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Good Training Habits, Part 1
David Osorio

While it’s our responsibility as coaches to teach you movement, program intelligently and keep you safe, it’s your responsibility as athletes to develop good training habits.  Here is an overview of three great habits that will significantly enrich your training experience. 

Be Proactive With Your Movement Prep
Everyone needs to do a little personalized maintenance on their bodies.  Even 10 minutes of DIY movement prep before class can go a long way in keeping you fit and pain free.  After you've signed in and changed, take advantage of the time you've got and start moving.

Row an easy 300-500m on the erg. Get your heart rate up a little and try to get a light sweat going.  We recommend holding 20 strokes per minute and rehearsing good form.

Stretch/Foam Roll
Many of us know where our tightest areas are,  they're the ones that make it difficult to squat below parallel or press a barbell overhead.  Spend 5-10 minutes stretching out or doing some soft tissue work (foam roller/LAX ball etc) on your "problem areas".  If you don't know where to begin, ask a coach what you should be prioritizing and we'll help you out.  We also regularly refer our members to the MobilityWOD Blog.  This is great resource for folks who need simple, effective strategies to help them move better.

Log all your Workouts 
Training without logging is like driving without a road map.  You don't know where you've been or where you're going.  Taking notes on each training session helps you track your progress and helps us make informed decisions about how to assist you in choosing weights and scaling movements. Each day should list some quantitative and qualitative notes about your training session. Here is an example:

10/17/10 Sunday, 10am
200m jog, LAX ball'd both hips and glutes
Group Droms, clean and jerk practice @ 65lbs

3 Rounds for time:
Run 400m
6 Clean and Jerks, 85lbs
12 Ring Rows

cooled down on Foam Roller.

Right knee bothered me a little first run, then felt fine. Clean and Jerks felt really heavy but good. Less rest between movements next time.

You can track your workouts in a journal or on line.  Us coaches LOVE to read the details of your workout in the comments section. It gives us a deeper perspective into your training and the programming in general.

Start Slow and Maintain Perspective
We take our training seriously at CrossFit South Brooklyn and with that comes with a good deal of responsibility. Our movement pool uses serious strength and conditioning exercises in order to develop a broad, inclusive fitness.  If we don't treat these movements and workouts with respect, training plateaus and injuries are sure to follow.  The best way to ensure your success and training longevity with us is by starting slowly and developing a rock-solid technical base. In fact, the first few months you start CrossFit, intensity should not be a significant concern.  The movements are potent enough that just consistently performing them will create a favorable adaptation. After you feel really comfortable with most of our exercises and have a working knowledge of your weights, only then should you start ramping up the intensity. 
Training with a life long perspective is incredibly important, remember that you're here to build yourself up not break yourself down.  Scaling workouts properly, listening to your body and checking your ego at the door will allow you to workout successfully for years to come. Most importantly, have fun with this stuff and enjoy the process.

Do you practice all of these? What other good training habits would you recommend to your fellow CrossFitters?

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Reader Comments (18)

Nice write up, David. I try to follow these guidelines/philosophy and have been more successful in the last couple of months...once I committed to a long term outlook on my health and wellness. It is often hard to check the ego and/or not get too caught up in the heat of the moment or the competition. I believe all are important elements but need to be properly balanced with safety and well being the priority.As for getting in, stretching, movement prep, warm up before working out, it's a great idea in theory and I really try to practice it when I can but often schedules are tight and I'm in sprint mode just to get to the gym. I commit to doing my best.Logging...ahem, David...any word on the new log books? I try to post and i was logging in my book religiously until it filled up about a month ago. I have been holding out for a new book so I don't have records in multiple places and as a result my logging has gone to shite.I have also become a mobility convert, it's my new focus. I think it's difficult to realize how much a lack of mobility, even a minor one, can effect the gains you may want to achieve in your workouts, not to mention plain old quality of life. When I'm 80 I'm probably not going to care how much I can deadlift but if I can still squat down and move with relative ease, I'll be stoked. Sorry for the extensive ramblings. Good night.
October 21, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterDavid Mak
Thanks for that write-up. I feel like I want to add "make sure you sleep enough" to that list. Why? Because I'm sick again, for the second time in two months, and I'm convinced that it is because I've not been sleeping well, or enough. I'm a 5x'er here at CFSBK, and I really appreciate Tuesdays and Fridays off because I can feel the workload building up on my body. But this fall semester, my sleep patterns have not been good, and now, I face again, loss of training days (like yesterday when I couldn't come in and missed what seemed like a great workout), and of course, the terrible mood crash that sickness always brings. I can only hope this particular relapse is short-lived, and I can get back into the swing of things quickly.

