Why Better is Better

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Hey Guys—

I hope you are all having a wonderful week and enjoying the winter thaw. There have been some beautiful sunny days starting to find their way through the beautiful snowy days. I can feel the change in energy in myself, in the gym and out in the community. It is pretty cool how that whole seasonal thing works…especially in this awesome part of the world.

On the heels of the Catacombs Games, I’d like to address a topic that comes up frequently in coaching group classes. Since we are a small gym with a small coaching staff and small classes, we get to know you guys pretty well. Our relationships with our athlete community are tremendously important to us. Often, you ask us if we think you should go heavier or use less bands or makes some other modification to a workout. We pride ourselves on being able to assess and make recommendations based on knowing your history, your tendencies, your goals, and watching you move. It is one of the things that makes Catacombs unique as we literally tailor every workout to each individual. We want to “dial in” each day’s workout to meet your needs and goals. Not only does this keep you safe, it also allows you to get results more quickly as your workouts are purposeful and designed with your goals in mind. That is the value of the coach-athlete relationship.

I say all of that to lay the groundwork for the real message in this post. That message is that it is a mistake to get caught up in the mindset that heavier loads, more reps, faster times, or less assistance are “better options”. Sometimes they are; but often they are not. Better quality movement executed with attention to anatomical position, proper movement pattern, and solid start and finish positions is of much higher training value than more, heavier, or faster reps. While it is true that intensity is the secret sauce of CrossFit, it is also true that proper form trumps intensity over the long haul. The magic is in blurring the lines a little bit so that we are working within the limits of our ability but outside of our comfort zone. You all know the place I’m describing. It is the place where growth occurs.

Here’s the other tricky part about the growth zone. It is different for all of us. There is no question in my mind that we squelch our own potential for growth by looking at what others are doing around us and getting caught in someone else’s game. It’s true everywhere else in life and it is true in the gym too. Scaling and modifying workouts to get the best training stimulus for you is the path to consistently positive results and longevity as an athlete. It is not the easy way out or “less” of a workout. If you have any doubt about that, ask Marty about his experience in completing the scaled version of the CrossFit Open. While consistently one of the fittest members of Catacombs, the scaled workouts executed with intensity and virtuosity created 100% of the training stimulus that he needed. Harder, heavier, faster, and more are not better. Better is better.

Questioning the direction you should be heading with your training as the seasons change and we take our fitness outdoors? Check in with your primary coach and sit down with them to review your goals and progress.