Did you win the workout, today?

How much does the time you write down by your name at the end of your workout matter to you?  Whether it be the number of reps you completed in “Hope” or your “Fran” time, how much does that number mean to you.  Is the highlight of your day, winning the workout or are you trying to get better, get stronger, have great technique and learn efficiency?  Why do you step inside of your affiliate or gym everyday?

I ask because you need to evaluate what your goals are with each and everything you do.  You need to figure out if winning to you means being done first, doing the most reps or being on a path to improved strength, increased speed through efficient technique.  I am tired of the winners and the whiners.

You need to be training to be better at your craft.  You need to be training for something more than the fastest time at the end of the day…why?  Because if that is your only goal, it is easy to “forget” how many reps your really did, it is easy to cheat yourself out of quality.  If your goal is to win, and that is all that you are used to…you will do what you have to, to accomplish it and that can include shorting reps, shorting range of motion, and relying on methods that do not lead to improvement anywhere.

Most affiliates do not cut a check at the end of the class to give to the winner of that days workout.  And the reality of it is that your workout is not a competition…no matter how much you want it to be.  Your workout is training for competition or training for life in general.  Those are the tests…not your workout.  your workout is about you and your integrity.  Either you have it, or you don’t!  As a coach, I am not impressed that you can kind-of, sort-of butterfly your pullups, but I am impressed if you utilize your training to focus on solid technique in doing those pullups.  I am not impressed that you can kip and get your handstand pushup, but I am impressed when you push through and force strict because you know that will make you stronger and better.  I am not impressed by the fact that you can clean 300 pounds but you are all over the place with your technique, but I am impressed when you can hit 225 with solid technique and control.

And as a coach, it is my job to tell you that.  It is my job to let you know, that just because you can…does NOT always mean that you should.  As a coach it is my job to help you realize that winning the WOD…means little (to me).  Why?  Because I want you to get better and perform better.  It is not about you winning against the class…it is about you winning against yourself.  And that means growing in your strength and speed…but also means growing in your character.  If winning is all that drives you, what happens when you lose?  Do you get mad?  Do you think the other person cheated?  Do you make excuses?  What happens?

What if you just said this is about me getting better?  I am going to go as hard as I can and put in all the work, then what happens when you aren’t first?  NOTHING.  You have nothing to be upset about, you put in your work.  You actually were in TRAINING and not just EXERCISING.  You grew…you helped yourself to become better.

AND you probably enjoyed the workout just a little bit more!

CrossFit Gymnastics Certification Weekend – I Learned…

I just finished the CrossFit Gymnastics Cert at Voodoo CrossFit 512 in Austin.  It was a great cert and I was thankful to have attended it.  There were many great lessons that were taught and some fantastic techniques shown, but more importantly than the how-to’s were a lot of the philosophies about how to train that resonated with me.  There were many simple tasks that people were completing that a coach corrected something about.  The major lesson was just because you can complete a task, doesn’t mean that you are doing it right, the most efficient way, or the best way to see gains.  

There was an emphasis on the idea that training is about getting better, getting stronger and fine tuning your technique.  If you do not have mastery of your technique then you do not need to take shortcuts.  It was emphasized that during training, you need to put in the work and not have the emphasis on speed and just being number one on the leader board.  That is a lesson that resonates with me.  I believe in forcing perfection of technique and not taking shortcuts just for the sake of being able to do something or being able to win during the training session.  

That’s why many times, I turn the clock off.  I stress the technique through all the reps and will not count a rep that is not perfect.  I will scale you to where you can maintain the perfect technique and even though you may not like that, you will see results faster than if I let you take the shortcut…ie kip before you can do something strict just to have “mastery”.  The best parts were when our head instructor would remind us that breaking solid technique was a modification to the movement and not truly upholding the standard.  

For some reason the cert became about a whole lot more than just being about gymnastics…it really did become something about life.  That is to say, if you don’t do things right and you just focus on being done, you miss the point.  Do them right and fully for the sake of doing them right.  Hold yourself to that standard.  You will grow as a person if you hold yourself accountable and to a high standard.  It will hurt at times, you will be strained and tested.  You will want to break form and just do things the easy way, but don’t!  If you cannot do something, then find out the baby steps that you need to take in order to get there.  Success will not happen overnight and it will not happen suddenly.  But if you handle yourself and hold yourself to the right standards, you will be successful.

Another thing that our instructor said was “Time under tension = strength”.  And that is the honest truth.  If you want to get better than you have to be under tension.  You will grow and how you handle that tension will determine the results you get.  If you can keep it together under the tension and get through the obstacle you will be stronger.  You will be able to handle the obstacles of life and eventually hit that elusive strict muscle-up.  Success in anything hurts…it takes time and sacrifice.  You have to deal with the struggles and the tension.  You will fight time constraints, and doubters.  You will have to find time to get in all your mobility work and not just let it fall off.  You will fight the challenge of the world around you at large, and that time under tension will only make your success taste that much sweeter.

