Tuesday, August 1, 2006

Becoming a Well-Rounded Athlete

Take the time to do a self-assessment of your athletic skills and goals.

Do it today.

Coach Dave Werner of Crossfit North has developed a set of Athletic Skill Standards that we should all aspire to. Coach Werner is a former Navy SEAL, and he's been training athletes for over 18 years. He knows what he's doing.

The Standards include a mix of sprinting, lifting, and gymnastics skills, quantifying the Crossfit goal of competency in each of these disciplines.

Gear your training toward achieving each of the milestones Coach Werner has laid out. Pay specific attention to your weaknesses. Growing your skill set, rather than improving your strengths, should be your focus. If you have a Level III deadlift, but have not yet achieved the Level II air squat and wall ball goals, you should focus on work capacity instead of maximal strength.

Please note the timeframe for each of these goals. Basic Level I competency will take a healthy adult a year or more to achieve, with a similar timeframe for Level II. A lifetime of dedication might be necessary to achieve Level IV.

In athletics, patience is a virtue.

Post your thoughts and current goals to the comments section, or just marvel at the general superhuman standards of Level IV competence.

Print a copy of the List if you can, and use it to keep track of your progress. Don't check off the ones you've achieved in the past--do them again!

To claim a specific level, you'll need to perform all the listed skills in a one-month period.

If you'd like help with your assessment or the goal-setting process, send me an email, and we'll make an appointment to start. I'd like to see everyone associated with Again Faster and the Massachusetts Crossfit Community achieve Level II.

Go faster!

Photo of Dan O'Brien, decathlete, courtesy of fargofast.com. Dan's got Level I all locked up...


Anonymous Todd Anderson said...

The essay you published on sleep was very interesting. I've often found that I have trouble sleeping, especially after a tough workout or a very humid day such as it has been in town recently. Can you list your sources or possibly even write some more on the subject?

Thanks for the great work you're doing here.

Todd Anderson

8/02/2006 02:42:00 PM  
Blogger Jonathan Gilson said...


The review you're referring to was derived entirely from "Lights Out: Sleep, Sugar, and Survival". The review was written by EC Synkowski, an assistant trainer at Crossfit Boston.

We will certainly dedicate additional space to covering nutrition and recovery in the future. In the meantime, try to limit exercise immediately before sleeping--one to two hours of downtime before bed, minimum.

You may also benefit from contrast showering, the practice of alternating hot and cold water for multiple cycles. Always end on cold. In addition to helping muscle recovery, I find this process relaxes me before sleep.

Also, try and block any and every light source in your bedroom when you sleep. Clocks, screensavers, windows, etc. should all be blocked out.

As far as the weather--sorry. Can't help you there. Fans can provide temporary comfort, and staying well-hydrated never hurts.

Good luck!

8/02/2006 03:45:00 PM  

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