Oh how I loathe new years resolutions. The concept (goals) is sound, but the reality (wooly, ill-conceived aspirations) is disheartening.
(Note: this is normally the part where I talk about smarter goal setting, but there are plenty of articles about that already…in fact, Andrew just wrote about it, too)
So enough of that.
Here’s what I think you should focus on for the next 12 months…(‘cos my opinion matters!)
Start recording what you do in the gym (and out of it)
Go and buy a notebook and pencil. Go on. I’ll wait.
Recording your own personal data is a cornerstone of Crossfit. From simply being able remember the last amount of weight that you lifted, to charting your progress the data doesn’t lie. Those of you who deal with so-call ‘management information’ at work will be familiar with the phrase “what gets measured gets managed“.
Same goes for your progress in the gym: want to get stronger but don’t know your best last lift? ‘Aint gonna happen.
Want to change your body composition but don’t know your starting numbers (body fat percentage, waist circumference, etc.) it’s going to be hard.
And if you are already recording your gym work, then try expanding it to include your food and even your sleep. You will be surprised what you find in the data.
If nothing else, it’s harder to eat that second donut when you know you have to account for it in your log!
Get some equipment for home
Still struggling with strict pull-ups? Double-unders getting you down? Muscle-up just not there yet?
We only have a limited amount of time in the gym to focus on your personal weaknesses. Between the various classes and instructors you could go a number of sessions without addressing your own ‘goat(s)’.
So why not practice at home? A door frame pull-up bar costs around £30, rings are around the same, and a jump rope needn’t cost more than £10. You could even get a kettlebell!
Ditch the trainers (the shoes, not your coaches!)
I am sure that the latest air cushioned, torsion controlled, ankle protecting, lightweight running shoes are marvels of modern technology.
They are still RUNNING shoes, though. Not weightlifting shoes. Or even cross training shoes. And in this coach’s opinion they are hindering more than helping.
So much of what we do with a barbell requires you to be connected to the ground in a concrete (pun intended) fashion. Running shoes put a huge slab of (very expensive) foam between you and ground. This messes with your balance – especially in the squat – and confuses your muscle memory.
Try going barefoot, or pick up a pair of Vibrams, Innov8s or even Converse All-stars. You could even go the whole hog and buy some Olympic weightlifting shoes!
Learn a cool physical move that makes your friends go “wow!”
What’s the point of all this blood, sweat and tears if you can’t show off every now and again (or indeed, all the time)? Rather than setting the boring old “lose weight”-type goals, why not set yourself the challenge of learning to do something physically amazing this year?
Get 8 hours of sleep per night
No less. No excuses.