Trainer’s Talk – Mastering skill work

CrossFit is for everybody; because of this every box is going to have people on both ends of the physical fitness spectrum. At any given time in our box I may see someone going for a max set of muscle-ups and another person struggling to get their first set of ten double-unders. The beauty of CrossFit is that, as long as we don’t put a ceiling on our own success, we can all master the same skills as the most elite CrossFit athletes. It may be much easier for some to master the more difficult skills such as pistols, muscle-ups, and handstand walks, but we can all get there as long as we follow three basic principles, programming, proper use of time, and consistency. 


When beginning to train a new skill you must know the proper way to attack it, for some skills watching others in class or on YouTube may be sufficient. For the more difficult skills, however, there are often particular stretches, progressions, and isolated strength components that may help you achieve your goals more efficiently. For some of the more basic skills, such as pull-ups and dips, we have the progressions available and work on them often. When it comes time to work on more advanced skills don’t be afraid to ask your coaches for assistance with the proper steps to get started, we want to see you achieve your full potential!!!

Time Use:

Many of us are always running on a tight schedule, it might be due to kids or pets at home, work, travel, or just getting through the daily grind, this is why it is important to use any free time we have at the gym to get better. It is perfectly fine to chat with people before, after, and sometimes even during class, but know your schedule and your goals. What is it you want to accomplish? How much time do you have? How much time do you need to dedicate each day to see an improvement? If you really want to see improvement in a skill quickly I would recommend you set aside a minimum of 10 minutes before or after class to work on it, anything less and your time until that skill is mastered will significantly increase. 


This is the single most important of the three rules. Programming and use of time don’t matter if you only do them for one week, or one day, consistency is the key. Just like with most sports, musical instruments, or basic skills, your improvement will build exponentially the more often you practice. One day of double under or pull-up practice a week might be a big step up from none at all but the progress will remain slim to none, bump that up to three days a week and progress should be noticeable as soon as week two. Every skill is different, for people who can’t do double unders I would recommend daily practice because it isn’t very physically taxing, other skills such as muscle-ups, pull-ups, and dips are more taxing on your muscles and should be practiced at a lower volume, increase that volume as your skill level increases. 

If you are serious about learning to do double unders on a consistent basis it is my strong recommendation that you buy your own adjustable length speed rope. Here is a link to a great option, this was my first speed rope.


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