Pat Sherwood has been involved with the CrossFit community since 2005. His background as a former Navy SEAL, combined with his extensive knowledge as a Level 4 CrossFit Coach, has earned him a reputation for designing brutally elegant workouts that improve both physical fitness and mental toughness. He’s also hilarious. It’s part of the reason so many in the CrossFit community are big fans of him. Pat recently shared his thoughts on reaching his 10-year career milestone for coaching, competing in, and simply doing CrossFit. Not very many people can say they’ve been involved with CF for as many years as he has, and in so many different capacities. It’s given Pat a unique perspective lots of people, especially newer CrossFitters, can learn from.
Pat In A Nutshell
“It’s not perfect. Some of the viewers at home, who, you know, earn their living being professional amateur quarterback douche-bags are probably like, “I saw seventeen faults! I wouldn’t let that guy squat in my gym. Hell No!” But there is nothing wrong with you doing that overhead squat in a workout, it just depends on the load.”
Pat On His 10-year Anniversary(via CrossFit)
“Aug. 18, 2015, marked my 10-year anniversary since doing my very first CrossFit workout. This last decade has taught me a lot. Looking back, I did a lot of things right, and even more things wrong. In sharing my observations and lessons learned, perhaps I can help some people as they progress toward their 10-year anniversary.
10. Take training seriously, but don’t take yourself too seriously. Have more fun. When you are new, every day seems like it’s raining PRs. That will eventually slow down. Always strive to improve, but learn to enjoy going to the gym, working hard and going home … regardless of how the workout went.
9. Read the CrossFit Journal from the very first article, which was published in April of 2002. There is a wealth of information buried in those old articles.
8. Eating healthy is important, but please don’t be the weirdo that turns down cake and ice cream at a birthday party because it does not fit your diet.
7. The first time someone told me about CrossFit, I thought it sounded ridiculous. This was due to my ignorance of what CrossFit’s methodologies truly were. I was closed minded and thought I knew everything. If you encounter people like that (like I was), be patient. CrossFit is fun and effective; there is no denying that. Most of us thick-headed know-it-all types will eventually come around if you give us enough time and some sound information. (See No. 9.)
6. When it comes to getting fit, you can’t beat the classics: couplets, triplets, chippers, EMOMs, heavy lifting, gymnastics, running, etc. I’ve been very lucky to interview and spend a lot of time with the fittest people in our community. I will let the cat out of the bag: There is no secret training. Don’t cherry-pick workouts. Work your weaknesses. Train with variance. You will improve.
5. Get out of the gym. Working out is awesome! CrossFit is awesome! It’s safe to say that I’m a CrossFit fanatic. That being said, if 10 minutes after meeting you we are still talking about your back squat, I’m secretly bored to tears. Seek balance in your life. Go for a hike. Learn to play a new sport. Go use your fitness. Enjoy life.
4. Crawl. Walk. Run. Master the basics. These days people see the CrossFit Games and they want top-level lifts and times immediately. That’s not the way it works. Those men and women have put in years of work to be able to do what they do. You will have to do the same. Don’t be in a rush to advance. Do not blow off the fundamentals only to develop bad habits you will one day need to break.
3. Support other communities. If someone does not do CrossFit because they choose to only Olympic lift, power lift, run, do pilates, yoga or something else … WHO CARES? Obviously, I’m biased and think CrossFit would better prepare them for a long, healthy life, but at least they are not sitting on the couch stuffing their face with sugar.
2. Be humble. If you walk around with an attitude because you have fast times or big lifts, well, there’s no other way to put it … you’re a douche bag. Also, one day you will not be the strongest or the fastest. Someone will be better than you, and then you will be left with nothing and surrounded by people you did not treat with kindness.
1. Help others on their journey. Remember when you first picked up a barbell or tried a muscle-up? Remember when you could not kip or even do a single pull-up? Remember when proper nutrition seemed overwhelming and confusing? Do you remember the person who did not look down on you for being inexperienced, but rather genuinely cared and helped you? Be that person.
I look forward to the next 10 years.
Go South: Our Favorite CrossFit Documentary
One hundred days, 16 countries, 12,000 miles—by motorcycle. Pat Sherwood and Ian Wittenber’s trip from Santa Cruz, Calif., to Santiago, Chile.