Like DMak, I'm trying to get more serious about mobility, though I'm nowhere near his diligence yet. I do a daily 10-minute pigeon pose for my sciatica (five minutes each side) and some movements before working out at the box (these admittedly, are a little random, but I see some sort of pattern emerging).

As for logging, I have to admit, I've stopped doing it in a logbook, but I do log mine on the blog everytime I work out. If we could get a "search by author" feature on this blog (or just some general search functionality) I'd be happy to keep logging here. Still, I think to be really systematic, I should use my notebook (or perhaps go the spreadsheet route like some folks).
October 22, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterSamir Chopra
I concur about being tough not getting caught up in competition. I rotated out of strength class, and came in and wod was 500 meter sprints. I destroyed myself, wasn't prepared for that, and did more harm than good, all to shave a few seconds off before I was really ready for it. I am going to have to try to be a little smarter this time around. A gradual approach worked making a paleo diet a sustainable thing, I'll have to be more disciplined in the face of a natural desire to go all out.

Thanks for a great post
October 22, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterJim
Great post, DOs. I have been really lax in logging workouts for, gulp, tha last few months. Just stopped doing it. Since coming back to our programming I intended to start logging again, went out and bought a notebook, and didn't do it. So just now I ran through the blog and logged each workout I've done in this cycle. Thanks for the reminder, Dave.

I am pretty good about movement prep and tending to my sticky bits via foam roll and lax ball love, but could always use more.

I definitely don't sleep enough. I got a rocky 5 hrs last night and intended to nap after my first few early am clients, but as usual I'm pretty energized by those mid-morning sessions that the last thing I want to do is lay down. So here I am.


How are folks feeling about programming lately? There's been an intention to program harder WODs more frequently along with maintaining (while mixing up) our lifting cycle. I'd love to see a few thoughts posted on it. Bueno/No Bueno?
October 22, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterFox
October 22, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterFox
Great write up. I've definitely been better with my movement prep over the past couple of months, because it has really made recovery from long runs much, much better. Although, more often than not, I only fit this in post-workout. I need to manage my time better to allow for more of this before the wods.

As for logging, I used to be so diligent in writing in my notebook, but stopped for some unknown reason. While I always post on the blog, I need to get back to writing it down. The thing that I found most beneficial in journaling are my warm-up sets. This takes the guess work out of trying to figure out what I should be doing, and makes it easier when wanting to go up in weight. And, I'm with DMak on wanting a CFSBK logbook! Is this just a tease?

In terms of starting slow, I had no other choice. Crossfit was (often still is) very humbling for me. Coming from what I thought was an athletic background, I kinda assumed I would be able to quickly pick up the new skills/movements, progressing to rx'd workouts in no time. Ha, that was not the case. Looking back at old wods and seeing how much I had to modify, makes me really appreciative of how far I've come. (Also another great reason to journal!) Clearly, the superb coaching and constant emphasis on solid technique has helped to keep me in check. Now, don’t get me wrong though. I'm a competitive s.o.b and you can often hear me asking what some of the other ladies' times were, or how much they pulled, so as to set a goal for a particular wod. But, I'm not going to be stupid about it. I still haven't done Grace as rx'd because I haven't felt that my c&j's were good enough to do 30 without my form going completely to shite, and potentially re-aggravating my right shoulder. But, it's a goal and one of these days, I'll be ready.

As for sleep...definitely need more. While I tend to get about 6.5 hours a night, it's not quality at all.

