CrossFit started umpteen years ago as a grass roots, personal training turned group fitness model. Constantly varied movements performed at high intensity got people hooked but the community kept people coming back for more, & rightfully so. If you know anything about CrossFit, it then turned into a rough & tumble garage gym, industrial space scene that has been slowly polished & refined ever since.
Insert Ticker Training, or heart-rate based training for CrossFit, & you get something else entirely. You pair the compound, complex movements of CrossFit with Dr. Maffetone’s method of heart-rate variability & modest aerobic efforts over time & you get training for health, not necessarily fitness. Sounds all good & well but what we haven’t mentioned is the mental shift involved in training this way.
Working out in the traditional CrossFit space is typically faced paced & hard, really hard. Shifting from this mindset, towards moderately paced efforts takes some humility. The goal of Ticker Training is to enable an athlete to work aerobically. Gasping for air, hands on knees, is not aerobic. The process of slowing down & allowing yourself to be last in a training session takes no small amount of self-control & humility. If you want to have an aerobic engine that burns predominantly fat as a fuel source, you’ll need to go much slower, before you can go faster.
Patience is key when transitioning to this type of training. It often takes people months, not weeks, to repair & improve their metabolic & aerobic systems. People who workout a lot or too much typically chase that burning feeling. This often fuels them & provides the satisfaction of “working out” that day. This is fine every once in awhile but performed day in & day out will lead to internal damage which is difficult to reverse. Having patience during the transition & healing process is a must. This involves trusting your coach, listening to what the modifications should be & being coachable. Traditionally, working harder in a short of time will lead to results. This is not the case here. The more, shall we say, compliant you are, in the beginning, the faster you will improve. It is all about working at an appropriate intensity for YOU.
Lastly, kindness is a key component of Ticker Training. We get it. This may sound like a very pie in the sky idea, but hear us out. Kindness allows us to approach our athletes with the best intentions at heart. We know that some of our conversations can feel deflating. “No, you shouldn’t go that fast yet.” Or, “no you shouldn’t put that weight on the bar today.” We have to work with & build up the ego one small piece at a time, but we must do so with kindness. Is kindness present in other CrossFit Affiliates? Absolutely!! No doubt about it. We just take extra care because we know the dynamic of our training is more of a mental challenge than a physical one.
So. Ask yourself if your training requires you to be humble. Try practicing patience. Be kind, both in & out of the gym. Not only with others but yourself as well.