The main advantage of CrossFit is its main disadvantage. Most people turn to it largely due to the variety of programs offered. But initiating a new trend – the unknown and in many ways innovative, with different load levels – “Coaching” thus creating space for different and often counterproductive improvisations. While the most famous franchises are calling for incremental progress and pragmatic organization, some coaches, excited by diversity, inspiration, and sometimes hourly profitability, go too far in content and variability. Diversity, of course, it is necessary and possible, but you should not do anything, how you want, and especially – whenever you want. And the main thing that CrossFit sometimes lacks is the technique.
Fundamental principles of CrossFit training
Like any discipline, training has its foundations and fundamental commandments, which in no case should be neglected – even with the aim of introducing something new. These are the basic principles of training.
Principle number I: gradual
This principle is dictated by physiology, pedagogy and simple common sense. Too many CrossFit clubs are choosing – often commercial – for attractive yet challenging forms of work, favoring a wide variety of equipment and neglecting the very concept of the franchise they fit into. The philosophy behind this approach is often based on the idea that those who join the club are here to “hang out” and have fun, so you need to give them that for their money, and as soon as possible. Such a vision of things violates, firstly, the necessary gradualness of the training cycle…. In the medium term, this affects both the technical development of the trainee and his physical achievements. The technical foundations that support CrossFit are too complex to be considered by anyone to be able to master them in the blink of an eye. Weightlifting, gymnastics and athletics, even in their own sports, require many months of work in order to train safely and efficiently. The cross-training methodological approach could not exist without hard work on the basics. Specific forms of training, mainly weightlifting, should also be given special attention at the beginning of training. However, cross-training is difficult not only technically, but also physiologically. Most TDs (workouts of the day) need different physical qualities (sometimes antagonistic – see below the part devoted to mutual opposition in training). The strongest of these qualities are based on the systematic and gradual development of fundamental endurance skills, without which the effectiveness of future training could be jeopardized and which presuppose basic adaptability. Of course, you can work on anything, but not in any order.
Thus, basic endurance with its characteristic moderate levels of intensity and prolonged loads presupposes an initial physiological adaptability that cannot or can hardly be developed otherwise. It will not be superfluous to recall the volume of circulating plasma, the volume of systolic ejection or the strength of left ventricular contractions, which – if not carefully developed from the very beginning of preparation with the help of an appropriate program – will subsequently limit the achievement of results.
The principle of gradualism is also expressed within the workout itself, although the culture of the CrossFit hour sometimes conflicts with the indispensability of the warm-up.
Of course, the adopted CrossFit methodology always reminds its future instructors of the importance and principles of warm-up. But often, if you add together the time required for a gradual and complete mood, strength work and training for the day … one hour is not enough. And in practice, it is the warm-up that most often turns out to be restrained.
However, it is the gradual inclusion of motor circuits in the work (and even training in this), psychological attitude and optimization of physiological parameters that are the guarantors of successful training. It is this first part with the gradual introduction of loads and an increase in the complexity of the exercises that will allow you to start the main lesson in optimal conditions.
Principle number 2: continuity
Remember that short-term athletic successes are unstable and that their consolidation goes through a repetition of some loads, remaining unnoticed for many sessions. Indeed, a complete and arbitrary change in the program from one lesson to another leads to the fact that it is never possible to deepen what has been begun, and this greatly limits the progress forward.
Of course, most CrossFit courses are based on the “moment” approach taken in fitness. But doing “a little of everything” runs the risk of becoming “doing a lot of nothing.”
Our methodology suggests, therefore, to break the principle of “random” training programming in order to return to the functional division of training into periods in order to achieve real and long-term results.
Principle number 3: diversity
It is in the diversity that the strength of the approach adopted in cross-training is. Variety of training increases the motivation of the athlete by continually surprising him, never giving him the opportunity to get used to the training routine. But this principle does not necessarily apply at the expense of others, and our methodology is precisely about the balance between strict adherence to the rules and variety.
Principle number 4: alternation
Alternating loads is a basic training principle widely recognized by CrossFit, for example in exercise selection. But such alternation should be able to go further, namely, to alternation of load indicators. The load, in particular, consists of volume and intensity, and their movement is not directed in one direction throughout the season, but rather the opposite. The technique suggests thinking over the alternation of loads in advance, planning them, and, ultimately, better controlling them.
Principle 5: Load-Recovery Pair
Another reason to regain control of your training plan is to be able to manage the load-recovery pair. Whether it is during one session or from session to session, workload cannot be considered without paired recovery. It is recovery that guarantees the body a return to a state of freshness and, thus, the ability to resume intense exercise, moreover, most of the results occur … during recovery. Therefore, the CrossFit methodology pays special attention to programming and managing recovery moments.