You Have The Time You Make

You’ve heard this before. Everyone has the same 24 hours a day; if you don’t have time for something, it’s not a priority; if the CEO/mother of ten/business owner/PhD student can find time for a spin class before work, why can’t you?

Part of that is true. There’s no getting around the fact that you have to prioritize your fitness and allocate the necessary time. 

Still, that doesn't make it easy. Family is a priority, and work, and the other 3000 things that build a healthy and happy lifestyle.

It's true that even one hour of training, several days a week, will bring you pretty good general health (coupled with nutrition and healthy habits, of course). Still, few competitive CrossFitters are satisfied with that. We all want more.  

Luckily, there are a number of ways to make the time you spend in the gym - whether that’s forty-five minutes, an hour, or three - the most valuable it can be. Here are a few.


1. Plan your workouts

If you’re joining in with the classes consistently, you’re home free with this one. Getting the most out of your WOD can be as simple as chatting to whoever is responsible for programming. Chances are, they’ve got a larger plan in place; if you’re only able to come to three or four classes a week, ask which days will provide the most beneficial balance of strength, conditioning, and gymnastic work. Make sure your plan aligns with your coach’s vision for that cycle.

If you’re following your own programming, you have a bit more work to do. Still, the most important part is knowing the plan when you walk into the gym. Don’t waste time deciding on your rep scheme when you’re warming up.


2. Reduce rest

If you have a lot of volume to get through in a short amount of time, consider cutting back on your rest. That might mean working at a lower percentage of your overall output so you can adequately recover in a shorter time slot. Is it ideal? No. But neither is not finishing your programmed workload.


3. Use extra time wisely

Make two lists: one of all your strengths, and one of all your weaknesses. If you’re anything like me, your list of strengths is going to include movements you enjoy; your weaknesses are probably movements you would rather never do again (looking at you, burpees).

Whenever you have spare time that you can spend in the gym, choose two of your weaknesses and one strength.

My last one looked like this:

Toes to bar (weakness)
Push-ups (weakness)
Wall balls (strength)

Quick, simple, and a good starting point to helping you become a better-rounded athlete.

(If you’re hardcore, pick all weaknesses. I get too frustrated by workouts like that, and prefer to throw in a movement I love.)

If you’re really stuck, head over to Crossfit HQ or Competitor’s Training. Both post daily WODs, and might provide a spark of inspiration.  


4. Remember the big picture

Keep in mind that improvements are made in the gym, in the kitchen, and in your downtime. You have to eat, so make sure your nutrition is geared towards your goals. Recovery is vital for proper training, so do everything you can to get 6-9 hours of uninterrupted rest.

Muscle building, weight loss, injury rehabilitation, anything - it’s all dependent on your overall lifestyle. It’s not just about the volume.

Train smart. Use your gym time carefully, stay on track with nutrition, and rest as necessary. Results will follow.


The WOD Diaries

GZCL Week 3

Day 1: SQUAT

4x3 @ 87% (205lbs)

2x5 @ 75% (175lbs)

2x5 front squats @ 75% (145lbs)

2x8 reverse lunges @ 135lbs

2x8 OH squats w/ 25lb plate



Day 2: OHP

4x3@ 85% (75lbs)

2x8 push press @ 75lbs  

2x8 push jerks @ 95lbs

3x8 barbell row @ 95lbs

3x8 lateral raises w/ 20lb dumbbells



4x3 @ 245lbs

4x5 @ 185lbs


Back squats 7 @ 65%, 5 @ 75%, 3 @ 85%

4 rounds:

200m run

10 shoulder to overhead, 65lbs

10 pullups

10 wallballs, 20/14


Day 4: BENCH

4x3 @ 95lbs

4x5 @ 80lbs

3x8 closegrip bench @ 75lbs

2x8 barbell row @ 85lbs

2x8 KB strict press w/ 8kgs



Power snatch work: 3x1 @ 85%

Clean and jerk work @ 70%

Back squats: 3x3@ 80%



7 Rounds for Reps

6’ 25m shuttle runs

Snatches x Max Effort
This was an interval workout: athletes had one minute to complete 150m in shuttle runs, then complete as many snatches as possible in the time remaining. During a two minute rest, the athlete added weight to the bar. The athlete continued until they reached an interval that they couldn’t complete a single snatch.

Stay tuned for a full breakdown of how this workout turned out! (Spoiler alert: I’m currently in third, but that may change.)