As we draw a close to 2016, it provides an opportunity to evaluate your progress in the box (gym) over the past 12 months. Did you set some goals at the start of the year? A skill to develop, a strength target, a body composition goal, a time in a benchmark workout, a competition based goal?
Goal setting can be a powerful motivational tool if you are SMART (specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, time-based). Of course, the opposite can be said for goals that are unrealistic / unachievable in a given time frame, motivation to work towards your goals can deteriorate along with your attendance. So if you started the year with a 50 kg back squat and wanted to finish the year with a 100 kg lift, it might be time to manage your expectations. I recall one young man attending a taster class a while ago, when I asked him “what are your goals”, he replied “to qualify for the CrossFit games”. Whilst i love the optimism and always encourage people to aim high, it may be worth setting some short-term goals!
If you did set goals during the past 12 months, give yourself some feedback. Were you successful? What was the key to your success? How might you build on your success moving forward? If you failed to achieve your targets, what were the contributing factors? Were there any barriers to your success? How important was the goal to you? Did you devote enough time and effort and prioritise the goal? Were your goals simply unrealistic?
Everyone has their own reasons for why they turned to CrossFit, but for most there is a desire to improve health, fitness, skills, ability to cope with whatever life throws at you. The box provides an environment which encourages improvement, from the structured training programme, to the expertise of the coaches at your disposal in the classes. Ultimately, your development is only limited by how much you want it. So heading into 2017 decide what is important to you, set yourself some SMART goals and avoid just going through the motions. Not every day is a PB day, if you want to finally get a muscle up, double under, double body weight back squat etc, you’re going to have to identify the limiting factors and put the hard yards in. It might be the unglamorous work behind the scenes that you may be overlooking (e.g. mobility work, core strength work, glute activation work, fat loss) that actually enables you to achieve your goal. Regular attendance is key and you’re going to have to make some sacrifices along the way. Allow yourself enough time before and after classes to work on your weaknesses in open gym, seek additional support from a coach if you need it and above all else stay motivated and manage your expectations!
With the huge whiteboard in the gym, in addition to your CrossFit Leyland diary you have everything you need to monitor your progress. If we have a 1000 m max effort row programmed (like yesterday) and you have done this before, but can’t remember your time, this is not going to help you monitor your progress!!! As well as writing your scores on the whiteboard, get into the habit of writing your WOD scores, strength measures etc. in your diary every day, that way you know your baseline and can set goals moving forward. Follow the points below to monitor your progress and get the best out of yourself on a daily basis;
1. ALWAYS write your score on the whiteboard (even if you think you could have done better)
Accountability is key. If you know you have to write your score on the board at the end, it should motivate you to push harder.
2. Don’t worry about anyone else’s score
CrossFit has always been about you against the clock. You should give your best effort on any given day, in any given WOD. If you’re starting to judge your performance based on someone else’s score, or only picking work outs that suit you DON’T. If you’re more concerned with someone else’s movement standards, rather than your own DON’T be.
3. Take pride in your performance
Uphold the integrity of the box and / or competition. If you don’t meet the movement standard (and are capable of meeting the standard) no rep yourself. If you develop a sudden case of CrossFit amnesia and struggle counting reps, maybe utilise a counting aid.
4. Remember to have fun!
Even Games athletes have fun with their training. The reason you came back to the box was because you enjoyed it. Don’t forget that, regardless of whether you compete, or not.
Start 2017 on the right note. Remember the magic happens when you push outside of your comfort zone. Set SMART goals and get after them!
All aboard the gains train!