Why do we do progressions?

Dec 5, 2018

 by Chris Brown

Why Do We Do Progressions?

In CrossFit, there are some moves that you can learn rather quickly, while others may take some more time to master.  As much as many of us would love for this to not be the case, things like kipping or butterfly pull-ups, double-unders and handstand walks don't come to us overnight.  You have to work for them. 

You have to crawl before you walk, walk before you run and run before you can leap.   Mastering certain gymnastics or lifting movements follows the same principal. 

And it's not always easy.  But as with many things in life, the journey to mastering those skills is just as important as the destination. 

As Dave Durante writes in the CrossFit Journal:  

"The reality of the situation is that if your goal is true mastery of gymnastics skills, the timelines are not measured in hours, days or weeks. They are measured in months, years and sometimes decades. 

"While this statement might be discouraging and frustrating for a lot of athletes, the primary focus should be the process itself, not the end result. Many athletes fail to realize the importance of learning and growing stronger on the road toward ultimate goals, and many stop trying because of perceived stagnation."

At CrossFit Awaken, if you're looking to master a particular skill, our coaches are here to help and offer suggestions for things you can do to work up to that first handstand push-up or rope climb.   In our classes, you'll often find us breaking the "prescribed" skills into smaller, more palatable movements for those who have not mastered said skill. 

As Durante noted above, sometimes it may be quite some time before you can perform a particular skill, but that doesn't mean you should feel discouraged or not try.  In fact, you'll feel even better about your accomplishment once your progression work has paid off and you string multiple kipping pull-ups together in a workout for the first time.

And don't forget about the journey and the many successes along the way.  If you started with three pads to do a handstand push-up in a WOD and get down to just using one, that's a heck of a feat and something to be proud of.  Don't sell yourself short and recognize how far you've come.  The longer you're at it, the more you'll have to celebrate related to your fitness journey.