Why are you here? Are you here to look good naked and feel better about yourself? Are you here to compete at local and regional competitions? We think it’s important to know your “why”.
I was thinking about our awesome, little gym and why some people join and see amazing results, while others only experience moderate results. The real answer comes to down to diet, as hopefully everybody knows, but I have seen people achieve outstanding results with a mediocre diet. What makes those other people successful? I think that answer is intensity. So, DO YOU NEED HARDER WORKOUTS? OR, DO YOU JUST NEED TO GO HARDER IN YOUR WORKOUTS?
The way we program at DCCF is a relatively low-volume strength & conditioning program. We do technique practice, skill development, strength work, but the actual workouts are typically short. We don’t program ridiculous hour and a half-long hero WODs each week like other gyms. We don’t think it’s effective or safe, or fun for that matter. We program short conditioning efforts, but for these to be effective, you have to really push yourself and exert some intensity to see the benefit. And keeping a second membership at LA Fitness so you can do some additional treadmill or elliptical cardio work isn’t the answer. We’ve all seen the most de-conditioned people sit in those recumbent bikes for years without losing a pound or ever looking healthy. “Cardio” just doesn’t work.
You have to learn to push yourself to uncomfortable levels to see the progress that CrossFit can provide… a level of misery that your body tells you it cannot sustain… when your heart is pounding out of your chest… when it hurts to breathe… The bottom line is that your goal has to become more important to you than your comfort level.
The next step is breaking out of your comfort zone. Have you ever laid on the floor struggling to breathe after a WOD? Rolling around because it hurts to lay still? If you’ve never felt like that, you will see less results than your classmates who end up in that position a few times each week. I know all too well what the gym ceiling looks like. Do you?
So, now that we’ve determined that your “why” is that you want to look better naked and get stronger and be a positive role model for your loved ones. What can you do to be one of those people who pushes themselves beyond their comfort zone? How do you help yourself “go harder” in workouts?
1. ATTITUDE – Keep a positive attitude when bumping up against the limits of your comfort zone. During the Strength portion of the class, push yourself to add more weight on that last set of 5 when you’re not really sure if you can get it. In the WOD, don’t drop the bar when you really want to, and pick it up sooner when you do drop it. Tell yourself you can do it, then do it. Keep your attitude in check.
2. LOG YOUR WORKOUTS – Keep a log to track your progress. How do you know you need harder workouts? If your Fran time is the same as it was a year ago, maybe you don’t really need harder workouts, you just need to go harder. It’s been proven that tracking yourself will help you make better progress
3. PERSONAL ACCOUNTABILITY – Hold yourself accountable for your actions outside the gym. You’re only in the gym 1 hour a day. You can’t make poor lifestyle choices the other 23 hours of the day regarding diet, nicotine consumption, alcohol consumption, sleep, and/or recovery. If there are too many weak links in the chain, the chain breaks.
4. FOCUS – Stop worrying about what others around you are doing or aren’t doing in the WOD. Worry about yourself. Make it your whiteboard. Kick your own ass. But, in the same breath, help push others. You’ll get a much greater reward from DCCF when you care about the progress of everyone around you just as much as you care about your own.
5. SCALE WISELY – Everything is scalable. Whether you think the class WOD is too hard or not hard enough, you can always increase your own intensity. Keep your form and technique dialed in, but experiment with all-out effort to see where you break. You may find that you’re able to go harder than you anticipated. Boom, you’ve just had a breakthrough.
6. CONSISTENCY IS KEY – Hitting DCCF 3 days per week is just enough to “break even”, but if you’re serious about seeing dramatic physical changes, then consider 4 or 5 days per week. There’s never enough time, but you can make time if it’s important.