Today I am excited to offer you all a challenge for the month of December (that doesn't call you to limit cookies or egg nog):
I've been ruminating on this idea for at least a month now, and decided to give it a go. I've realized that CrossFitters tend to be really great about some things (eating reasonably healthy, making time for workouts, striving to get better/stronger/faster)...but when it comes to preventing injuries and increasing range of motion, we kinda suck.
|Couch stretch - yikes! This one's killer|
We all talk about how lame it is that a lot of the media promotes the idea that CrossFit is uber-intense and full of male and female meatheads working out till they puke or end up in surgery for their shoulders. We also come in and talk about how inflexible we are and how we can't get all the way down in a squat because our hips are too tight. And then we skip mobility unless our coach actually programs it into class, because we're just too busy to take the extra time.
This needs to change.
For the sake of our sport, we need to be smarter at taking care of ourselves. If you're limbered up with great range of motion, you are so much less likely to get hurt! When CrossFit athletes work hard not just for PRs but for safety, we'll fight the current image of our community as the "beat my time/weight goal at all costs" group.
For the sake of ourselves and our fitness goals, we have to develop better range of motion. Just like you don't increase your deadlift by never ever working on it, you can't improve your flexibility (and consequently form) without putting in some time.
Kelly Starrett, of the famous Mobility WOD website, advises in The Box magazine that mobility requires only 15 minutes per day...but he says it has to be seven days per week for you to see the payoff in your workouts.
So without further ado, I bring you my challenge (cause what are we in CrossFit if not competitive?):
I challenge you to do mobility work EVERY DAY from December 1st until Christmas.
"What???" you say. "I barely have time to shower post-WOD - let alone sit on a foam roller for 15 minutes after the workout!"
Never fear. I'm breaking this challenge into 3 categories:
The Inspired Newbie
- You've been doing CrossFit for 6 months or less. You come 2-3 times a week and your daily goal is basically to not flee the box screaming when you see the WOD on the board. You keep coming because your ultimate goal is to fight some health concerns (e.g. high blood pressure, excess weight). Your RX? 5 minutes per day.
The Committed Regular
You've been doing CrossFit for at least 6 months, and you come about 3 times a week or so. Your daily goal is to avoid taking unnecessary rest during the WOD, and maybe to beat a few folks you know are in your level of fitness. Your ultimate goal is to get in great shape and start RXing more workouts. Your RX? 10 minutes per day.
- The Games-Bound Freak
You've been doing CrossFit for at least a year, and you workout 5 days a week because smart people say you HAVE to rest at some point. Your daily goal is to politely kick every other score in the butt. Your ultimate goal is to be Rich Froning. Your RX? 15+ minutes per day.
Now you know who you are...if you feel like you're between (I fall somewhere between Regular and Freak), scale up. More is better.
Here's the way this works:
Every day, come see me here and I'll have suggested mobility work for you.
Post in the comments what you worked on and your score (in minutes spent on mobility). (15 points each for: at least 5 minutes for the Inspired Newbies, at least 10 minutes for the Committed Regulars, at least 15 minutes for the Games-Bound Freaks)
Extra points if you post about the challenge on TheMeghaMix's Facebook page (5 points)or Tweet about it with the hashtag #adventmobility (5 points)
Extra credit challenge each week (10 points)
On December 25th, we'll all take a well deserved day off
On December 26th, I'll total the scores and announce the winner
I'll then pre-order a copy of Supple Leopard, K-Starr's new book in the winner's name
Ready? Me, too! See you tomorrow for day 1.
(P.S. Extra credit for the first week is to book yourself a massage!)