One of the great things about CrossFit that keeps me so obsessed with it, is the knowledge that is available to learn more about our bodies and how they work. I have never been involved in any other type of fitness program with so many different resources that are at my fingertips to learn from. I have worked out since I was in middle school and have done hundreds of different programs, but the extent of what I learned and based my programs off of were from a “Muscle and Fitness” magazine or a “Mens Health”. I don't want to burst your bubble if you are a die hard subscriber to either of those magazines but can I let you in on a little secret?…..”7 weeks to bigger biceps” or the “3 best exercises for flat abs” or what about the “10 week program to build a bigger bench press”…..not the ideal path to train if you are ACTUALLY looking for health and fitness. That was me though, that was how I decided what program I would follow as I was growing up. They put a guy in a picture with big arms and I was like, “I want big arms, this must be for me”. Little did I know, it was some idiot typing behind a computer that had probably never set foot in a gym in his life. He was told to go find a bodybuilder and take pictures of him and then find out what he was lifting to get arms that big. Another secret they don't tell young kids like me that were reading the magazines….they were taking a little more than just spinach to get 24 inch arms if you know what I mean.
Fast forward now to CrossFit and what it has done for those athletes that want to utilize the hundreds of resources out there. It has been a breeding ground for innovative, scientific, pro-active thinkers that are happy to share research driven data as to “why” different programs may work. I am going to give some examples of these amazing resources and you can decide for yourself whether or not they are credible. I would much rather follow the advice of someone who has been there and done it, IN the gym, than someone who is researching what “should” happen but never experienced it for himself or what it “actually” felt like. A perfect example of this is what I found in the Marine Corps. After I went through Officer Candidate's School (OCS), then The Basic School (TBS), then Artillery Training. I had spent over 13 months of training and academics on the way things work as a basic rifleman with a specialization in Artillery. According to the Marine Corps, as a 2ndLt, I was fully prepared with all the knowledge necessary to go out and be a Platoon Commander. But was I actually ready? Absolutely not. Any Marine Officer that has half a clue will tell you, the most important thing to do, is to attach yourself at the hip of one of the senior enlisted Marines who has been around. If you do that, you will learn everything you “actually” need to know and probably turn out to be a decent Marine Officer. This is a long-winded way to show you that just because you have some letters behind your name and a certificate hanging on the wall, sometimes that doesn't compare to what actual, real world experience can be worth.
Take my first website as an example of this. i am sure that there are a hundred folks out there that are more qualified on paper than Greg Everett. However, Greg grew up olympic weightlifting and it wasn't something that came naturally to him. He had to work extremely hard to be above average at his sport. He has a ton of “real world” experience and that is what he uses to develop his athletes, not some formula that is in a textbook that “should” work if done correctly. Now, don't get me wrong, there is definitely some science that needs to be applied to all these principles, but it is finding the balance between the two that is so important. So here are just some examples of who I think is an awesome resource that we all can learn from.
Greg Everett, Catalyst Athletics (Olympic Weightlifting)
This is one of the best Olympic Weightlifting websites out there. Greg has a library of every lift imaginable with videos and descriptions of each. He has one of the most extensive blogs available as well. Anything from squat programs all the way to how to build jerk blocks, you can find it all on this site. Bookmark this page and when you need a refresher of what any strength exercises we do in here are supposed to look like, this is your go to!
This needs to be the staple to EVERY CrossFitter's daily schedule. We all have mobility issues and this is hands down, don't even think about arguing with me, the best mobility site on the planet for what we do. Kelly works daily with CrossFitters and totally gets what we do to our bodies. He has 100's of videos that talk about specific issues that are directly related to what we are all experiencing. I would venture to guess that if you went through his site for 5 minutes, you would find no less than 10 videos that as you watched the first few seconds, you would say, “wow, that is exactly what my problem is”…..He gives you exercises to fix them and if you put in the time, you will get better. It doesn't make sense for me to put the entire class in the same mobility exercises because we all have different limitations. You need to find what it is that is holding you back and then find a way to fix it. This is the site to do that, now get to work!
Here is an example….I know of at least 10 people that have told me they have elbow pain similar to tennis elbow, here is your solution.
Robb Wolf, Paleo and Nutrition
We get alot of questions regarding what people should eat. I love helping people get on track with their nutrition but the first step in this process needs to be a little education on your part. This will also let you know how motivated you are to change your routine. Check out this website and do some research to figure out if Paleo is for you and this site is the answer. Robb has podcasts that you can listen to, books you can buy, a ton of research to dive into, and steps to getting started. From there, once you have the foundation, come talk to one of the coaches and pick their brain about what works for them. Almost all of our coaches eat a paleo diet or very close to it and have the basics down that can help you get on track. We are about 6 weeks away from our Paleo Challenge that will kick off in January, this has provided our members with some of the most amazing results that you would have to see to believe. Be ready to jump on board with us in January and push yourself in a way that isn't just physical, now it will turn out to be a mental challenge. Excited to see who is ready to take on the Paleo Challenge! More info on this to come shortly!
These are just a few of the resources that are available to us out there but it all begins with you being proactive and seeking this information out. It won't just fall on your lap. If you are serious about your health and fitness, it is going to take a little more work than just showing up and hitting 3 WOD's a week. If it was easy, everyone would do it. It isn't easy, but it is attainable and like the smart guys always say, “nothing worthwhile in life is ever easy. “