So The 2017 Reebok CrossFit Games Open has come to and end, and now being a week from the last announcement you may be thinking what now?
Reflect on the moments and the experiences of the open, celebrate your achievements and learn from your failures. If you got further than you thought in a wod celebrate it and if you hit a PR or got your first bar muscle up/pull up/handstand push up/double under celebrate it! If you think they are small achievements not worthy of celebration you are wrong, every achievement is worth celebrating because you are enjoying the process of becoming healthy, fit, and working towards your goals. Enjoy the process.
And as I said before, learn from your failure, it’s important to fail because it means you are attempting things that are challenging and when you learn you overcome challenges and become a better you.
You’ve just spent the past 5 weeks stressing about what awful workout Dave Castro was going to announce on Thursday. And then you likely were stressed out all day until you got to do the workout. Now it’s time to relax, decompress, and have some fun. Do some fun workouts with things you like and most importantly workout with friends! Do this for the next few weeks and enjoy the point of CrossFit, getting healthy and enjoying it with friends.
Set a goal for next years open and begin your journey to accomplish the goal. Maybe you want to RX every open wod next year, and that might mean you have to learn muscle-ups and handstand push-ups, well good news you have just under a year left to start learning and working on those movements. Setting a goal NOW will prevent you from going into a post new years resolution type funk where you were on point for the first month and then dropped off, don’t let the open be a failed new years resolution.
Intensity is what yields results, and that’s important to remember. It happens too often, athlete’s get into a chronic state of low intensity in their training, and they become upset when they fail to see the results they were hoping for. And as a coach, it’s important to remind your athletes that intensity and getting out of your comfort zone is where the progress happens. When an athlete lacks intensity and then lacks results they can become upset which will affect their training negatively.
Find The Right Intensity For Your Current Goal
If my goal for the day is to recover and move around after an exhausting day of training, then I will find the right intensity that will get me the optimal recovery I’m looking for. At the other end if my goal is to increase a rep max or build explosive power my intensity needs to be elevated otherwise the results will be minimal. The idea is to find the right intensity for the current training day and for your goals.
How Do You Get Intense?
It starts with being in the moment. When you get to the gym think about the training and don’t worry about anything else. Try an if, then thought process “If I go to the gym then I will focus only on training,” and “If I’m training then I will be at the desired intensity”. If your thoughts are elsewhere when you train, then you likely do not have the intensity needed for the days training.
GET OUT OF YOUR COMFORT ZONE! This is important, right outside your comfort zone is fear, fear of failing your attempt, fear of injury, fear of not being good enough, but if you get past that fear and learn from your failure (you must fail and learn to make progress), you will reap the benefits. In this case, fear is the bridge to the best you and the progress you want/deserve. Get after it and try a new movement, move up a KB size during swings, or try a Rx weight in a metcon. And it is smart to speak with a coach so they can help you get out of your comfort zone with choosing something appropriate but still difficult.
Intensity Yields Results, Get Comfortable Being Uncomfortable
Ever see the details of a workout and become disappointed when you realize there is a movement you struggle with or a time domain that isn’t in your wheelhouse? If you are frustrated or nervous, that will affect your performance to come, and it doesn’t matter how physically capable you are, if your mental game is weak, you are weak.
Negative Self Talk
When going through a workout (in your wheelhouse or not) and it gets challenging, and you tell yourself “I can’t do this” or “cmon don’t suck,” or any other combo of negative words this can be defeating. This kind of repeated negative talk will have an impact on your performance, you will begin to consistently think negative and doubt yourself in times of adversity.
The Growth Mindset
To combat these negative thoughts or views that deflate your performance you need to adopt and practice a growth mindset. Having a growth mindset will aid in building confidence and allow your skills to grow much faster because you always learn from failing.
For example, if there is a movement in a WOD that you aren’t proficient at, instead of being disappointed or nervous you should be excited. This is an opportunity to improve on a movement that is challenging, and it’s also an opportunity to work on managing a workout with a difficult movement and learning to pace your weaknesses, so they slow you down as little as possible. If two athletes are lacking ability in the same movement but one has a growth mindset and one does not the athlete with the growth mindset will perform better and make progress faster.
Another way the growth mindset can aid you is in workouts that require a significant amount of effort, some might say when you need to go to “the dark place.” It’s no easy task to continue to push hard when you’re in pain and don’t know if you can push harder but this is where the growth mindset comes into play. When you’re trying to go to “the dark place” and the workout is really starting to hurt don’t get discouraged get excited! Scream in your head “This is where I get better”, when this becomes a habit you will look forward to feeling that workout pain and difficulty because you are aware that you are making progress. Being excited about it will motivate you to push harder allowing you to push harder for longer. Yay increased work capacity!
Adopting the growth mindset will take time and practice, but it will pay off with increased performance.
An athlete with a weak mindset is a weak athlete.