While we all have our daily rituals or routine, I think a big part of keeping a balanced and happy life is to have some variety! As you can see from the photo above, Rikus has mastered the art of a well-balanced and varied diet with a Soda ICE-E, two pizzas, a banana smoothie mix, and artisan Australian cookies. I’m sure he varies his vegetables and healthy meats but I think I caught him on his “movie-night” run.
In terms of training, many of us like CrossFit because it has multiple exercise modalities. This has allowed us to get pretty good at exercising in lots of ways whether it’s weightlifting, running, gymnastics, and bodyweight movements. The ability to vary the focus in my program, whether it be strength-based for a while or conditioning for a while, is one of the reasons why I enjoy it. It’s cool to know I can sign up for an olympic lifting meet, do the CrossFit Open, and be able to run a 5k all within the same month. While I have my own biases and favorites in training, I love that the results from this type of training has allowed me to do all of these at a decent/recreational level!
While variance is the staple of CrossFit, we are seeing that it matters a ton in sports, especially at the youth level. Now, this doesn’t mean that youth athletes should just CrossFit for variance, however, many parents and coaches should be mindful of over-specialization. At the elite level, much goes into strength and conditioning and pre-hab to prevent overuse injuries. It’s a big part of the millions upon millions of dollars that keep athletes playing long! However, in recent years, much gets overlooked at the youth level with scholarships and intense competitive pressure reaching younger and younger levels. There have been some repercussions from over-specialization, physically and mentally at the youth level. Check out this study showing the incidence of early on set shoulder injuries in youth baseball players.
While there are risks to injuries in sports, at the youth level, overuse injuries should be avoided at all costs for the future performance and health of the kid!