Practice v. Training v. Competing
The great thing about hiring a coach is the ability to turn everything off if you're having a bad day and still make progress. There's a workout on the board, it's going to get explained to you, you'll get warmed up, and then you'll perform that workout under the steady eye of a trained professional.
Brain = off, body = go.
But how should you go about that workout? At FCF, we promote healthy competition amongst your peers. We promote scaling to finish at the same time. We promote focusing on all 10 components of fitness. So how do we go about that while supporting our long-term progress?
There are three training types that everything we do within our hour fall under:
Let's take some time to learn the differences then talk about how often we should be doing each.
The art of practice comes from diligently doing something over and over until you have perfected it. Practice is done at a low heart rate and high focus. In our sport, this looks like PVC work to ensure your bar path is correct, squats under no load to make sure your form is perfect before trying to move a heavy load, kip swings and tripod holds. While practice doesn't fall under high intensity, it makes it so we're moving correctly at high intensity. If you're stuck at a certain time or a certain weight and can't push any harder, there's a good chance your path to success is through becoming more efficient, and that comes from practice.
Training is what we typically think of when we're going to work out. We're going to get our heart rate up, we're going to sweat. Training is done with perfect form and intent. We should always be actively working towards something. At FCF, every workout posted comes with an Intent: listed. Training looks like putting the things we've practiced into an elevated environment. We've added load or increased intensity. Training provides body adaptation as we do things that are on the threshold of what we can do perfectly.
However, training should never happen at the expense of our ability to train the next day. Read these next few sentences a few times:
IT IS NOT COOL TO RIP YOUR HANDS ON THE PULL UP BAR.
IT IS NOT COOL TO SCRAPE YOUR SHIN ON A PLYO BOX.
IT IS NOT COOL TO BE SORE TO THE POINT YOU CANNOT COME TO THE GYM FOR 3 DAYS.
In all these scenarios, you've affected your ability to train again and has a negative outcome on your net fitness.
Competing has MANY different looks and can be done in many different ways, and no matter your goal or personality type, plays a critical role in your development. Competing can also be called "testing". We are here to find out what you can do. This is where we push ourselves to our absolute capacity and find out what our training has done for us. Competing can be an actual competition against other teams, it can be a worldwide competition like the Open, or it can be an internal competition against what you were able to do last time. Competing should be very draining and most likely WILL have an affect on your ability to train the next day. Chiefs players only watch game film the day after their competitions. Marathon runners won't even get off the couch the day after they compete. Skipping competition skips a crucial element in our fitness. We need to push ourselves to the max every now and then as it is critical to the development of our Central Nervous System.
So what should we be doing and when?
Let's start from the bottom up. Since Competing is so taxing on the body, it is dangerous to do too often. Maxing out and lifting loads heavier than 90% of your max lifts or conditioning at 90% or above your max energy output is not a sustainable way to train and can lead to injury and performance decreases. We should limit competing to 10% or less of our overall time spent working out.
Practice and training should go hand and hand. It's unwise to train something you haven't practiced, and what's the point of all that practice if you never train that skill. Because of this relationship, Practicing and Training should split evenly the remaining 90% of your time working out.
So remember friends: do your low-weight snatches, push yourself on that next run, and find a local comp to enter.