It is important to understand the inherent differences between training and practice. While the top CrossFit athletes in the world spend hours in the gym every day, they are not always training. They also spend a lot of their time practicing. To become the fittest versions of ourselves, we need to find a solid balance between these two disciplines.
Training. Typically, training involves metabolic conditioning and strength work done at high intensity. Training refers to activity that improves performance through a measurable organic change in the body. Of the 10 physical skills that are a part of CrossFit’s definition of fitness, we can expect to see improvements in endurance, stamina, strength, and flexibility through intelligent training. Training will make you fit!
Practice. Practice can be understood as working at a low intensity with a focus on things like technique, positioning, and mobility. We practice skills and how we move to improve our coordination, agility, balance, and accuracy. Practice refers to activity that improves performance through changes in the nervous system. When we take days to work on gymnastics skills and our empty-bar weightlifting technique, we are practicing not training. Practice will make you skilled!
Use your class workouts to train and make sure to hit them hard. Identify your own weaknesses, whatever they may be, and find the time to practice them with mindfulness. If you understand the difference between the two, you can differentiate when you are in the gym and see more results from the work you are putting in!