Creating Longevity and Exponential Growth in CrossFit

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Coaches Corner

With Spencer Hall

Creating Longevity and Exponential Growth In CrossFit

Although this is a generalization, the majority of the members of CFNAC are under the age of forty-five to fifty-five. This means that most of you still have a solid chunk of your life left (thankfully!). This advice will be most potent to those who are looking to live a larger life outside of the gym. If you are trying to live a long, healthy, prosperous, successful and energized life, this is for you! Here is what you need to know!

In this article, I am going to discuss three tools to be incorporated into your gym time if you want the most bang for your buck. These tools are the following: competing, training, and practicing (skill work)! If implemented, this advice can help you avoid plateaus and burnouts, crush competitions and look good doing it! Let’s dive in!


This is the best part. You’ve put in the work. You’ve pushed yourselves in preparation for this moment. Whether the open, an in house competition or a friendly lifting competition with some good buddies, competing can be awesome. Unfortunately, competing can take a tole on you. Think of it as the equivalent of getting chased by a lion through a jungle. Oh yeah, you’re also in the middle of a thunder storm. After competing, your body needs to time to recover and recharge.

Here is a good way to explain it. When you compete you are going in at 100% battery. After this, you drain your body’s battery down to 75%. At this point, you need several days minimum before you’re ready to go at 100% once again. If you choose to ignore this, your body will make its way up to 80%, only to be drained down to 60%. If you continue to do this, although you may feel you are working at “100%”, you may actually be working at 60% without even realizing it. Minimizing competing will actually make you much powerful when it comes time to give 100%.

You might say “I never compete though, Spencer!” Well here is something that may surprise you. If you are worried about beating other people’s scores on Sugarwod, you are competing. To be fair, I am not saying not to do this. Competition is a great way to continue to have fun with your workouts and feel good about the progress you are making!

What I would recommend is minimizing competition to once a week. Take a look at Sugarwod and choose one workout that you are going to try and “win.” This will give you a much better shot than trying to win every workout!


This is the part where you put in work. ALTHOUGH, you are still not competing here. Training should be given about 90% effort each day in order to come back again and give the same effort. It is amazing the progress that can be made with several weeks, months and years of consistent training.

What is the purpose of training? The goal here is your physical traits. You want to increase your strength, power, speed, endurance, cardio and respiratory systems (ability to recover quickly is huge here), etc. Training is your 5×5 of back squats, rowing intervals, and plank holds. It is the stuff that isn’t the most exciting but is the meat and potatoes of CrossFit.

The purpose of training is to build yourself up, not burn yourself out. Make your focus building and you will not get burnt out.

Skill Work

Skill work is also extremely important and unfortunately undervalued and over looked. Skill work is what helps you grow exponentially. It is where you jump from a ring row to butterfly pull-up or put twenty-five pounds on your squat snatch.

Skill work is easy. Treat everything as a skill from a muscle-up to an air squat. Try and perfect each and every rep and you will advance while avoiding plateaus. Intentional movement and then weight. Don’t be afraid to take a step back in a movement in order to take two steps forward.

Skill work is more about learning the mental side of movements. Just like training develops the physical traits, skill work develops the brains ability to coordinate the body. This includes things like balance, agility and coordination.


In conclusion, follow these three rules to get the most out of your training:

  1. Compete once a week. Have fun, go hard and beat your friends.
  2. Training composes the rest of the week. This is about developing the physical traits. Go at 90% effort in order to maintain that effort day by day. This is about building yourself up.
  3. Try and perfect every work. Every time you move it is a skill. THIS IS CRUCIAL.