From Wednesday to Saturday, Jan. 18-21, 2023, I participated in an athlete camp hosted at CrossFit Mayhem in Cookeville, Tennessee. About two dozen athletes who’ve competed on the Semifinal stage or increased previously couple of seasons have been in attendance. My function was twofold: survive the week and be taught in regards to the athletes and coaches at CrossFit Mayhem.
Beneath is a recap of my expertise and the exercises I carried out whereas in Cookeville beneath the tutelage of Mayhem coaches Jake Lockert and Facundo Etchecolatz, who stated the next (paraphrased):
“If you might want to modify or scale, please achieve this. This can be a coaching camp; by nature, we’ll push one another, however we’re not competing. Every session has a selected function which we’ll clarify. We encourage every of you to do your greatest to stick to these intentions and never get caught up in a race. In the event you’re not sure or want affirmation on tips on how to scale or what we’re on the lookout for, don’t hesitate to speak to one of many coaches; we’re right here for you.”
Evidently, that message is necessary. It set the tone for the week and put some duty on every athlete to make the appropriate choices session by session and exercise by exercise. With little else on my thoughts, I obtained a good night time’s sleep and headed out for day one.
Editor’s Observe: This text is an op-ed. The views expressed herein and within the video are the creator’s and don’t essentially replicate the views of BarBend. Claims, assertions, opinions, and quotes have been sourced solely by the creator.
Day One — Morning Session
Take Away: the coaches have been complimentary of and impressed by my capacity to decide on and maintain an acceptable tempo for every directive given. All of the years of writing, performing, and tinkering with aerobic-specific conditioning items appear to have paid off on this regard. An excellent begin to the camp.
Take Away: I acquired my first actual teaching cue. What I observed, and what I’d proceed to note, is amongst some of the vital parts of teaching, and one I’m impressed to enhance upon after this week) is discovering the vital cue and speaking it to the athlete clearly and succinctly. Additionally, I PRed my dangle squat snatch.
Day One — Afternoon Session:
- Three units — Toes-to-Bar and Deadlift; work:relaxation with a accomplice (numerous quantity)
- Shoulder and Posterior Chain Accent Work
Take Away: The age-old saying of “low trajectory to distant horizon” may be utilized to many various time domains. On this case, 4 days. I needed to make it by means of all 4 days of coaching with out damage or working myself into the bottom. I did fewer reps and fewer weight than I might have, however I had the large image of the week in thoughts and needed to execute the directive of the session as communicated by the coach. I did 60 p.c of the quantity relative to the elite athletes however was capable of preserve their tempo with my selections. That is the primary of many occasions I did that.
Day Two — Morning Session
Glorious warm-up (lengthy however acceptable). Intentional sprinting work on the Assault Runners (climate prevented us from going to the observe). The cooldown was wanted.
- Get snug with this comparatively new machine.
- Don’t blow a hamstring.
- Don’t go so onerous that I can’t stroll or squat the next day.
I needed to abandon the meant stimulus to attain these issues and scale the variety of units to keep away from being devastatingly sore. Prior to now, this might have felt like a failure, however setting my ego apart and making these selections was paramount to the general success of the week. I’m grateful I had the presence of thoughts to know that because it was occurring.
Day Two — Afternoon Session
- Non-obligatory ability work — gymnastics focus
It was 65 levels and sunny in Cookeville that afternoon, and I hadn’t performed disc golf in over per week. I didn’t carry the discs with me for nothing. There’s a good course at Cane Creek Park, which I went to play. Sam Demeester was the one one courageous sufficient to affix me, and I’m glad he did. After we completed, we went to the ability session. I didn’t take part, however I noticed as Etchecolatz labored his magic with refined gymnastics cues for the athletes who had taken him up on this optionally available ability session.
Take Away: I actually favored this session’s timing within the camp’s total construction. Many of the athletes took benefit of the chance offered, but it surely was productive whereas nonetheless giving an opportunity for restoration earlier than a difficult two days forward.
Day Three — Morning Session
I knew instantly the quantity of GHDs and twine climbs was past what I often practice for. Once more I listened to Etchecolatz and Lockert clarify the intent of the session and modified it in pursuit of that directive. Roman Khrennikov and Agustin Richelme partnered up for this exercise. Whereas I used to be impressed with many issues all through the week, their pace on this triplet stands out even amongst these nice feats.
Take Away: The Masters Legend exercise again in December 2022 featured these three actions, which compound one another in a novel method. I appreciated the simplicity and problem, and though I overestimated my talents getting in, I felt good about what I used to be capable of accomplish total.
