I am in this unique moment in my training career. I need to start making some serious adjustments to volume and intensity. I’m 35…STOP right there. This is not a “Woe is me, I’m old” garbage-water essay…I’m 35 and fitter than I could have imagined when I started CrossFitting 9 years ago… but the way I trained when I was 26 just has to look different. If I continue training that way, the the aches and pains would take over and soon risk of injury would increase to the point I wouldn’t be CrossFitting properly. Coming in just to crush myself on the daily isn’t my goal anymore. That goal creates the 2-year CrossFitter. I need to respect the training I have done and continue CrossFitting with a smarter approach. Through seeking challenges in new movements, new sports, a.k.a. doing what I love to do allows me to create an on-going, active lifestyle hopefully till the day I kick it. Here’s what I have learned…
#1 Give your body what it needs as you age. In our Level 1 CrossFit Training Guide, we learn that the definition of fitness is “Work Capacity across broad time and modal domains.” Later in our guide and training seminar, we expanded on how the domain of aging is relative to our work capacity. The hormonal changes that occur in our body as it ages will be reflected in not only in the workouts themselves, but how our energy is after those workouts or in our recovery. What this means for your daily practice is making note of your energy levels as you finish different workouts. What workouts leave you wiped (heavy weights, gymnastics, intervals?), and what can what can you do to better recover with regards to nutrition, rest days, sleep, and mobility.
#2 Knowledge is power. You have amazing resources here at CFII, but taking it upon yourself to learn more about nutrition, stretching, improving your sleep…the multitude of things in your control that occur outside the gym are a part of your fitness journey…educate yourself!
#3 CrossFit fosters positive mental health. Through testing varied movements, working out with friends, having a coach to help remind us of our goals, we walk into an environment that offers both personal challenges to accomplish with the support from the community to get it done. In our classes, we test your strength in order to find your power. That testing builds an immeasurable personal strength that can change a lot in your life for the better.
That’s it. The work we do is complicated, yes, but mastery takes a lifetime and we should train and move our bodies with that simple intent…that we don’t want a quick fix, but we want to be capable and able to face challenges for our lifetime. Training for that takes CrossFit, yes, but more importantly learning what your body needs. Are you taking the steps to learn more about what you need, or are you just coming in to hit it and split? Let’s be forever CrossFitters. Talk to your coach and let’s make a plan on what you want out of life!