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  • Writer's pictureMiska

Black BeltShashvat asked me a while ago how long it takes to get to black belt. I gave a bit of statistics as my answer - I’m part engineer by training after all. But maybe that wasn’t the answer an


Shashvat asked me a while ago how long it takes to get to black belt?


I gave a bit of statistics as my answer - I’m part engineer by training after all. But maybe that wasn’t the answer anyone needed? I can give the stats in the end of this post: but first things first.


Building strength and conditioning, or going from unwell to healthy to fit is a process with multiple steps.

Me, I got to black belt overall in September 2023. I started training CrossFit in the summer of 2009. I got my first gym membership in 2001, from my high school. So for me, this journey has been that of two decades. Can it be done faster? Of course! Most people who compete in CrossFit are way fitter than me and about half my age. They just started a little earlier. They were more obsessed about winning: which is the key pointer here.


I’m just as busy as any of the busy consultants or managers or freelancers at the gym. I own and do everything there is to a small company. Sometimes people get sick and we need to cover those classes. I have a family and a big project of writing a novel on the side. It happens that I don’t get more than two workouts or sometimes not even one in a week. My aim is four. On a good week that is not impossible at all.




So that’s what I had to work with: my obsession was with designing one of the best and kindest and emotionally safest gyms in the world, with all the basics in place like booking and billing systems, coaches knowing their technical skills and marketing and keeping clients happy. My obsession was never becoming the fittest on earth. I never even wanted to be fittest in Finland - just strong enough to keep my family safe when physical safety was an issue. (Footnote: that's a psychological rabbit hole in itself, which we won't dig deeper into now.)


My obsession was with designing one of the best and kindest and emotionally safest gyms in the world

But I got to Black belt with that. Admittedly, some things took a lot of time:


My big weaknesses were the Front Squat and the Deadlift. Absolute strength. So I worked each of them in turn. I started with the Deadlift and did a heavy session each week until I worked it up to the requisite strength. Then keeping that strength is a lot easier - now I don’t need to do heavy deadlifts every week to get back to 180kg with a few weeks of targeted work. Same thing with front squats.


Each movement took some 3 months to raise by one color. So from Brown to black was three months for me. From yellow to orange once doesn’t have to take more than a month, or six workouts. From orange to blue could range anywhere between 2-3 months. The gains come faster in the beginning of an athletic career, and need a lot more work when we peak strength and cardio numbers.


On top of this you’ll need

  • Adequate sleep

  • Enough protein

  • Enough water

  • Listen to your pain signals and back of when the body is signalling that there is a risk for injury.


That said. For me, someone who over-schedules their life, often struggles with emotional eating, and has the chronic stress of owning a business of their own, it took me 20 years to get from a complete novice to black belt. My bone density is 25% higher than the ”good” amount. And I can climb the Andes with no specific problem even though I’ve never done mountaineering.


The current statistics in the Level Method world say that 70% of all who do Level Method are between White and Orange III. 99% are below Black overall. And again one order of magnitude less for Red belters. That’s fine.


For world class health our goal is to get you to Blue - Purple - or maaybe Brown.







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