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self-imposed limits

Warning!!!!!!!! I fear that many of you will fall off of the fitness wagon during this storm recovery. Some of you are still dealing with it, Stacey. Despite still being out of power and managing her horse farm, she is still getting into the gym. I love that kind of Motivation and it is pretty typical of her work ethics. For the rest of you I want you to commit to a day and get in here. Better yet, get your asses in here today!!!! This break in routine is a dangerous thing when trying to stay fit. As the big Kahuna Ted Dreaver, stated yesterday in the coaches meeting, we need to get the message out there to all of you. As coached we totally dedicate ourselves to your fitness lif, many of us work off of the clock because you all mean so much to us, BUT, we need you to commit to yourselves otherwise it doesn’t work. THAT IS THE DEAL, let’s get er’ done together.

I would say one of the most profound training statements that have stuck with me the longest is, “if you are comfortable while training, you are wasting your time.” What exactly does that mean? It means that if you are just doing ten pull ups in multiple sets, you are wasting your time. If you easily lifting the usual bar weight, you are wasting your time. If you are just knocking out one push up after another, you are wasting your time.
Disclaimer, I am not an expert and I don’t even come close to knowing it all, however, I am always studying ways to improve, get stronger be more efficient. OK, so maybe it isn’t wasted time but if you are looking to improve, you are crawling to get there. Even if you are thinking, “I just want to stay fit.”

I have come to realize that maintaining that perfect balance isn’t really achievable. Life moves forward and the body adapts to whatever stress is put on it. If it isn’t challenged appropriately it could then slowly regress to a lower level of performance.
If you are looking to improve performance you will need to raise the intensity, amount of resistance and or reps depending on your goals. For intensity you might want to shorten the time it takes to complete the rep scheme. For resistance you can increase weight . I am always asked about strengthening the pull strength, I just add weight. 100 pounds of chains or a 70# plus 35# KB. Set your goals, start small and add weight and or reps each session. If it is a goal, hit it twice a week. If you want to increase your push up strength hold a band across your back and do your push ups. You will discover that it is easier at the bottom where it is normally harder and harder at top where it is normally easier. For muscle endurance, increase reps every session. These training cycles should be programmed for spans of weeks and then changed so the body doesn’t “get comfortable.”

KB pull upsChain pull ups2
If you truly want to get bigger, faster or increase your endurance, check in with one of the coaches. If you have questions we will do our best to get you the answers. Please understand that if it requires programming time or involved sessions we are happy to provide some personal training sessions for you.

Brain, shut the hell up!

It is so easy to convince yourself that you NEED to quit.  That it is too hard.  That you are tired.  That you can make it up tomorrow.  That you just aren’t as good as they are.  

Mentally self-imposed limits are as real as they come.   For every individual, they’re different but they’re no less real.  This week I want to talk about these limits and how to push past them (something I’m still working on myself).

For every individual, mentally self-imposed limits are different.  If you’ve been a lifelong athlete or been trained by the military, chances are your mentally self-imposed limits are different from those of the “average joe”.  You’ve spent years developing your mental strength and you have learned to meet barriers set by your brain and then push through them.

For many of us though, CrossFit is the first “sport” we’ve played in a long time and being competitive in this field is a first.   I know for me, growing up as a gymnast and then cheerleader, there were fears I had to push past when tumbling passes were challenging or when I split the beam (ouch).  However, those self-imposed fears are nothing compared to the barriers I face with CrossFit.

You see, in CrossFit, more times than not I’m fighting a battle against myself.  Sure, there are other people doing my same workout, and I would like to do better than them, but more than that, it’s my own brain that is limiting me.  

I can’t tell you how many times during a workout I’ve told myself “you’re tired”, “rest before you hurt yourself”, “you can’t do that weight”, “she’s already ahead of you so what’s the point”, etc.

It has taken me years to learn to tell myself to SHUT THE HELL UP.  To speak words of affirmation when I’m working out.  To tell myself “I can hit this lift”.  I’ve had to work hard on being my own cheerleader.  It really is so much easier to talk negatively to yourself than to speak positively. And that’s a damn shame really.

Why is it so hard?  Well, I first blame society.  Especially as a women, we are always trying to live up to a standard that seems to be unachievable.  Secondly though, I blame myself.  Personal development takes time and effort, both of which can be hard to find.  I’m as guilty as the next.  I have to set aside time to practice positive self-talk, or it just doesn’t happen.  

So, my advice to you.  First, learn to believe in yourself.  Secondly, take some time to tell yourself positive affirmations.  Write them on your mirror in the bathroom.  Before a heavy lift, say “I can do this”.  Visualize yourself being successful at what you want to accomplish.

And always remember this – thoughts will ALWAYS become things.