Long term planning works. Focusing on a single time that you need to beat for a WOD, or a death or glory weight that you MUST lift by a certain date can be dangerous. What happens if you train hard, make progress but miss the time or weight? You will have improved on paper, but in your own mind, by your own definition, you will have failed. The results of this kind of short-term thinking can be catastrophic.
Long-term thinking forces you to constantly make small, smart improvements to your technique, mobility routines, nutrition and training plans. This is not easy, but since we are Crossfitters, and easy is a not a word in our vocabulary, I think you are up to this challenge.
In Japanese, this idea is known as ‘KAIZEN’, and translates roughly as a process of constant and never ending improvement. This is a superb concept to think about in order to plan for achieving the results you desire in Crossfit.
Long-Term Momentum and Consistency
Over time, consistency becomes one of the most important parts of any training routine. Anyone can train hard for a month or so, but training properly for 6 months or a year is much harder to maintain. The same is true for nutrition. Plan your Crossfit program to fit in with this ideal.
What are your Fitness Goals and Why do you Want Them?
Goals are markers, not of what you have got, but of the person that you have become in order to achieve them.
If you have been battling for months for a Clean and Jerk PR, or your first Muscle Up, and you finally manage to nail it, then yes, you now have a new PR, but you are also a new person. You are now someone that is fit, strong and flexible enough to perform that exercise or lift that weight, whereas before you weren’t and you couldn’t. You have bettered yourself, and that is the simple and unquestionable truth.
Thinking long-term about what you want to achieve in Crossfit will only encourage you to take your time, build a mentality for success, and allow your progress to move continually forward.
Building Powerful Foundations
Remember that every great achievement is built on a solid foundation. What you see when you watch other athletes perform is only the varnish on the outside. We are all the product of the effort that we put in, yet it is rarely the blood, sweat, tears, sacrifice and hours upon hours of training that other people notice, it is the results.
When we watched Katrin Davidsdottir stand on top of the podium last year, as the winner of the 2015 Crossfit Games, we see the medal, the smiling face, the crowds and the flashing cameras. But the reality is much different. She stood on top of that podium because of years of work, of overcoming failures and setbacks, of disciplined training, strict nutrition plans, and talent. Talking about all this, she quoted John Wooden and said:
‘It’s the little details that are vital. Little things make big things happen.’
The Importance of Goals
It is vital to have goals. They motivate us, and are the milestones of our achievements along the road of progress, but it is exceptionally important to concentrate on the long-term. Think about the bigger picture and it will help you put setbacks and mishaps in proportion. You will watch as the targets you previously set are silently smashed aside by the unstoppable progress of your intelligent, disciplined and motivated training. Set big goals and go for them, but don’t worry about taking your time to get there. James Joyce once wrote:
‘I am tomorrow what I establish today. I am today what I established yesterday’
Although the writer would have probably been terrible at Crossfit, he certainly knew how to describe the best way to train for it.