When it comes to fitness, we all have our strengths and weaknesses. Some of us struggle with cardio, some of us struggle with gymnastics, and some of us struggle with heavy weight. It is important to focus on these weaknesses and try to turn them into strengths, or at least become somewhat efficient with them. Sometimes though, certain people will avoid these weaknesses altogether. This is known as the art of cherry picking. Cherry-picking workouts means that you only decide to show up and train on the days when the workout favors you. Then, when some not so favorable exercises show up in the program, you decide to take a day off.
Cherry picking can slow your progress as an athlete. If your goal is to become a more well rounded athlete and better at CrossFit, then being selective with your workouts is going to be detrimental to that goal. Cherry picking can also occur within the frame of a single training day or workout. This happens when you do not give maximum effort in certain aspects of the workout because either they do not favor you or you just don’t like them. We see it all the time when members at our gym go through the motions during the warm-up and the WOD and then, when it comes down to the lifting portion of the workout, all of a sudden they have this newfound strength and energy. Or they will lift super light and try to conserve energy for the metcon. There are many different ways of cherry picking, but the bottom line is, DO NOT CHERRY PICK YOUR WORKOUTS!
When you are selective with the workouts it can have a negative effect on your progress and development as an athlete. It can also lead to injury. For example, the warm-up is designed to increase the body’s core temperature, and take the body through a range of motion to prepare the body for physical activity. If you are giving half-assed effort during the warm-up, you are not properly preparing yourself for exercise, and that may very well lead to an injury.
We all have our strengths and our weaknesses, and we all have our favorite and least favorite exercises. Do not become selective with your exercise program and avoid the workouts and exercises that are not in your favor, or that you dislike. When you cherry pick your workouts you eliminate room for growth. You need to make sure you stay true to your workout schedule and get through each training day with maximum effort on every aspect of your workout. Giving your best effort whether the workouts favor you or not only helps you make progress on your weaknesses, it will also teach you how to deal with adversity.
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So next time when a workout comes up that is not in your favor and you feel like skipping out on that day’s training, do not be a cherry picker. Get up, get in the gym, and get after it!