It’s about time I did another one of these fitness blogs. What shall we talk about today? Hmmm… How about progression? The last couple group workouts I’ve had at the studio have been full of people who come all the time, with a few new people. Some of the workouts had a few different exercise options in them, depending on if you were a beginner, intermediate, or advanced in our sessions. One of the questions you should ask is what level are you, exactly? If you show up, and you do an advanced workout, that you aren’t ready for, you are almost guaranteed to injure some part, or ALL of your body. If you have no idea, ask yourself another question. Do you look like the instructor does when they are demoing the exercise? If you can’t do it exactly the way they show it, you probably shouldn’t be doing that much weight, or that exercise at all. Checkpoints in the exercise should be met. Let’s take a box jump for example. I have a lot of people who WANT to jump on a box that is 18 inches high. This doesn’t sound like a ton, especially to people doing crossfit. If I asked you to jump, and touch something 18 inches above your outstretched arm though, a lot of you would have a problem doing that. If you can’t jump 18 inches high like that, I don’t want you jumping on a box that is 18 inches high, because more than likely, you are COMPENSATING to get up on that box. I’ve never really understood why people do all those box jumps with all the 45 pound plates stacked up to their face, because most of that isn’t a jumping exercise, it’s more of a hip flexion exercise, to see how much higher you can get your knees past your face. Watch any youtube video and watch the persons knees. You’ll see what I’m talking about. Anyway, my point is this. Don’t take shortcuts just to make it look like you are doing more, or you think that you are advanced, so you should be doing the harder option, when your form goes to crap by the end of it, or you just can’t even fully complete the exercise with good form from the get go. Make sure your repetitions are PERFECT, before you progress. If you can’t get your chest to the floor, touch it and come back up in a pushup, you probably shouldn’t be doing plyometric pushups. If on the other hand, you can float in that lowered pushup position forever, it’s time to step it up. Don’t fool yourself into thinking you’ve got moves down when you don’t, and don’t sell yourself short when you do. If your last five deadlifts make you look like the hunchback of Notre Dame, you probably picked too heavy of a weight, or you don’t know the form, which you need to LEARN. If, on the other hand, you have impeccable form, and you go through an hour long workout without a bead of sweat dropping off your forehead, then it’s time to take it up a notch. The most important thing to know though, is where you are at.