CrossFit for Life vs. Sport
Goal Based Programming
Every summer 40 of the fittest men and women in the world are put to the test at the annual CrossFit Games. The Crossfit Games are an awe inspiring spectacle of fitness that for most people interested in the world of fitness can be both highly entertaining and inspiring. These incredibly impressive athletes go through a grueling 5 days of challenging workouts with the end goal of crowning the fittest man and woman on earth. On top of those athletes who compete in the CrossFit Games there are many athletes who train to compete in the sport of CrossFit at various levels.
Although the competitive sport of CrossFit is a critical part of the worldwide crossfit community it can often cause confusion between someone who is using Crossfit to train for life and those who have adopted CrossFit as a sport. What follows is a few ways to distinguish “Crossfit for Life” from “Crossfit for Sport” to make sure you are getting the most out of your training.
Training for LIFE vs. SPORT
1. Training Volume
The first and possibly the biggest distinction between the two methods of training is training volume. Volume simply put, is how much an individual trains throughout the week. Often times people see a youtube video or watch the games on tv and decide they want to train like a games athlete. CrossFit was founded on a 3 days on 1 day off format. The average crossfitter usually trains somewhere between 3-6 days a week, usually about an hour a day. As opposed to a games level athlete who might be doing 3-6 workouts per day 6 or 7 days a week. For a normal person looking to get the most out of their exercise routine, 3-6 workouts per week is going to be that sweet spot to help you achieve your fitness goals
The second big piece of the puzzle is going to be the amount of time put into recovery. One of the reasons high level competitive athletes can train the way they do is the amount of time they spend recovering and preparing themselves for training. Often times elite athletes spend most of their time outside of the gym preparing for time in the gym, while a normal crossfitter isn’t putting much time into recovery outside of their time in the gym. I like to the think about it as earning your workouts with your recovery. Have you eaten enough? How’s your mobility? Did you get at least 8 hours of sleep? If you don’t feel like you have checked all those boxes then the second or third workout in a day would probably be doing you more harm than good.
The last significant difference is going to be the mindset of the individual. What is your goal when it comes to training? Most elite athletes have one primary goal. Doing as well as possible in whatever competition they are training for. While doing as well as you can is a great goal, most people that walk into the gym are doing it for different reasons. Instead of training for a competition most people are training to live a little longer, be a little better at playing with their kids, and of course looking a little better naked.
So remember to make sure you always keep your goals in mind and adjust your training accordingly. Your training should be for you, so make sure to always stay chasing your goals, not someone else's!
About the Author
Stefan is a University of Florida grad with a degree in Applied Physiology and Kinesiology. He has taken his passion for athletics and training onto our coaching floor to share with our athletes. Through his degree and continued education he shares invaluable tools and resources with our athletes both relating to training and living an overall healthy lifestyle.