The Art Of Maintenance


The Art Of Maintenance

The CrossFit community is quite a unique one. It’s a place where athletes, coaches, weightlifters, powerlifters, physical therapists, and health care professionals come together. It’s a place where firefighters, lawyers, nurses, policemen, teachers, moms and dads, and CEOs all gather to get a sweat on. One of my favorite things about walking into a CrossFit gym is that it attracts a certain type of person that wants to better themselves everyday, and who is dedicated to the process and puts in the work, day in and day out. 

Being in quarantine has disrupted our routine, and with a blink of an eye, our lives got flipped upside down uncontrollably. However, this disruptive change is what we have trained for. We are not only physically strong, but our mental game is strong as well. Our bodies are trained to handle high intensities of stress and we have the ability to adapt. This is the time to shift our focus and continue to work on other fitness goals, which gives us ENDLESS possibilities.

Barbara working on her squat.

We need to push, pull, hinge, squat, and lunge. What exactly does that mean? Of course we do all of these movements, sometimes all of them in a single workout, but how do we maintain this?  We do this by breaking down these movements, continuing to do the movement patterns we have learned, and shifting our focus and goals. We will need to continue to do these exercises, even if that means we don’t get to use as much weight. 

Bill with a great catch…..years of practice and patience!

Consistency is important for maintenance in all aspects of our lives, even more so when it comes to working out and maintaining fitness. During these already trying times, finding consistency to maintain our fitness is challenging, now more than ever. When you are limited in what you can do for lifting, thinking outside the box is key. Big name coaches, like Marcus Filly and Dave Lipson, are known a lot for their functional bodybuilding. This is a mix of a large number of tempos and unilaterals, single extremity work, and strength training that addresses underlying imbalances and isolated muscle groups. It’s also a really great way to switch up your training and take a break from what your body normally does. It may not give you the same headrush as crushing yourself in a WOD, but the benefits are incredible. If you don’t use it, you lose it. By pulling principles from functional bodybuilding, we can try to better maintain our strength and fitness by breaking down the movements. The influx of tempo and single-extremity movements in our programming is exactly that. We are creating our class programs so that they best fit the current needs of our community with maintenance. 

Additionally, when breaking down movements and simplifying them, we are getting back to the basics. Yes, they can be boring and not provide the same gratification of lifting a barbell over head or standing it up in a heavy squat, but they do allow us to preserve our fitness the best that we can when continuing to do these movement patterns that are familiar to us and controllable, all while having other factors in our lives change uncontrollably, we still maintain our strength! 

Great coaching starts with great people. We will be back together soon.

Shifting your focus and goals into maintaining your strength, will ease your mind because you may not be able to PR your deadlift anytime soon. Try not to focus on what you cannot do, but rather, think of the things you are capable of doing! Put the goals you set for yourself while in the gym on hold, or try to find other ways to work towards your goals. For example, another way to work on getting your next deadlift PR without actually deadlifting heavy, would be to practice tempo RDLs, deadlift technique and form, introduce more single leg movements, and increase focus on mobility, flexibility, and core strength. Shifting a goal is hard no matter if your life is going perfectly or we are experiencing a global pandemic. We are hopefully passionate about reaching the goals we set, so therefore, it’s going to be difficult to put them on pause or rethink them. Create new goals, and be open to different types of training. At CF Boston Iron Grit (BIG), we are here for you to help you shift your mindset on the goals you set out to achieve. 

Remember, don’t be too hard on yourself if you feel that you have lost some strength. Depending on how much you were impacted by the pandemic, our stress levels are at an all time high. This affects our mental health and can even send us into a survival mode. When your body goes through these different changes, it may react in a way that makes you unable to move effectively. This is your body’s natural way of protecting itself from getting hurt, or telling you to rest or take it easy. On other days you may feel as though you can go harder. Listen to your body and focus on the things you can control, such as what food you put into your body, how much sleep you get, finding healthy outlets, and making time to take care of yourself. It’s 100% okay to have good days, bad days, good lifts, bad lifts, and everything in between, just as long as you keep moving.

WE adapt to our new environment and use what we have.

As a competitive strength athlete (Olympic Weightlifter) who has dealt with too many injuries, I’ve developed and figured out the best way for my body to maintain strength and actually increase my strength when I am able to go back to the gym. Because of my countless hours of studying and research and my own personal athletic career, I have so many tools to adapt to different types of training, for different people, in different circumstances, and living  different lives.  Give yourself time, keep moving, and let’s maintain that strength! Feel free to reach out to me at any time  @_liftlikelaura on Instagram or email me at [email protected] for more information and questions.

Join me for EmPowerlift on Monday, Thursday and Saturday virtually on Zoom!