I’ve always wondered if training alone makes one tougher. I mean I see that Mat Fraser, Josh Bridges, and Dan Bailey train alone all the time. Their performance backs their training. All of them have been to the CrossFit Games multiple times. So I decided to do a little experiment of my own. I usually do the Open workout with the 4:30 pm class and instead, decided to do the 18.3 Open workout alone on a Saturday while my brother filmed it.
What I found was that I did not like doing the workout by myself. It was painful and I did not have anyone to push me. The workout felt very mono-structured and boring. I mean, I know the workout wasn’t meant to be fun. After all, it was programmed by “The Dave Castro” and designed to separate the elite from the weekend warriors. The workout consisted of double unders, overhead squats, ring and bar muscle-ups, and dumbbell snatches, with every section of the workout beginning with 100 double unders. It’s a test on how well an athlete can do high-skilled CrossFit movements once fatigued from jumping rope. It didn’t take long until I started to break my double unders and the movements prescribed in the workout. The only movements I could perform unbroken were my Overhead Squats. I ended up with a score of 659 repetitions. Even though I felt I performed poorly I was gassed and felt like I couldn't breathe after the workout.
I ended up re-doing the workout with Matt, who regularly takes the 4:30 class, and I got a better score. Matt, Devin (another regular 4:30 class taker) and I have been redoing the Open Workouts regularly on Mondays. The re-do went a lot better. Just having Matt there made a big difference. Even though Matt and I were not necessarily pushing each other through the workout, his presence made a difference in my performance. I got 25 more double unders and one ring muscle-up. I guess this means that not everyone performs or trains better alone. It takes a lot of discipline to train alone and perform at a high level. I guess I can call myself a weekend warrior. I enjoy the camaraderie of working out with one of the classes and also enjoy hanging out with them to do some extra lifting after the class. The community is key in training. It supports you to push your limits, fight through fatigue, stay consistent and it’s a lot more FUN. My gym tribe is my vibe.