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Context Coaching – AKA How to best approach the WOD

Hey Friends!

We’re looking at adding a little reminder to each WOD for the best way to approach it.  What does that mean, and why does it matter?  Keep reading to find out more 😉

When most people start CrossFit (myself included), they intuitively assume that the best way to approach every WOD is to attack it with everything they have (Ever watch someone give “70%” on a Ball Run on day one?) – then after a little while, they hopefully learn that strategizing is good, and pacing slowly gets learned as well.  But when is the best time to pace?  When is a good time to rest, strategically?  When should you go WAY TOO FAST?  That’s what we’re aiming to help you with moving forward.

That being said, I don’t really want to write a huge blurb trying to strategize for you before every WOD, because it isn’t really possible.  It’s like approaching a partner workout and saying, “ok so there are 50 thrusters at 135.  I’ll do 25 straight and then you do 25 straight then we’ll be done” – Sounds awesome in writing…

So we’re going to try to be smart about it all – We’re going to provide context to each workout.  That way, you know to approach certain things with the beginner mindset, and others with a more calculated plan, and others still to steel your mind and prepare for the “little hater” inside your head before he or she makes their appearance (likely, during burpees, or wall balls, or thrusters, or halfway through a 1RM front squat, wink wink).  You’ll see this as the “Context” box above the WOD.  So let’s dig into them a little deeper:

“Practice” (60% of the time)

  • “We’re talkin’ bout practice!”
  • This is when you should be striving for perfect form, attempting the more complex version of things, and appreciating “the process” to building strength, skill, etc.
  • This doesn’t mean you aren’t trying hard – it just means you’re putting in a good effort without wrecking yourself.  You don’t drive your car with the pedal on the ground ALL the time (I hope), right?

“Competition” (30% of the time)

  • “Get after it!”
  • This is when you might game things a bit, like expecting to get more box jumps than push presses during fight gone bad, or purposely kicking off the wall before you start failing handstand push ups in a WOD.  This should ultimately lead to a higher power output all together and is a good time to try to improve on old scores or find the edge in a workout.

“Mental Toughness” (10% of the time)

  • “It builds character”
  • This is what you need when maxing out a lift, grinding through big sets in a chipper, or working to PR your 500m Row time.  These are rare, because they require going to that dark place, and then smiling and digging yourself out of that hole!
  • As you can imagine, these should be few and far between because you can’t max out all the time (unless you’re Bulgarian, apparently) or give 100% on every WOD without taking on a certain amount of mental/emotional strife.  So pick those battles wisely 🙂

When you see them on the WOD post or Whiteboard – you’ll just see, “Context:  Practice”, for example.  It’ll let you know what type of mindset might be best when approaching the workout.  The ultimate goal with all this?  To keep you interested, inspired and able to train each and every day, as well as continuously seeing progress, not just for the next 6 weeks, but for the next 6 years (or decades!)  THAT’s a real goal.  Let me know if you have any questions/concerns about it all!

The idea belongs to Kenny Kane – owner of CrossFit LA – He’s been getting people fit for a little while and has some awesome ideas.  You can look him up on google if you’d like – he was on barbell shrugged and has his own stuff going on too.  He and JJ worked together to add the context coaching template into the programming we use.

Here’s the video.  If you can handle the terrible jokes and annoying input from the people that aren’t Kenny, then you are a strong individual.  I have it set to auto-fast forward a good spot in the podcast to listen to.  Don’t feel obliged to watch it if you don’t want to.

Stay Healthy, Friends!