How to Build CrossFit Into a Hectic Schedule

For some of us, fitting CrossFit into our routine can be a challenge. Whether you’re a work-CrossFit-home kind of person, a busy parent always on the run, or a corporate mastermind with a demanding workload – fitting CrossFit in could sometimes seem to be more work than it is worth.

For our resident #beargirl coach, Judy, however, CrossFit is an essential part of her day.

Between working as a fulltime lecturer, studying fulltime (doing a Master’s degree), coaching three to four hours a week, and working as a paramedic on the weekend – Judy still finds time to train two to three hours a day (enabling her to compete with the top 30 elite ladies in Africa).

How does she do it? Here’s her advice…

IF YOUR SCHEDULE IS ALREADY HECTIC, IS IT ADVISABLE TO ADD DAILY EXERCISE TO THE MIX?

This depends on what sort of importance or value you place on training/what value it adds to your life. It is advisable to do some form of physical activity daily to stimulate your body, which in turn is good for your health. I value exercise (especially CrossFit) extremely high, so I will compromise on social time or sitting on my couch to rest in order to exercise.

WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS OF TRAINING, EVEN WHEN YOUR SCHEDULE IS BUSY?

For me the benefit of exercise daily is that I improve as an athlete and it is that time in the day where I don’t have to read emails or answer my phone. It’s that hour or so where all I have to focus on is me and what I want to achieve in the training session.

I also love the environment that I get to be in. Its ‘vibey’ and I’m surrounded by people who are there for the same reason. Again it depends on what you want to gain from exercise. If you’re coming to log Vitality points for your free weekly smoothie, then I guess that is the benefit for you.

ARE THERE ANY DISADVANTAGES/PITFALLS TO TRAINING WHEN YOU’RE VERY BUSY?

Unfortunately, there are… The biggest being that, when trying to fit so many things into a busy schedule, ‘something’s gotta give’. For me, that is sleep. Your body needs sleep to recover properly so that you can take on the next day 100%. So it becomes a cycle of tiredness and weaker performance in training.

WHAT COPING TECHNIQUES DO YOU USE IN ORDER TO FIT EVERYTHING IN?

Time management!

I am quite efficient at time management, and I am strict with my routine. It’s a little tough at first but you and our body adapt. I am fortunate that I am able to function daily with only three to four hours’ sleep a night. So in general my day is about four to five hours longer than the usual “8 hours a night” sleeper.

To cope I make sure I have a day where I rest. This is tough for me because I get bored easily and I have FOMO when I don’t get to train - but you have to look at the long-term benefits for yourself as a person, and as an athlete.

The best ‘coping technique’ is to have a goal. It’s easy to work hard when you know what you’re working towards, bringing you closer to what it is you want to achieve.

JUDY’S TOP TIPS FOR OPTIMISING YOUR TIME AT THE BOX

1.       You made the effort to come to training, make the best of it! If you are going to ‘go easy’ or be lazy, you are cheating only yourself.

2.       Accept that your 1RM today may not be your 1RM from last week, and that’s OK!

3.       Don’t arrive one minute before class and leave before everyone has even finished there WOD – come prepared and remember that mobility  after class is PART of training.

4.       HAVE FUN!!!

By Judy Steyn, Coach at CrossFit 360Vida