So here is what I am seeing in CrossFit.
A whole load of different skills and techniques that people are getting frustrated trying to master because there is simply not enough time. We want to be able to walk on our hands, do multiple reps of muscle ups, have the perfect snatch, be strong as hell and of course be fit as a butchers dog, the huge dilemma is how we fit it all in.
The end result, we progress slowly at everything.
Then the second thing I am seeing in CrossFit is of course community. People show up early to the gym, they just don’t want to leave, they even come in on the weekend, I love this, its awesome and to be honest is part of the reason so many peoples lives are changed. But all to often it’s all so social and outside of the class time it’s so unproductive to taking you close to that list of things you can not do with efficiency yet.
This lack of speed to developing strength and skills used to annoy me too, in a big way, because I am as time conscious but also as competitive as you are. So I stopped and had a look around at the time people spent before or after class and those that come early or hang around after I noted generally just waste around 20 minutes of time flopping round on a foam roller instagramming the fact that they are at the gym. Now of course foam rolling done properly is perfect but also what I have seen is that 8/10 people don’t do it properly so let’s also class that as time wasted.
So what we have is 20 minutes.
My brain started to think, I thought, If we can use that 20 minutes productively 3 times a week then very soon I am going to see massive gains in people on a number of levels. I had a look at some of my muscle up progression programs and then were around 20 minute blocks, I then thought about some of my skill work stuff and how that can come in 20 minutes and top top it off I thought about the dreaded “mobility” that I need more than anyone and what poor discipline I carry that out with so what the hell that has to fit in a 20 minute block.
Now I am no Einstein but I was determined to turn these all but wasted 20 minute blocks into improved performance so as always I went to the white board and came up with the following.
"SMS work” with the SMS forming an acronym for
I then started to put it at the start of my training pretty much every day for anywhere between 15-21 minutes. Things started to change!
The application is so simple, I set the clock on minute repeats and then chose an exercise from each category that I wanted to work on.
Now I have 3 exercises for 21 minutes, 7 rounds of each.
Sorry for the basic math but how simple is this.
Minute 1: 10m hand stand walk - Skills
Minute 2: 10 perfect overhead squats with an empty barbell - Mobility
Minute 3: 1 legless rope climb - Strength
The discipline of doing things on the minute ensures it get’s done, there is no hiding or slacking off.
This is a very simple example. It can truly be anything. Doesn’t really have to be one exercise from each category at all. It is largely dependent on your goals at that point in time.
Let me also tell you, you will be nicely warmed up for for your workout that is for sure!
Same application to a client that is working on muscle ups. Come in and alternate for 20 minutes 4 strict pull ups, 4 strict dips. Do this 3 times a week for a month and then tell me you haven’t made gains! Impossible.
Come on guys this is so simple it’s a joke and I am not asking you to spend any more time in the gym, all I am asking you to do is use your time wisely and then enjoy the benefits and improvements in different areas.
So stop SMSing on your phone or flopping around on your foam roller and start your real SMS work if you really want to dominate.
By: Marcus Smith, InnerFight Founder