Is your “Happy Hour” all it could be?

James Gordon – Feb 28 2017

One of our awesome members (you know who you are) wore a shirt to the class the other day that said “My Happy Hour”.  And it’s true, your hour at CrossFit can be the best hour of your day.  You get to see your friends, throw some weights around, listen to the Coach tell the same joke for the 100th time…..

It’s a fun hour, that’s for sure.  BUT, are you getting the most out of that hour?  Are you taking full advantage of the opportunity that presents itself for that 60 minutes?  As a Coach for over 10 years, I can tell you with confidence that everyone could be getting even MORE out of their “Happy Hour”.  Here’s how:

Tip #1: Show up EARLY

Arriving 10-15 minutes before the class starts has some great benefits.  First, you are not stressed from running to the change room and trying to ram your shoes on as the rest of the class starts the warm up (and you don’t get ribbed by the Coach for it!).  More importantly, being early allows you to do see the class before finishing up the workout of the day.  You can learn a lot by watching the class, listening to the Coaches cues, and you can see how other comparable athletes have scaled their workout.  It also gives you the opportunity to work on some skills (um…Double Unders…), do some extra mobility, or work on a weakness.

Tip #2: Listen to the Coach

This one sounds pretty obvious, but it’s not to everyone.  A lot of work goes into the planning and preparation of a 60 minute session, as well as Coaching skills developed over years.  A good time to chat with your friends is before the class, or after the workout is complete.  Chatting with them while the Coach is briefing the workout is not only incredibly rude, it’s potentially dangerous.  Missing important information regarding scaling or technique can lead to poor performance at best, or an injury at worst.  Even if you’ve done the workout many times before, talking during the briefing distracts the other athletes around you who may be doing this for the first time, so now you are putting THEM at risk.  Just….don’t.  You can also learn a LOT from listening to the Coaches cues to other athletes.  Even if we aren’t addressing you personally, you can still pick up tips and corrections that you may need by listening to what we are saying to other athletes.  I see it every day, asking one athlete to “drive your knees out”, or “chest up” results in other athletes (the one’s who are paying attention) to correct their form as well.

Tip #3: Get some eyes on!

The magic is in the movements, and we take great care to ensure everyone is moving safely and effectively.  During the session, we are constantly watching and making corrections where needed.  However, you need to be MORE interested in your technique that we are.  I often see clients who prefer to avoid the Coach’s attention, and this amazes me.  Our job is to constantly improve your technique and help you progress as an athlete.  If you are struggling with a movement, or want to get a new PR, simply ask the Coach “can you watch this”?  As Coaches, we love nothing more than observing a movement, and then helping to make it a little bit better.  It’s WHAT WE DO!

Tip #4: Ask questions

Every session includes a full briefing on the workout, what you can expect, how to set up, and how to scale.  BUT, if you are unsure about anything, PLEASE don’t be too shy to ask, and ask in front of the group at the briefing.  I can guarantee that if you aren’t sure about something, there are a few other people in the class who are wondering the same thing.  Asking during the briefing will not only help you and the other members, it will make you look really smart.  PLEASE don’t ask the person next to you if you are not sure of something.  They may know less than you do (see tip #2)

Tip #5: Record you results

Again, this sounds obvious, but there are still too many athletes that don’t record their workout results.  By recording your efforts, you are creating a “roadmap” to get you moving towards your goals.  Are you getting stronger, faster, more fit?  If you don’t record your work, you really don’t know.  A key principle in strength training is “progressive overload”, or increasing the load by a small amount every time you do a movement.  If you don’t know what weight you used last time, you’re basically guessing.  This will result in one of two things; wasting your time working with a weight that is not heavy enough to make you stronger, or taking too much weight and risking an injury.  Neither one is cool….

So, if you want to make your “happy hour” as productive as possible, show up early, listen to the Coach, get some eyes on your technique, ask questions, and record your results.  And think about this…apart from work/school and family, you spend more time with your CrossFit Coach than ANY other professional service provider.  You don’t see your dentist, doctor, lawyer, accountant, chiropractor, massage therapist or physic reader (PLEASE tell me you don’t see a physic reader!) anywhere near as much as you interact with your Coach.  Make the most out of every hour!

If you are a member and want to get even MORE out of your time at CrossFit Schaffhausen, why not book a Goal Setting Session?  It’s a great way to get dialed in on what’s important to you, and get a plan in place.  CLICK HERE to book a time.

Thinking that this might be something for you?  We offer free “No Sweat Consultations” , drop in for a 20 minute chat and let’s see how we can help you reach your goals.  CLICK HERE to book a time.


About the author:

James Gordon is the founder of three CrossFit gyms in Canada and Switzerland, and the current owner and Head Coach of CrossFit Schaffhausen.  He has been a full time strength and conditioning coach since 2007, and is a Precision Nutrition L1 Coach.