In the course of the lifting portion, I acquired the most effective teaching cue to assist with my jerk from Etchecolatz since I took my L1 again in 2017. He pinpointed one factor, which in all probability solved a number of issues abruptly.
Mayhem Mindset Coaching with Jim Hensel
This was a really welcome boost to the camp. No matter your faith or ideas about faith, Hensel has one thing. He was a daily on the Mayhem podcast and has develop into a fixture at Mayhem since.
He didn’t want a lot time to make a major distinction. I used to be impressed with the attentiveness of the athletes. I’ve seen many gifted athletes in sports activities who don’t have the psychological acuity to focus when the subject will not be instantly associated to their sport. Hensel’s capacity to attach with the athletes early in his supply made the distinction. In the event you don’t have your affairs so as in your life, you’re much less more likely to efficiently cope with the challenges set earlier than you throughout competitors. The increasingly more I spend time with elite CrossFitters, the increasingly more I imagine this to be true.
Day Three — Afternoon Session
One other huge session that I needed to cleverly handle my method by means of. Typically, I’m first rate with sled work, however the turf part at Mayhem is twice so long as the gymnasium I coach at. A hand-over-hand sled pull throughout that a lot distance is a special animal. As was customary, I went with the ladies’s weights. By the third set, I had realized tips on how to handle these intervals with repeatability.
Higher physique urgent is my largest weak point, so humility was drawn upon. Whereas the remainder of the athletes did 100 strict handstand pushups and 5 hundred ft of handstand strolling, I did strict pike push-ups on a field and wall walks. There are a lot of different choices I might have chosen, however my intention was to decide on choices which have the most important impression for improvment.
Take Away: The coaches have my again. I had significant conversations with Lockert to determine choices that may preserve me within the exercise. Due to these conversations and his help, I accomplished all 5 rounds of each classes. Though they have been enormously modified, they have been adequately difficult on the similar time.
Day 4 — Morning Session
- Half Considered one of Three — 12 units: Rowing and Double Unders (work:relaxation with a accomplice)
My physique was not feeling nice earlier than this, however rowing and double unders are my strengths. This was a brilliantly designed exercise to kick issues off on the ultimate morning. By the point it was over, I felt a lot better about my probabilities of ending the ultimate day of coaching.
- Half Two of Three: “Barbara” (work:relaxation with a accomplice)
I’ve terrifying recollections of Barbara. The one time beforehand that I’d carried out it, I went too onerous too early, by no means recovered, and it ruined my total day. I didn’t need to repeat that. Given the general state of issues on the fourth day of coaching, I opted for a scaled model.
My accomplice was the 2023 teenage Video games champion, Ty Jenkins. With the scaled choice I selected, we might end in the identical time-frame as the opposite pairs. The final spherical of push-ups was nonetheless difficult, however I had made it by means of.
Upon ending Barbara, I believed I used to be prepared for this. Nevertheless, there was a few 20-minute interval of downtime earlier than beginning, and my physique stiffened up. It was probably the most troublesome choice but, however I made a decision to belief myself and sit this one out. Whereas the remainder of the group went again to work, I cooled down on the echo bike and hydrated.
Take Away: A small a part of me felt as if I had failed. I got here shut however didn’t full the duty. Nevertheless, Wealthy Froning accepted of the choice and affirmed that with me later. I used to be reminded of a lesson Brent Fikowski spoke: on the finish of the day, if skipping a portion of the exercise permits you to keep away from damage or one other related setback in coaching, it’s virtually at all times the appropriate selection. Stringing collectively lengthy durations of uninterrupted coaching is healthier than forcing it in conditions like this. Whether or not it was Etchecolatz, Lockert, or Froning, every was supportive when doubt crept in.
To handle the coaching quantity (which was 2-3 occasions what I’d often do in a day), I prioritized restoration. Every night time I spent about two hours stretching, foam rolling on lacrosse balls, utilizing a Theragun, heating pads, and self-massage to get my physique prepared for one more day. The bodywork required to coach daily was one among a number of nuances required to be elite on this sport. That was all amplified throughout this journey.
Seeing top-level coaches in an atmosphere apart from competitors was new for me. That is the world the place the belief is constructed to lean on a coach in a second of want, disaster, or uncertainty throughout a contest weekend. Receiving these teaching cues and making use of the instruction was as rewarding as the teachings I realized doing my L1 a number of years in the past.
Featured picture by way of Patrick Clark.