Humility, the characteristic of being Humble, is the true key to measure one’s success. One of the things CrossFit, whether looking at it as a sport, or as just a workout regimen, is rather humbling. In order to be successful, once again whether in the sport or using CrossFit for health and well being, one needs to approach things with a growth mindset, and there is a need to step back and look at the overall process. Acquiring new skills and accomplishments is something which should be celebrated especially if the process to get there was any bit of a struggle. What made the accomplishment the accomplishment it was, was the actual struggle, the work that needed to be done, and the willingness to learn from failure, not give up, and keep moving forward, all attributes of a growth mindset.
One of the key flaws with CrossFit in my opinion, having been involved with it as a sport and as a fitness regimen, was that there was no tangible way to measure success. PRs were had, new skills were accomplished, but where do you go from there? Where were your deficits? Were you a balanced athlete? A chain is only as strong as its weakest link, and this was true in regards to CrossFit, an athlete was only as good as their weakest characteristic of fitness. But what tangible and quantitative way could this be assessed, addressed and ultimately progressed? How could one have a tangible way to focus training on the areas of deficit, if there was no inclination the magnitude of the weakness in regards to overall fitness.
Along comes the Level Method. This simple but complex tool gives our athletes a way to assess every characteristic of fitness, address each attribute on the map as there is a quantitative achievement which must be obtained in order to progress to a new level. It also gives an athlete areas to focus on. Let’s use a higher level athlete, with obvious deficiencies from their levels, as an example how the MAP gives us information to get better, and improve, granted one has a growth mindset.
This is a Blue III Athlete. It is obvious that this athlete has a great engine, and the engine transcends the three different energy systems. They have good anaerobic and aerobic systems. They also are very strong for their bodyweight, they have great relative strength, however, there are still deficits, which is why they are only Blue III regardless of their other tremendous scores. Outside of running, where they achieved the highest level, there is improvement to be made in every single level, and the areas of objective strength are the weak link in the chain.
So if you were this athlete, how would you structure your training to get improvements in the areas you are weak in. This is where working with a coach to develop a supplemental plan around the gyms programming for you to focus on deficiencies is key. An example of how a coach would approach this, using this athlete is as follows.
Looking at the scores, Front Squat and Weightlifting are the biggest limiting factors. Doing more metcons will not make this athlete better. Strength and skill work in the olympic lifts will. While the core endurance is strong, both Front Squat and Weightlifting are not core endurance activities, so shorter and heavier core strengthening exercises would be first and paramount to achieving the overall goal. Along with this Snatch and Clean and Jerk Technique work would also be prescribed. Dedicated targeting of these two areas for a month or so, would strengthen core strength and olympic technique. After this month of dedicated work, extra work once a weak on Front Squats may be warranted, or the additional core strength may have been enough to strengthen the Front Squat number alone. Heavier snatch work may also be warranted but it would be dependent on the progression of the snatch technique work done. There is no sense adding weight to dysfunctional form, until the dysfunction is removed with efficient movement patterning. But the driving factor here is a growth mindset. Being humble and recognizing that in order to take 3 steps forward, sometimes you have to take two steps back. A fixed mindset will likely see their results as something wrong with the MAP instead of looking at the MAP as something which can definitely make them better.
While this example is of a Blue III athlete, the same approach can be applied to any level, up to black in all 15 categories. Once you are at that level, you are a higher level fitness competitor and you may want to consider making exercising a profession, and hire a individual coach focused on athletes at that level. Until that point, there are always areas to improve, and ways to target any deficiency. If you want help leveling up, in any category, please let us know and we can set up times for you to get focused and individualized work with one of the coaches.