So to all my CrossFit Gymnastic Trainers, the instructors who helped us get certified…I thank you for teaching us a little bit more than just how to hold the hollow position and keep our heels together!  Keep doing what you do…it is actually bigger than gymnastics to many of us!

 

What Do You See?

Watch the following video…seriously watch it…then think about what you see?

What did you see?

I saw many things that resonated with me and who I am as a coach and as an athlete.  I watched this video and I saw the following things that honestly best describe who I am and why I do things the way that I do them.  Here is my breakdown of this video:

Passion

Obviously you do not come up with this sort of routine without some sort of passion for what you do.  That is the given here.  This is the easy thing to see.  This man has talent and he is passionate about what he is doing.  He is taking his talents and doing something with them.  I am passionate about coaching.  I love working with people no matter what their skill level is.  I have passion about what my methods and the training I offer can do.

Dedication to His Craft

This man definitely has dedicated himself to this.  You do not come up with this routine without putting in some work.  Shifting the buckets, moving around to make it what he wants it to be.  He is dedicated to his craft.  This might be easy to him, but to me, it is something that he has spent time developing to help him get somewhere…one dollar in the jar at a time.

Working With What He Has

This is not a fancy drum kit setup.  It is buckets and drum sticks.  As an athlete we have to work with what we have access to and make the best of it.  As a coach, I work with what I have in any given moment.  I am not concerned with developing a program that requires equipment you do not have (or I do not have).  What is the point in that?  Work with what you have and if you cannot do that, then learn how to.  You can do amazing things without the latest and greatest gear!  That only thing you need is the heart to work hard.

Confidence and Just a Little Bit Of Attitude

You don’t do this without knowing that you can pull it off.  You don’t set this up and start playing unless you know that you are going to be able to put in a little of that “wow” factor.  You don’t set this up and start playing without having just a little bit of swagger.  You just don’t.  You know that you can be a little cocky with this because you have put in the time and the work and know that many in the crowd simply cannot pull it off.  You have to have a little of that as a successful athlete and as a coach.  You have to know that you can do things others can’t and that your training methods get the results that are wanted.  If you do not have confidence in what you are doing…walk away! If you do not have a little of that swagger, then you are in the wrong field.

and lastly…

Courage

It takes guts to do what he does.  That combined with that attitude just makes for a good combination.  I watched this and the thing that kept running through my head was this guy is going to do what he is going to do and no one is going to change that.  He is just there to put on his show and do it his way.  He might make a few bucks, he might not, but he is there.  He picked up the drum sticks and is playing.  And that is what you have to do as an athlete and as a coach.  I use my methods to get you where you want to go.  I generally don’t alter them all that much and I don’t let someone else dictate the path we are on to your success.  I do not jump onto the latest fad…I stick with what I know works.  I have the courage to call you out when you need it and the courage to make you rest when you need that too.  I am not afraid to risk losing you as a client if I push you hard or dial it back.  Why?  Because I have confidence in my methods and what I have witnessed over all my years doing this.

Get Ripped Quick…

I have to get this off my chest…I do.  I HATE all things “Get X Quick”…I do.  I am tired of every time I turn around seeing some advertisement that tells me I can get 6 pack abs…quick. Or seeing an ad telling me that I can lose weight fast.

There is no such thing.  They are like a unicorn.  Something that people might chase after and chase after but never catch.  You will spend a fortune in money and time trying out these products just to be disappointed by the results (or lack thereof).

I have a novel idea for everyone out there that wants to achieve success – put in the work!  Work hard, and you can and will be successful.  It is not something that happens quick, but it is something that is easy to start.  It is easy to understand.  Hard work leads to success far more often than wishing and hoping.

There is NO such thing as an overnight success.  Someone might burst onto the scene from out of nowhere, but that person put in work to get there.  They just have been unknown to the general population.  Put in the work and work hard.  And trust me the things that you want in life, in fitness, in any endeavor is worth the work in the end.

Want to get fit…get up, put the sugar down and work!  Want to be successful in your job…stop complaining and work.  Work hard at that.  Don’t do it for your boss, or your company…work hard for you.  People are watching and success will come when you are willing to be the best that you can be simply because that is what you desire out of your life.

As a coach, husband, and parent, I depend on my paycheck, BUT my values are what drive me.  I want people to know that they are working with a coach that is about more than money.  I want my wife and daughters to be able to look at their husband/dad and recognize that he worked hard because he believes in hard work.  I believe that hard work pays off in the end.  And sometimes that does not include a single pound lost, dollar earned or ab discovered.  But I can sleep at night.

So please…for me, put in the work.  Don’t give in to the gimmicks that are out there.  Make yourself better by making the sacrifice to find your inner strength.  Make the hard decisions to not be lazy and put in the work.  You might just be surprised at how far you will go!