. Something about knowing that the majority of Americans are going to be relaxing on Monday makes my normal one and a half day weekend feel longer and more special. Maybe it was because I spent 8 hours on Saturday shifting from gym to gym to get my 3 workouts done, or maybe it was because I spent Sunday at the Sleepy Hollow annual basketball tourney out in the sun watching my mentor/friend/boss TJ. All in all it was a great weekend of relaxing and hard training. I commented at least twice this weekend that I really start to feel like a professional athlete on Saturday and Sunday because typically we have multiple training sessions to get done and my entire focus is on resting, recovering, and refueling for my athletic events. It is pretty sweet.

When reviewing an athletes training program and lifestyle in a recent post, James had this to say in a thread on his membership site. “From what i see, his limiters are his lifestyle, and sleep debt now allowing high volume of work – like 30-40 hrs per week needed to be a top end CF’er..” This sparked a little discussion about what it takes to be a top end CFer and James followed up with, “this as well as a full time sponsored contract, place to train alone as well as private coaching is what is needed in this sport of fitness going forward..”

Some further thoughts that were laid out in this discussion was the notion that in order to be a top level crossfitter there will be a sacrifice to health. That truly competing at a high level in an aerobically demanding sport you will touch on periods of injury, sickness, and less than optimal health. Of course this begins with your definitions of health and high level fitness but I tend to agree with James on this one.

Where do I sit in this whole discussion and how does this change, if at all, my approach to my training and the coming year. My feelings are that to excel in sport you must make your performance your number one priority. My priorities are many in life. My family, business, clients, friends, health, and sport all are important to me. Balance has been my goal since starting in this industry of health and wellness and has become even more important since opening a gym in June 2011. I also have dreams of reaching very high levels of fitness in the sport of CrossFit relative to the athletes of this sport both in my region and worldwide. In short that means that I want to be better than most people at CrossFit. It is a motivating thought and at this point in my life a potentially rewarding goal. For the first time since I entertained the idea of competing in CF my desires are being matched with hard, healthy, and balanced training that is supporting my progress. Do I have 30-40 hours a week to train, a corporate sponsorship, and a private coach? No, no, and no. Will my answer to any of those questions ever be yes? I’d like to think that anything is possible.

In the immediate future these discussion make me more focused on creating a professional environment around training as much as possible. The focus has to be on creating the best environment to succeed. Surround myself with great athletes that make me better. Set aside the necessary time to train and recover. Couple hard training with a light and fun atmosphere. Seek out great coaching and be open to new ideas and methods.

To come full circle on my opening thoughts I think Labor day weekend was so fun for me because I spent two days feeling like I did everything that I just mentioned. Today is Monday, Labor Day, and the day has a little work in store, a relaxing hike, some great friends, and hopefully a little Vitamin D therapy.

Some Training Highlights from the Weekend.

Saturday –

Part 1 – Swim 500m for time (8:40)

Part 2 – Build to a 1 rep max in the Snatch and Clean & Jerk

Snatch – 235

Clean & Jerk – 300 (personal best)

Clean – 315 (personal best)

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nXKWj8XWgbQ]

Part 3 – For time

250m Row
25 Burpees
250m Row
25 Burpees
250m Row
– 4:40

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mnAOHMsTtlM&feature=related]

Sunday

Back Squat 255×10, 335×5, 375×1

AMRAP 10min
5 Clean and Jerk (95#)
5 Burpee Pull Ups (8′)
20 Unbroken Double Unders
-9 rounds + 4 C&J

Happy Labor Day
– MF