As a coach, an athlete and just as a person the most frustrating thing I see people do with their fitness is the cherry pick. A cherry pick occurs when a person decides which workouts or classes to attend based on their own beliefs about what they are or are not good at, what they think they need or don’t need to work on and what they find fun or don’t enjoy. Basically, it’s people selecting the workouts they want to do and avoiding everything else.
Examples of a cherry pick:
‘Squats, I hate squats, I’ll give today a miss.’
‘Running? I’m trying bulk up, that 1000m run is going to cost me all my gains, I’ll do push at home instead,’
‘Gymnastics! I suck at gymnastics, I’ll go tomorrow instead and then question why I’m not getting better at gymnastics later.’
‘It’s not Olympic lifting, what’s the point.’
You get my point. Now I get it, we all cherry pick things occasionally, it’s human nature. Why would we want to intentionally do something that we either don’t enjoy or don’t think were good at and why wouldn’t we focus on things that we do enjoy or want to improve on?
The reason we shouldn’t do this is because it contradicts with the very purpose of the way we train. Our goal through CrossFit is to create general physical preparedness – being all round fit. We want to be strong, fast, powerful, have good balance and good mobility, have great endurance and strength and be able to apply all this to a multitude of activities. We want to be well rounded.
Our goal isn’t to create one dimensional athletes and unless you are competing in a sport at a seriously high level you shouldn’t want to be focused on one thing either. The all-round element of CrossFit is what makes it so fun and makes it so effective.
But you really want to work on one thing that you’ve decided is best for you. No worries we all have things we enjoy doing more than others and it’s nice to do things we love, but, by narrowing your training down to one goal you will plateau, fast, I promise. I guarantee you the ones among us who cherry pick will be the ones who don’t progress as much as they are capable.
Now this isn’t a ‘dig’ post. It’s a post designed to highlight our behaviours and their effects. If you find yourself avoiding a class because you don’t like the look of it, if you find yourself only turning up on heavy days or only going in for long met-cons then stop, have a think about your goals and re-evaluate.
It’s fine to cherry pick every now and then and I am all for enjoying your training. But fitness, true fitness, or any fitness goal for that matter, is best achieved by doing everything: things you love and things you hate, things you excel at and things you suck at, things YOU want to be good at and things you have no interest in. Variance is the key, the magic ingredient and the spice of life.
Don’t cherry pick.