How To Use The Levels To Level Up and Make Gainz.

Take yourself back to your first month of CrossFit…

You were probably nervous, didn’t understand half the lingo or the movements, and still probably very sore after every workout…even without getting an Rx on the board. Fast forward 1,2, or 3 years down the road. You understand all the lingo, you Rx(level 1,2 or 3) almost everytime you come to the gym. And while the workouts are still challenging and leave you tired, you aren’t being pushed to the same degree you were when you first started. The workouts don’t make you nervous anymore and you’ve also realized that your strength capacity and your gymnastics skills haven’t really improved much in the last 3 months.

The biggest reason progress halts is because you stop trying to progress to the next level like you did when you first started. You become content doing movements and loads the same way every time. I suppose if you’re content with your fitness level, that’s not wrong! However, if you’re trying to level up, you must get back to work towards leveling up! Seriously.

But oftentimes the gap in difficulty between L1-2 or 2-3 is fairly large. In most cases, we typically see athletes just pick a level and go with it on any given day. This is where we believe most athletes make mistakes. If you are stuck doing L1 and want to be able to level up towards L2 for example, give yourself a prescription that is between L1 and 2. For example, if the weight for L2 is 50lbs more than L1(and is too heavy for you), split the difference and move up 10-25lbs in order to challenge yourself. Or lets say L2 calls for more pullups than you can do but you don’t want to be stuck always doing jumping pull-ups. Perform as many pull-ups as you can on that workout before switching back to jumping. By approaching your workouts this way, over time you’ll notice your fitness capacities will improve.

It does need to be said however, that if you can perform L2 day in and day out, you are more fit than probably 90% of people. So, being content with doing L2 every day and not progressing to L3 is absolutely not wrong(I suppose minor improvements will still be made over time). This is meant for those who want to continue making progress on their fitness.

At the end of the day, we prescribe 3 different levels in order to best meet the needs of a diverse group of athletes. It doesn’t work perfectly for everyone everyday. So remember, if you’re looking to level up, prescribe something in the middle!