There are many ways that CrossFit differs from other modalities designed to improve overall health and fitness. I believe that there are two main differences: Intensity and Community. Intensity as Coach Glassman states is the “independant variable most associated with improvement” and Community is the variable that enables CrossFit FerVor athletes to continually subject themselves to intensity.
Having been able to witness in person and via the web some of the worlds most elite athletes what has struck me as one thing that sets them apart is their ability to regualrly subject themselves to high intensity workouts or focus on building skills without the aid of a partner or other competitor present.
Honestly, I don’t currently possess this skill (or ability as it were) and I know that it is the community that enables me to really give it all in a WOD. The other person who is just ahead of me and I am trying to catch up with or right behind me that I just don’t want to pass me provides the additional motivation to maintain my highest intensity. I know this is not just me as I have seen so many cases of athletes who perform below their capacity due to not having community or competition or having too little (i.e.work just hard enough to “Win”).
There are elements that can be introducted to ameliorate this situation which can and often do fall under that category of community. Shared stretch goals are a good example. A Goal to complete that first pull up, double under, muscle up or achieve a PR on a lift or WOD by a specific deadline can have that effect. When the goal is public or shared with the community, It has added accountability that encourages athletes to show up early or stay over a bit to practice a skill or work at home on improving range of motion or squat efficiency, etc. Another is an audience and this is another example of the power of community we see in CrossFit FerVor. When the top athlete in a box doesn’t have much in the way of competition she / he is encouraged to give their all when the Community is encouraging them to give their all.
So it is in the gym and so it is in life. Consider areas where you want / need to improve, determine where you can implement the power of community into that routine and see the change it can make. Determine a stretch goal you want to achieve. Share it with a supportive group that will help provide encouragement and accountability and then give your all and see what happens.