“I learned a long time ago you can’t treat every situation like it’s life and death. Cause you’ll die a lot of times.”
The great Van Wilder said that quote and I think we can sub workout for situation and have a really valuable life lesson here.
I have noticed a recent shift where everyone judges their workout routine 1 day at a time. This shows in a few ways. If someone has a bad workout, they take it as a sign they are out of shape or going backwards. It also shows when someone is upset after a workout that didn’t leave them sweating or on the floor. I think I can put together a few points that will hopefully allow you to keep your eyes on the prize and enjoy the ride a lot more with your current workout routine.
- A good workout program has a plan and balance. I talk a lot about how you can’t keep your foot on the gas pedal every workout because you will run out of gas in the first week or two. If your workout plan is 100% intensity all the time, it has no balance and you will fry your CNS before you get any long-term results. It is a myth that the best athletes in the world train hard all the time. Try to stop looking at a workout with lighter weight or lower intensity as a bad workout. These days are just as important as the days that leave you out of breath on the floor because they allow you to get some recovery in, learn new movements, and focus on your fine motor skills (AKA form). Without these movement days you can’t have the days that leave you feeling spent.
- This one is for the runners – stop worrying about your training times! We have a ton of runners and for good reason – we do an amazing job at helping runners lower their pace times, get faster, and avoid injury (running is one of the most brutal sports for injuries). However, the running mindset tends to be that you are only as good as your last run and this is a problem when you add Crossfit to your training. Crossfit helps to build strength and mobility in your legs (and core) that helps with running, but it also tires your legs out in the process. This means that a lot of your training runs slow down and your legs can feel heavy (cause they’re tired). I always hear comments after these slow runs that “I need to run more” or “my endurance is terrible.” In reality your body is just tired from the workouts. As the race approaches and you set up a taper into the race, they always go out for the race and report back that it was the best they have every felt.
- Which leads to the next one – training days versus competition days. Every workout is not a competition so stop worrying about your score and what anyone else did. For most of us, every day is a training day because we just want to stay in shape and be healthy. Training day’s means moving at a consistent pace (70-80%), taking the time to slow down and focus on moving better, and making sure you are enjoying the class and process throughout. A competition day is when you go 100% and scores matter – for most people this is a race they have been training for, a weekend competition, or a sport they play. Training days get you results, competition day is when you get to show off.
- For the last one, remember that you will not always be at your optimal performance. This means that some days you will be lifting your max weights and crushing the workouts and other days you will feel like molasses. This ebb and flow is a natural part of working out. We all will go through small cycles of this weekly – The day back from a rest day you will feel amazing while the 3rd wokrout day in a row you will not be able to do the same weights or reps you could have 2 days ago. Or even monthly – you may have a month where you are sleeping well and eating well and your workouts are going great and then you may have a month or 3 where your kids want to sleep in your bed at 2 AM, work is crazy, and you feel slow every day. The important part is to realize that no matter how good or bad you feel heading into class, you doing the workout will still be a positive step towards improving.