I just finished the CrossFit Gymnastics Cert at Voodoo CrossFit 512 in Austin. It was a great cert and I was thankful to have attended it. There were many great lessons that were taught and some fantastic techniques shown, but more importantly than the how-to’s were a lot of the philosophies about how to train that resonated with me. There were many simple tasks that people were completing that a coach corrected something about. The major lesson was just because you can complete a task, doesn’t mean that you are doing it right, the most efficient way, or the best way to see gains.
There was an emphasis on the idea that training is about getting better, getting stronger and fine tuning your technique. If you do not have mastery of your technique then you do not need to take shortcuts. It was emphasized that during training, you need to put in the work and not have the emphasis on speed and just being number one on the leader board. That is a lesson that resonates with me. I believe in forcing perfection of technique and not taking shortcuts just for the sake of being able to do something or being able to win during the training session.
That’s why many times, I turn the clock off. I stress the technique through all the reps and will not count a rep that is not perfect. I will scale you to where you can maintain the perfect technique and even though you may not like that, you will see results faster than if I let you take the shortcut…ie kip before you can do something strict just to have “mastery”. The best parts were when our head instructor would remind us that breaking solid technique was a modification to the movement and not truly upholding the standard.
For some reason the cert became about a whole lot more than just being about gymnastics…it really did become something about life. That is to say, if you don’t do things right and you just focus on being done, you miss the point. Do them right and fully for the sake of doing them right. Hold yourself to that standard. You will grow as a person if you hold yourself accountable and to a high standard. It will hurt at times, you will be strained and tested. You will want to break form and just do things the easy way, but don’t! If you cannot do something, then find out the baby steps that you need to take in order to get there. Success will not happen overnight and it will not happen suddenly. But if you handle yourself and hold yourself to the right standards, you will be successful.
Another thing that our instructor said was “Time under tension = strength”. And that is the honest truth. If you want to get better than you have to be under tension. You will grow and how you handle that tension will determine the results you get. If you can keep it together under the tension and get through the obstacle you will be stronger. You will be able to handle the obstacles of life and eventually hit that elusive strict muscle-up. Success in anything hurts…it takes time and sacrifice. You have to deal with the struggles and the tension. You will fight time constraints, and doubters. You will have to find time to get in all your mobility work and not just let it fall off. You will fight the challenge of the world around you at large, and that time under tension will only make your success taste that much sweeter.
So to all my CrossFit Gymnastic Trainers, the instructors who helped us get certified…I thank you for teaching us a little bit more than just how to hold the hollow position and keep our heels together! Keep doing what you do…it is actually bigger than gymnastics to many of us!