Fitness

Training for the Unexpected


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You can’t hide in the sport of fitness. You can’t be afraid of the unknown in competition. You can’t be successful if you get mentally defeated in this sport of CrossFit… instead you must swallow your pride, embrace defeat and attack your weaknesses.

The majority of athletes choose a sport or skill based on what they are ‘good’ at or what they enjoy. For example: a young boy realizes he loves the water and can easily hold his breath longer than his friends without much effort and as a result, he chooses to work on becoming efficient at holding his breath while moving and becomes a competitive swimmer.  Or, a young girl loves to flip, somersault, and cartwheel all around the house. Realizing that tumbling is more fun than fear, she has her parents enroll her in gymnastics classes.  Unfortunately, this philosophy does not work for a crossfitter. I believe a true competitive crossfitter comes from someone who chooses to be mentally tougher than their competitors. A crossfitter does not have the luxury of focusing on that one skill or workout in which they are strong. A crossfitter must find what makes them fail, what is hard, and what their competitors are not willing to do and then train hard in those areas (while still not neglecting the areas in which they are already successful).

JoEllyn McAtee, a former college hurdler, is the owner and head coach at Crossfit Bluegrass in Louisville, KY.
JoEllyn McAtee, a former college hurdler, is the owner and head coach at Crossfit Bluegrass in Louisville, KY.

You will not see an Olympic Hepthatalete walk out to track every day and practice only high jump and then on the day of the meet expect to perform well in the hurdles, long jump, shot put, javelin, and running events. Before, you stop reading and think ‘well that is common sense’ take a look at your programming.  Do you know your weaknesses? Do you focus on strength only? Do you focus on met-cons? Do you practice mainly gymnastics, skills, or techniques? There is only one thing that will make you a competitive crossfitter and that is the ability to swallow your pride and do what you do not want to do… work on the things you suck at.

Check Out JoEllyn’s Training Log

Every athlete will need to attack their training differently based on their different strengths and weaknesses. I typically warm-up, work on mobility and practice bar technique work at the beginning of my training day. Depending on the training day, I’ll then move into strength or met-cons. I like to work on gymnastics and skills at the end of the workouts (after full recovery from met-con) on days 1 and 2 of my training week.  We are training for competition and for the unexpected tasks that come with CrossFit, so I need to be able to do the unexpected even when fatigued.

JoEllyn started her athletic career running track at Christian Academy of Louisville. She then went on to run NCAA Division I track at both University of Louisville and then Liberty University, where she competed in both the Big East and Big South conference meets. She earned her certification with the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) in 2008 and in that same year graduated with a Kinesiology degree from Liberty University. JoEllyn received her CrossFit Certification in 2010 and USA Weightlifting Certification in 2012. She competed on a team in the 2010 CrossFit Central East Regionals, recently finished 4th overall as an individual in the 2012 CrossFit Central East Open and placed 6th overall as an individual in the 2012 CrossFit Central East Regionals.
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