October 22, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterJess
I have been giving myself a daily class buy in of 5 sun salutations. I know that's nothing and I usually do much more but having a daily commitment helps. The extra preclass stuff really pay off for me when it's lifting time.

yes I noticed programming was even better lately with more interesting and integrated lifts and wods. Def more inspiring than lifting at my own lazy pace.

my back was smoked after doing wed wod yesterday and then tough day at work. Deccided to take the day off but could not stop myself.

at home nft3 rounds:10 HSPU, 10 chest to bar PUs, 10 ring dips (all broken variously)
October 22, 2010 | Unregistered Commentercarlos
I'm pretty good about logging my workouts and maintaining a postive perspective. Since I've been taking classes I've actually done a little less movement prep before class. I don't really have any huge mobility limitations so I find that just freestyling foam rolling and stretching goes a long way to keep the FUZZ to a minimum and my movement fluid.

my worst training habit is not reordering journals.
October 22, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterDavid Osorio
One of my October goals was 20 MWODs. I have been kind of picking them out cafeteria=style from the posts, choosing mostly hip and ankle stuff since those are my biggest disasters (shoulders being only minor disasters--I am not a mobile girl). I can't say I've noticed a huge difference in performance or how I'm feeling but I know it's better than not doing them--as DMak says, when I'm 80 I'll want to be able to bend over more than I'll want to be able to pick up big weight (groceries will be fine, I expect).

As for the programming...I hate change. So I was going to say I missed the old linear progression stuff, especially since I can only get into the gym 3x/week, so I'm missing at least half of the squat exposures and often some of the other movements as well. But then today I did Nate (heavily modified) and it was definitely the best way to practice HSPUs I could imagine. And I remembered that I learned DUs doing Annie or something similar, and kipping pullups in a metcon as well--so I changed my mind. I like this programming.
October 22, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterCharlotte
Great Post..Easy to find yourself turning up and going through the motions as we find that hour in the gym harder and harder to find in what for all are busy days. I find myself thinking about what Chip Conrad said during his seminar, he felt that what are involved in needs to be treated like a ritual. A ritual is different for each of us, but it does require making sure you are prepared and focused whenever in class and that the long term goal is self improvement..that is what i am working toward.

As for the programing my only question would be whether we could get an "Active Recovery" class going in the morning before work?
October 22, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterAsh
Ash (and anyone else who wants to chime in) - What time would you do an AR before work? 6, 7, 8?
October 22, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterFox
Dear Management,

This is totally off-topic, but I've been meaning to post: What would it take to get a bike rack installed in the gym? Crossfitters have some fancy wheels and I hate leaning my bike against someone's zoomy fixie, plus extracting my ride after the 5pm class when the 6pm hordes have arrived and "parked" seven or eight bikes on top of it is...hard.

October 22, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterCharlotte
i would be a RELIGIOUS active recoverer if it were at 7PM or later. the time is the only reason i've not been there sooner.

i konw you can't please everyone - just sayin.

October 22, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterMichele
on the topic of scheduling, i'd like a wednesday morning class. it always seemed weird that both rest days have morning classes but a workout day didn't
October 22, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterLuca
Very good post, Dave.

Special bicycling WOD today:1. Sprint to Union Sq., arriving by 7:15 a.m., to check up on time-lapse camera overlooking 17th St.2. Sprint to work in Lower Manhattan.3. Sprint to Union Sq. to fix camera at 3:00 p.m. Eat lunch and drink coffee.4. Sprint back to work at 4:45 p.m.5. Sprint back to Union Sq. to take down camera at 6:30 p.m.6. Coast to Astor Wines & Spirits. Purchase three bottles of gin (Bluecoat, Bulldog, and Breuckelen).7. With about 30# of extra weight, sprint home.8. Taste test three gins.9. Make a martini with favorite gin.
October 22, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterNick Peterson
Bluecoat wins. Enjoying a martini now. But a Bulldog martini might be pretty good too – I'll have to try that.

I love this WOD!
October 22, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterNick Peterson
Made up the deadlift/burpee WOD from last week, RX'ed 5:28. I've done this lots faster before (3 something I think) but the burpees just killed me. DLs were all unbroken.

Then kipping practice with Becca as is our Friday night norm. Getting better. With Margie's help, I figured out how to do the whole push-away thing to string them together. 2! Plus got two deadhangs in a row at the beginning of the night. Now just need to be able to do more kips than strict...
October 22, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterkatie
Drunk Nick is funny.
October 23, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterFox

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