Do you remember when you first started CrossFit and even the most basic fundamental movement patterns were challenging to learn? Over time, we began to take the nuances of a perfectly performed air squat or deadlift for granted. As we mastered these fundamentals skills, we found that the doors to other, more challenging and complicated skills were opened. Deadlifts and squats turned into medicine ball cleans, and before you knew it we were throwing the barbell around with Olympic Weightlifting movements. Many of us have come a long way since first starting our quest toward achieving Elite Fitness at CFWS! It is important to realize that even though many of us now take simple things like air squats and deadlifts for granted, we didn’t always know what the hell we were doing with these movements. It took time and focused, dedicated, repetitive practice at these movements to make them seem so easily approachable.
Once the basics are mastered, though, there is a whole world of movement patterns that are exceedingly more difficult to master. I call these movements, whichever they may be for each athlete, our SHINY NEW TOYS. These movements are the ones we lose sleep over at night fantasizing about the day we will finally achieve the goal of mastering a free standing handstand (or maybe even a free standing handstand pushup). In reality, we already know that the only way for us to achieve these higher and higher skill movements is to regularly practice these movements and to develop the necessary fitness parameters to allow for such an achievement.
Here’s a list of some of the obvious “Shiny New Toys” that we all invariably acquire along the path toward Elite Fitness:
- Kipping Pull-up
- Chest to bar pull-up
- Skin the Cats
- Muscle Ups
- Weighted Pistols
- Overhead Squat
- L-Sit Pull-ups
- Handstand pushups
- Double Unders
Of course, this is not an all inclusive list of potential movements that could fall into this category. In reality, your shiny new toys are precisely the movements you find the most challenging. By stepping up to the challenge of mastering these movements, you will have placed new tools in your toolbox of functional movement. These tools will unlock and open the door to more and more complex and high skilled movements. Higher intensity can only be achieved once we establish proficiency at the higher level functional movements.
The bottom line is this: Whether we like it or not, our fitness is constantly evolving. We are either becoming more fit, or we are detraining. The only way to ensure we continue to evolve into fitter, healthier, more functional beings is to constantly take on new challenges. The words I can’t do ______________ (fill in the blank) do not exist in our gym without qualifying your statement with the word YET. We all have the ability to become better athletes. We are all capable of elevating our fitness and skill sets to the next level. Hard work and dedication to our personal health and well being define the path towards achieving our goals. Let’s see how many shiny new toys our athletes come up with over the course of the next few weeks. Amazing results ensue when focused effort on improving is your personal mantra.