I have read a couple articles on the FitRanX site lately about Level 7 and Level 8 tests, and how to get geared up to pass the highest levels. Now, being as our gym has the most Level 7’s in the world, and pending the latest test, will have the most level 8’s in the world as well, I was disappointed they didn’t get our take on how to have success on the upper end. So, without provocation, I’m going to give my two cents.
CROSS TRAIN (and mean it)
Now, I’m not saying strength train and do cardio. Or play sports. What I’m saying is, diversify your workouts in a sense that don’t just have you doing the lifts that are on the tests. There are moves that may give you trouble, but make those moves easier on test day by training with more difficult moves. We have a couple cool tools at TCTC that allow us to really change up training so that traditional strength training is relatively simple by comparison.
Don’t Stay In The Saggital Plane
I’ve had multiple discussions in my former facebook profile with some Crossfitters about this very fact. I see a massive lack of rotational strength in Crossfit people, because their training doesn’t really address it. We move in multiple directions on a day to day basis, and not training in those directions is really selling the body short, all the while increasing risk of injury (see most Crossfit people. Ask them “what hurts” and they’ll have an answer). In every single workout we do at TCTC, we train strength in the rotational axis. We may do a ViPR Carryover one day, a kettlebell Turkish Get Up another day, and crossing lunges with a rotational press on another. We need to be strong not only forward to backwards and up and down, but while we change directions and turn around.
If you stay doing weights or resistances that you KNOW you can do, you probably won’t level up very quickly, or you’ll actually stagnate in the process. We always try to reach for the next weight up, if there is a chance at all that we can do it with great execution. You need to get stronger physically if you want to stand a chance at the mental challenges of the upper level tests.
Scatter Movements Within Workouts
Like I said earlier, we don’t just train for the test exercises. What we do is train more difficult movements and scatter the test exercises every so often within our workouts. We make our workouts more challenging and then throw in test exercises, so when the test comes, doing that movement one time for an amount of reps seems very doable.
The test itself on paper seems easy… Then you jump in and realize “Holy Hell, this is tough”. Take some practice runs to see realistically what you still need to work on to get through it.
There you have it. Those are the real keys that we focus on to get to the upper levels. We do have a total of 8 people either Level 7 or 8. I’m not saying those are the only things you should be doing, but I think this is where some people fall short in their training. Nutrition, Training Intensity and Conditioning are all givens, in my opinion. These are the missing links.