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Are You Competing Yourself Out Of Being Fit?

So this is one of those topics that can get a little confusing.  CrossFit is known as the “Sport of Fitness”.  The winners of the CrossFit Games are declared the Fittest Man and Woman on Earth.  So what am I saying when I ask, “Are you competing yourself out of being fit?”  In many cases athletes are abusing their bodies in an effort to be competition ready.  They are working out two, three, and sometimes four times a day.  This is fine and dandy when you are young, however every good strength and conditioning mind knows that this kind of training is a one-way ticket to injury.  How did we get here?  

So ever since the start of CrossFit we have been preaching health and wellness.  CrossFit.com started by posting the Workout Of The Day.  As intended, in the comment section people would post their scores and we would get real competitive on there.  I can name several people who I would specifically look for to beat their scores.  This attitude is good in my opinion because it pushes you to be your best.  The downside of this attitude is people start shortchanging repetitions to do everything they have to do to go quicker on workouts with focusing on their technique or by “kipping” everything.  There is an old adage that if you don’t have a strict pull up, you should not be doing kipping pull ups.  I wholeheartedly agree with this.  Lately people have been coming to me with nagging shoulder and elbow pains.  I put this blame on doing movements for the sake of doing movements.  A couple of examples of this are the “pull and punch” kettle bell swing and the “chicken wing” bar or ring muscle-up.  No matter how many times I tell certain athletes “Hey, you should probably not do that” they do it anyway for the sake of going “RX” on the white board.  This is competing and this is leading people down the road of injury.  If you are injured, you are not fit, period!  A personal example of this is in a recent workout, “death by power snatch” where I did one power snatch on the first minute, 2 on the second, 3 on the third, etc. The weight was prescribed for me at 150 lb.  Well today was one of those days where 150 lb. just wasn’t happening.  I ended up doing 135 lb. to dial in my technique.  I sat my ego down and focused on that to be able to workout another day.  I will be the first to tell you that I was one of the people that competed everyday.  I allowed my ego to get the best of me and it led me to being injured.  I can honestly say I have not been seriously injured since I backed off and focused on being fit and not competing everyday.  There is a time and place to compete but you can not physically do it everyday.  

If I cannot squat I am not fit, if I injure my knee because I just had to do pistol squats to go RX on a workouts but my heel is coming off the ground I am competing myself out of being fit.  Scale the workout and at a lower intensity- work on the skill.  Understand when you should compete and when you should be working out and this is the truest way to be FIT! 

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