3 Reasons your CrossFit Progress is Stalling

no progress in crossfit

Introduction

Once you've gotten through the On Ramp and have locked down the lingo, the first months of CrossFit can feel really fulfilling.

Every few weeks you unlock a new skill or break a record and it's really easy to see the fruits of your labor.

At some point, however, weeks turn into months, and months turn into years without seeing visible improvements in your performance.

Getting better at CrossFit is a long journey but if you've noticed that your progress isn’t coming as frequently as you would like, it could be because you're making one of these common mistakes.

3 Reasons your CrossFit Progress is Stalling

1.You’re not following a program

You do a class here, a qualifier there, and whatever your friends feel like doing in between.

There’s no shame in mixing up your workouts or doing a bit of everything; CrossFit is supposed to be unpredictable.

The issue is that there’s a difference between training to be ready for anything and training at random.

If you want to see improvement, your training shouldn’t be solely based on cool WODs that you’ve saved from the internet, it should work towards specific, measurable goals.

There are plenty of programs available online (though, you might as well go for the best option 😉), each with their own objectives and features.

After some research, find one that matches your own goals and works with the time and equipment that’s available to you.

crossfit training progress

Once you’ve settled on a training plan, stick with it! Be consistent in completing all the sessions and scaling when needed.

After at least a month (or three), you should know whether you like it or if it’s time to change.

You can still do workouts that aren’t included in your programming, but keep in mind that most training plans aren't created to be combined with others.

If you need to work on some specific weaknesses but you're not willing to leave your current training plan or classes, opt for an add-on program with short sessions that are meant to be completed after a full workout.

This type of course will have you working on specific skills without sacrificing too many extra hours in the gym.

2.You’re cherry-picking WODs

It's easy to have fun when you're crushing the workout.

That's why it can be tempting to go to class or complete the workouts that only favor your strengths while avoiding your weaker exercises altogether.

In the CrossFit community we unabashedly refer to this as cherry-picking.

We've all done it once or twice before but it's a habit that should be avoided because there's so much to learn from doing workouts that aren't necessarily “in your wheelhouse”.

CrossFit is all about general physical preparedness: being ready at all times to go up against the unknown and unknowable.

Identifying the weaknesses in your game is essential for your preparedness and doing WODs is what helps us to see how well you work under pressure.

So if you’re a regular cherry-picker, you’re not doing yourself any favors aside from preserving your ego.

Heavy barbell cycling, high volume gymnastics, aerobic capacity, whatever your weakness may be, if you want to perfect it, practice it!

Get used to being uncomfortable until that fateful day when you surprise yourself.

3.You’re overtraining

In the end we all fall victim to the same belief: more is better.

There’s never a lack of skills to perfect, so of course the best strategy is to dedicate all day, every day to up your game.

WRONG! It can be really tough to leave this mentality behind, especially for CrossFit athletes who tend to just be a tad obsessive.

crossfit overtraining

The fact of the matter is that training everyday won’t necessarily help you to achieve better results.

In reality, it can have the opposite effect, leading to burnout and increased risk of injury.

Common signs of overtraining include poor sleep quality, constant fatigue and muscle soreness, moodiness and increased irritability. If you or those around you notice any of these traits, you may be burning the candle at both ends in the gym.

For your training to yield progress, your body needs to rest!

That’s where rest days and active recovery days come into play.

Taking a day off from your regular exercise allows the body's muscles to recover from your training efforts and facilitates the growth and regeneration process that makes you stronger.

Click here to find out more about how often and why you should include rest, and recovery days into your weekly training.

Conclusion

Coming to a plateau in your training is an unfortunate but normal part of being an athlete.

Even though it's impossible to constantly improve all the time, there are a few things that even veteran CrossFit athletes can do to continue to see gains.

Consider changing your training plan, avoid sticking to your strengths, and rest adequately so that you can give your peak performance in your workouts.

Keep in mind that the longer you train, the less likely you are to see PR's and newly unlocked skills but, your experience, knowledge, and adaptability do continue to flourish. In the end, it's the journey, not the destination that's the most valuable so respect your process.