Maximize Your Group Class Training

Coach Shokes

I love CrossFit group classes. I’m proud to say that I’ve come a long way since I started group class training over 4 and a half years ago. I’m stronger, faster, fitter, and have learned some new skills that I never thought I’d be able to do.


 Group class provides a huge sense of community when working with like-minded people aiming for common goals. We sweat, struggle, laugh, improve our fitness and celebrate each other’s success together. That’s incredibly powerful and no surprise why CrossFit has grown like it has in the past 10 years.


There is also the accountability factor of the group setting. You will more likely show up to class if you know your friends are waiting for you. You‘ll also work harder on that skill that you want to master if you’re learning it with a training partner and have the support and cheers of those around you.


Some people also enjoy the competitiveness of the “whiteboard”. While our focus is never in comparing ourselves to others, it is still fun to see how you stack up against everyone else in a tough workout. There is nothing wrong with a little fist pump at the end of the night when you see that you topped your training buddy’s score.


In addition to all of the above, when you have top-notch programming, designed by well-trained and educated coaches that can back that up – well, it’s a great recipe for fitness success.


 Below are 5 steps to help maximize your group class experience.


1. Establish consistency first

When I started, I attended the noon class on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. That’s it. That’s what worked best with my schedule and I stuck with that for years. Only recently have I started attending other class times and days.


The first step is for fitness success is to establish a good habit. Figure out how many classes you’re willing to realistically commit to and stick with it. If you’re a shift worker and your work schedule changes every 2 weeks, find out how many days you can make it to the gym and make it consistent. Show up, do the work, go home. It’s as simple as that!


2. Focus for your hour in the gym

I admit that we have an amazing community and it makes you feel great to be in the gym. Socializing with your friends and enjoying a chat can be the best part of your day. However, you do need to focus while you’re training. Pay attention to what the coach is saying, focus on how you’re moving and how your body is responding to the stimulus you’re giving it – That’s where the magic is and what you’re really paying all your hard earned money for! Always place a priority on the movement quality, and be sure to increase the intensity over time.


3. Tweak the 23 hours you spend outside the gym

Once you’ve nailed the above two, it’s time to start looking at the other 23 hours of your day because that’s where the real change occurs. The main pillars are nutrition, sleep, and stress management. Are you eating enough protein and fuel to sustain your training? Are you getting adequate amount of rest regularly? Are you on top of things most of the time or are you feeling rushed and frustrated more often than not? Do you visit your chiropractor and/or massage therapist regularly to help with recovery? 


Take one area of your life and start organizing it a bit more. Plan your meals for the week. Put away your devices after dinner. Spend time meditating or stretching at home. Sleep in a completely dark room. These little changes can add up over time and create a massive improvement in your performance.


4. Have variety

CrossFit is constantly varied by nature so group class programming will never get boring. But after a while of doing it consistently, you will start noticing some areas that you need to work more on. It can be specific skills like double unders or handstand push-ups, or technical lifts like cleans or snatches. Start adding variation to your training routines by attending specialty classes.  Gymnastics class and Olympic lifting class are there for you. Or you might want to look into seminars and workshops that are available in your area. Of course, get out there and try new things, too. There are so many other things you can apply your fitness, training and focus, too.


5. Celebrate your wins!

Sometimes when you get really excited about training and setting awesome goals, you end up getting frustrated because you’re not progressing as much as you hoped to. Especially when you’ve made tremendous amount of gains initially and then you feel like you’ve plateaued. That’s just a natural part of training! The last thing you want to do is to get discouraged and stop doing what you’re doing. If you feel like you’re stuck - take a deep breath and look back at where you started. You’ll see the long way you’ve come. Take advantage of all the resources available to you. Share those successes with friends, talk to your coaches or book yourself a monthly check-in. Your coach can help you assess where you’re at right now and point you to the right direction so you can continue making awesome gains. We love hearing about your wins and challenges; big or small.


Hope these tips help you stay on track and embrace your fitness journey and get more out of your group class training. May the gains be with you!

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