To the person who views health and wellness as getting fit for summer, or who jumps from one 60-day challenge to another, practice will not be of much importance. When this type of person is training they are hitting everything at 100% (at a level unsustainable long term). This person has a deadline, they know that they only need to keep it up for a short period and they want results fast (regardless of what it does to their body).
If, on the other hand, you are exercising for longevity and want to get fit and healthy (and stay that way) for many years to come then practice should play a big role in your programming!! Have a read over the following to see just how practice can help you.
What does practice mean to you with regard to your training? Take a few moments to reflect on that, is it;
- Today, I’m going to not worry so much about the weight
and focus on the movement?
- Today, I want to work longer (lighter weight) and rest less or work less (heavier weight) and rest more? What is your goal for the session?
- Today, it’s about me, I don’t need to keep up with anybody, beat myself or anyone else for that matter?
- Today, I’m going to listen to my body and back it off a bit?
- Today, I’m going to move in line with my long term goals?
Now that we’ve got you thinking we’re giving you some further information on the context of the change in our programming. We now have Competition, Mental Toughness and PRACTICE focus days. These PRACTICE days are scheduled so we are not always training or working at our maximum capacity. That approach is not HEALTHY. If you approach everyday full bore, or let your ego get in the way, you are not giving yourself the best chance of improving.
Professional athletes don’t train full bore all the time and neither should you!
We should view PRACTICE days as an opportunity to improve the way we move. We are looking to get the work done whilst improving our 10 Physical Skills of CrossFit. Put simply, if you have a crap Clean & Jerk and keep lifting heavy or if you are always trying to hit the big numbers, are you really giving yourself the best opportunity to improve your C&J, or your Accuracy, Agility, Balance or Coordination?
The advisory percentages, are guidelines, you don’t always have to hit that number on the chart or go for a new “sneaky 1RM”. These are structured numbers within the programming to give you the best chance of improving.
If you’ve had a couple of days off, or training infrequently it’s more important to “stay within, or even better below” these guides, otherwise you could be risking injury. Days off or away from the gym shouldn’t mean you go “full bore” when you get back here.
Let’s take a look at some outcomes based on people’s approach to Practice Days.
As coaches whilst we are at the whiteboard or having a “suggestive chat” with you, we are posing thoughts and recommendations to you to best look after your body, get a workout in, get the best results possible, and improve the way you move.
Take a look at this short video on practice and the neural pathways associated with improvement of tasks, How To Practice Effectively…..For Just About Anything simple in Laymen’s terms yes?
The importance of practice goes to the very foundations of the CrossFit program. CrossFit published this Journal back in 2005 regarding the Fundamentals, Virtuosity & Mastery. Virtuosity is defined in gymnastics as “performing the common uncommonly well,” the same can be applied to moving your body and/or a bar through space.
Taking another minute to reflect on all of these questions above and some new knowledge;
- How will you approach your next session when the coach is briefing the workout says it’s a PRACTICE day?
- Will you tell the coach if you’re not feeling the best today, have general soreness and fatigue?
- What will you do if you want to improve a specific movement?
In conclusion, PRACTICE days are beneficial in supporting your, health, wellbeing, performance, and longevity. So, when a practice day comes up use it as an opportunity to take your health/fitness/training to the next level.