Its Painful, but not Difficult

I told people, there isn’t anything really that difficult about being in the military, its just a few moments and hours that really suck. They always say "embrace the suck". The same can be said of CrossFit. I mean, honestly.

My Monday workout lasted 3:58. And in under 4 mins, I was sore the next day. It was all I had planned and I didn’t do any more. Just that. I probably laid sprawled out on the floor longer than the workout. It was a couplet of trap bar deadlifts and dumbbell push presses. Nothing hard about that. But it killed me.

Last night was even easier, but again, very short workouts. I did a Tabata interval of dumbbell rows alternating sides each round. If you aren’t familiar, Tabata is a well-researched workout developed by Dr. Izumi Tabata. He evaluated several interval lengths and found this formula to be the most effective at promoting various biological markers. It is super simple. You exercise all out for 20 seconds, then 10 seconds of rest. You do that for 8 rounds totaling 4 mins. And you can do it with any exercise. There are Tabata playlists on Spotify that you can use to keep your time. You probably think that sounds easy. I would ask you to try it. Run some sprints with Tabata intervals and tell me how you feel afterward. It will totally smoke you.

My second workout, still very simple, was a 10 minute EMOM of 3 power cleans. Again, not difficult, until you start to do it. Every Minute On the Minute you do the exercise and then rest. You have the option to increase the weight in between as well. I would say my heart easily stayed above 75% the entire time. That’s really the goal. To get the benefit of heavy lifting while also working your heart.

There are so many marvelous techniques for interval training. Intervals for everything, including running, swimming, biking, are wonderful for general fitness. When you do steady state cardio (like a running pace for 30 minutes), you never do explosive, heart wrenching, muscle pumping work. Its always done at an even keel. And when you do the standard Globo gym workout where you do a set of weights, then socialize or play with your phone, you may do a set every 3-5 minutes. So you never get the heart effects. Both of these methods (steady state cardio and gym lifting) are also very inefficient. Why not try a workout that lasts less than 15 minutes? Its not the time in the gym that counts, its the quality of your effort.

Research all the unique techniques for building muscle in different ways. It adds variety that keeps you excited to be in the gym. Learn new skills and techniques. Unlike what Jillian Michaels says, there are millions of combinations and permutations of exercises and techniques that are possible. Don’t get stuck on one area. In fact, I would say do your favorite things 10% of the time. Spend a majority of your time on your weaknesses. That’s where you probably need it most.

You may not call it CrossFit. You may call it HIIT or something else. Just do it. Everybody can do it. And yes, its going to be painful. But its in the pain where we find ourselves and grow.

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