One of my biggest fears when I moved over to Weightlifting full time from CrossFit was that my conditioning would go down the pan and I would lose all of my fitness. I’ve been unfit in the past, and quite frankly it sucks. Nobody should be getting out of breath climbing up the stairs at the multistorey carpark.

That being said my desire to become competitive in Weightlifting outweighed my need to fit, so I moved over regardless and buried the thought of being unfit.

Recently, after tapering off for a competition, I competed and then took a deload the week after. Rather than a standard deload, this was just as much of a mental break from Weightlifting as a pyhsical one. I still trained, but in more of a body building style fashion. I was also pressganged into joining in with 2 CrossFit metcons. My fear of seeing how unfit I had truly become began to build.

So what happened? Did I get left for dead by everyone else in the gym? Did my lungs start bleeding and my heart feel like it was about to explode? Surprisingly, absolutely not. I actually felt great during both metcons I didn’t get left behind. 

What I actually found was that even though I hadn’t done any metcons or conditioning over the last 6 months, I had maintained a base level of fitness. Yes my gymnastics capacity had dropped off significantly, completing 97 TTB had to be broken up considerably more than it would have done previously, but apart from that the workouts felt great. If anything, I actually felt better on certain movements than I had done back when I did CrossFit full time. 

The 100kg + Power Cleans moved easier than they had ever done before, my legs felt stronger during the wallballs, and my shoulders felt solid during the HSPUs and the Handstand Walking. Although over the last 6 months I hadn’t become “fitter”, I had however become considerably stronger which helped immensely during the 2 metcons. 

Now I hadn’t completed any specific conditioning work, but there have been times where during Weightlifting sessions my heart rate has been elevated, and I have been breathing heavily. For anybody that has ever done 5×5 Cleans or supramaximal Pulls, you’ll know exactly what I am talking about. By no means is this equivalent to 20 minute AMRAP, but 30 seconds on and 3 minutes off is pretty much sprint intervals, which definitely count for something. 

I am not saying this will be the same for everyone. If you are a seasoned weightlifter and have never done any form of conditioning previously, a CrossFit metcon is likely to kick your arse. When I stepped back in, I was able to rely on 5 years of previous CrossFit conditioning and skill development to get me through without being at a peak level of fitness, so training background does play a factor. 

As a final note, as long as you’re consistently training, you’re never going to fall back as far in a sport, than you would if you were to stop training all together. Always keep on training, and keep on moving forward. 

Fitter, Stronger, Live For Longer!

If you enjoyed this post, check out my next post “Top 5 Training Supplements“.