If you're like the vast majority of people, your 2017 season is over.
So far, I've seen 1 of 3 reactions:
So, hopefully you spent the last week or so to reflect upon the last year. Where did you improve? Where did you slack? What is going to change for you this year?
Let's walk through some ways to make this the best year of training you've ever had.
First, identify your circle of influence. I created a VLOG on this topic a while back. If you'd rather watch than read, click here! Second is to set goals for the upcoming season, and I will explain the best way to do that.
Circle of Influence
The idea is that you have this all encompassing sphere called the circle of concern that contains anything and everything that could possibly affect you has a human being (ranging from the weather to the spouse you choose to the parents you were given). Inside of that is a smaller circle called the circle of influence, which contains things that affect you, but only the things that are within your control. In order to be an effective and proactive person, you want to give all of your attention to your circle of influence (things that you can control). This is a wonderful life principle that has changed millions of lives, mine included. However, I love to apply this specifically to athletes.
For my competitors, there are actually very few things within their circle of influence, while there are plenty within the circle of concern. I see this as a great advantage rather than disadvantage (since it's easier to focus in on fewer obstacles). You can't control what drugs your competition is getting away with taking, you can't control what training program they're following, you can't control what Castro is going to program during the Open or Regionals or the Games, you can't control the weather when you have a 5K run to do. What you can control is you. You can control your training, your nutrition, your sleep and recovery, your prehab and rehab, and where you train. Let's dive deeper.
No matter which competitive program you're following, you have full control of your intensity, your weaknesses, and assume full responsibility for your results. If you have a coach programming specifically to you, you share responsibility. However, no coach is perfect. They need feedback and need to communicate constantly with you to be effective. Assuming you're following a general program or, God forbid, your own programming, you are responsible. If you are truly awful at handstand walking, you need to be working in 5-10 minutes of practice 3-5 days a week. If you still can't do 100 double-unders unbroken, 100 double-unders for time should be your cash-out after each metcon for a while. Take an objective look at yourself as an athlete (i.e. Take a peak at your Open scores) and apply more intensity in your areas of need.
Unfortunately, adulthood means you have to do things you don't want to do fairly frequently. Yes, queso and margaritas are delicious. No they're not the best fuel for your training. If your performance is a priority, get this piece under control. If you need a little extra push, check out macroholicsnutrition.com for some incredible coaching. David Barnett is hands down the best nutrition coach you'll find.
Sleep & Recovery
Get 8 hours. I know it's not always easy. I know kids make it difficult. I have seen very busy people with multiple kids and full time jobs pull this off. If it's a priority, you'll find a way. If not, well... Just be real with yourself. There's nothing wrong with staying up late watching Netflix and playing video games, just like there's nothing wrong with staying up to spend a little extra time with your spouse. But you may not use either of those as an excuse. If you place time with your spouse over your training, that is good and noble. But acknowledge that you are prioritizing one over the other on purpose.
Prehab & Rehab
You gotta do the little things in order to protect yourself from being sidelined by an injury. Reverse hyper, crossover symmetry, hip circle, core exercises, ROMWOD, Mobility WOD, etc. There is a daily plan linked to every single workout post if you follow GFB. Staying healthy in a big part of progressing in this sport. Do those little things! If you find yourself with a nagging tweak or injury, please go see a professional. I love me some CrossFit coaches, but we are not professionals in physical therapy. It's not in our realm of expertise.
If you never lose workouts at your gym, you are leaving some fitness on the table. As hard as it may be, I highly recommend finding the fittest gym in your town and going there. This is not required, but it's just another piece you can control. You need to lose workouts, you need to be pushed, everyone does. I've seen what a few years of this does to people, and it's no joke.
Conclusion: Reactive people put all of their focus on the things that are outside of their control. Life happens to them. They wind up unhappy adults with out of control lives. Proactive people focus on things that they can control, so that they can "happen" to their own lives. They live in the circle of influence. Be a proactive athlete.
The other piece is setting goals. I love goal setting, it's a fun topic. However, it can get a little tricky with athletes. Allow me to explain.
Long term goals are cool, but I see so many unfulfilled because they lack a very important piece. When people say, "I wanna compete in the CrossFit Games," what they're usually saying is, "I want the recognition and glory that comes with qualifying for somethings that difficult." What I would love to hear people say is this: "I'm going to have obsessive dedication and work ethic and see how far I can get in this sport."
People are missing daily goals.
I'm not even talking about short term goals, but every single day you need a goal.
Here's a neat way to do it. If you follow GFB programming, I have a graded scale to see if someone truly did everything possible to better yourself that day.
GFB Graded Scale
Calorie & Macro Targets: 25%
Reverse Hyper: 5%
Crossover Symmetry: 5%
Hip Circle: 5%
Core Protocol: 5%
Extra Mobility: 5%
*All of it.
**Fish oil, creatine, and whey protein.
***Yoga or similar.
If you're scoring below a 70% consistently, you either need a fire lit under your butt or you need to re-evaluate if competing at a high level is something that you want to pursue.
There you have it. You have 324 days of preparation before 18.1. Decide now how you want your next season to play out. Let's make it a great year!