How Crossfit Fits…
It can be challenging to fit working out into our lives no matter who we are. Through the years, I’ve found that CrossFit has resurfaced continuously as an extremely time-effective way to get in amazing shape and help me reach my goals.
As a professional paddle athlete, it may seem like it would be easy to fit CrossFit into my schedule. But as you dial in your on-water work, it becomes increasingly important to coordinate gym workouts and high-intensity water workouts in such a way that they work together and help you become stronger instead of leaving you over-trained and exhausted. As much as I love doing CrossFit, if I were to try to do the WODs daily, it wouldn’t leave much gas in the tank to hit the intensities I need to hit on the water. Paddling is also a very specific sport, where very little other than paddling itself can get you into paddle-shape. But that doesn’t mean that CrossFit, and specifically a gym like Crossfit CB, doesn’t have its place in my training. It tends to fit in 3 major ways:
Anatomical Adaptation in the Annual Training Plan (ATP)
I’ve got my entire year scheduled out in advance. I plan for all my major races and include cycles of strength, aerobic base, intensification, rest, etc. Each year I have a big block of “Off Season” where I don’t paddle much because it’s good for my body and my sanity. After the last big race of the season, I take a good week or two getting reacquainted with my couch and binge watching reruns of the Golden Girls. That’s about all the time it takes before I get antsy and need to be active again. This first phase of the ATP is what many refer to as Anatomical Adaptation and it occurs in the “off sesason”. It’s where you’re not doing your primary sport and you’re taking time to shore up any imbalances. I’ve found Crossfit to be the absolute best way to spend my Anatomical Adaptation phase. I’m constantly finding out things I can’t do, and working at them. Each day is different, which is great mental stimulation compared to the somewhat predictable paddle workouts in the on-season. I’ve seen the greatest improvements in my on water training after a cycle of anatomical adaptation using the daily WODs.
You never know when you need to sprint off the start line, catch a draft train, or lay it all out at the finish. I always feel like pushing myself in crossfit has enabled me to rise to these occasions with confidence. More specifically, having access to a facility with knowledgeable staff where I can build anaerobic conditioning into my plan and get feedback to really dial in what I’m doing. As an added bonus, I never feel bad about pushing myself hard at CFCB, if that makes sense. I can build a hard workout into my plan and go (attempt to) crush it; making grunting sounds, slinging spit, sweating everywhere, and grimacing hard. I’ve tried other gyms where if I would go all-out I left feeling like a crazy person. I always feel comfortable at CFCB, and that makes training the priority.
Sometimes you just need variety. Sometimes you just need to go push yourself with others. I love being a part of a Crossfit gym because after a month of paddling alone, it can be really fun to go hop in for one of the regularly scheduled classes ESPECIALLY if it’s a partner WOD! I enjoy the philosophy of keeping training “constantly varied” and although that isn’t always the most conducive to SUP success, I feel like it is extremely important to my overall health and muscle balance.