I’ll admit it, I can be impatient at the gym. My goals never seem to arrive at the times I hope they will. I think we’re all guilty of being impatient when it comes to achieving our goals and making gains at the gym, whether it’s a 400lbs. Squat, stringing together 50 unbroken double unders or even getting our first pull up. We want to get better and we want to get better now. This post isn’t a lesson in being more patient or trying to reassure you that over time the improvements will come. This post is about the one aspect of your fitness repertoire you can improve immediately, your attitude. Here are a few simple things you can do to get better tomorrow.
Listen to your coach
This seems like a “no-brainer,” right? Although it might seem like it at times (especially in my case) coaches don’t speak just to hear their own voices. Your coaches are advising you with your best fitness interests in mind. If your coach suggests that you take some weight off the bar or scale to a different movement, don’t take it personally or get upset. Just do it. Following the program according to your coach’s advice is going to be the best way for you to get better in the long run.
The original title of this section was going to be: “Stop being a whiny bitch,” but I decided that was too harsh. Anyway, I doubt many of us have zero stress factors in our lives. The hour or two we spend at the gym is supposed to help us release that stress, not add to it. Do you know how much if affects the rest of the world if you miss a lift today or don’t do as well on the WOD as you thought ? Zero, it doesn’t affect the world at all. So stop acting like it’s the end of the world. No one is going to think less of you. It’s OK to be a little disappointed, of course, but try to focus on the positives and use that disappointment as motivation. So give your friends a fist bump after the workout and enjoy yourself.
This one piggy backs off of the previous section. It’s absolutely fine to have a competitive attitude and a desire to improve. However, each day is not a competition. If you go into every workout worried about your performance or trying to get to best score at the gym, you’ll burn out both physically and mentally. There are several ways to “win” a workout. I can assure you that posting the fastest time at your box on a Tuesday afternoon is not one of them. Focus on training and save your competitive spirit for testing your benchmarks or actual competitions. I suggest watching this video with Ben Bergeron and listen to how he explains the difference between practice, training and competition.
In the typical crossfit gym when we talk about focusing on movement and really working on technique most people automatically assume we’re talking about high skill movements, such as Olympic lifts, muscles ups or handstand walks. What we see a lot is people taking the lower skill movements and mobility sessions less seriously. Save the chit-chat for before class or in between sets. If you’re talking to your friend during banded mobility or during a carry, then you’re not getting anything out of the movement.
Be humble and be a positive influence on others
It’s OK to be proud of yourself, but don’t walk around like you’re God’s gift to functional fitness just because you smoked everyone else at your box in your gender and age group during last year’s open. No one cares anyway. Whether you’re one of those top dog athletes or a newbie, lead by example. Encourage others, be friendly, work on your weaknesses and show off by working harder than anyone else.