Everyone has (or should have) a goal that they are working towards. In order to reach it, a lot of people will make a plan for it. But a lot of people will fail and simply not reach what they were trying to achieve.
Here comes the separator – why there will always be people who are successful and people who will not – and it is called (LONG TERM): consistency!
I am not talking about the people who are getting sick or don´t have any chance at all to do anything as planned. It´s about still going for it even if you are not motivated and choosing and sticking to your priorities. You are what you consistently do, day in and day out. Of course, you will also reach your goals if you have days when you are consistent and days you are not. It´ll just take more time.
This is a pretty general approach, let´s try to apply this in the Crossfit world see how it fits in three important areas: Nutrition, Recovery and Training.
Consistency in your meal plan is a simple thing.
But we all love food and I´m sure that I am not the only one who likes to eat too much. I honestly think any diet can work if you have the right guidelines. If someone tells you their diet plan is not working and they have tried everything, they are probably lying. I also lied to myself for many years, but the past 6 months pretty much changed everything for me.
I got strict guidelines on my macros, prepared my meals because I wanted to lose fat and build muscles. It was very hard for me, but it worked. If you have a plan and you think you can´t have food with your friends or go out for dinner, that´s a lie. You can – just plan your day well ahead. I almost had ice cream in summer every day. I planned it and included it in my day.
It´s also okay, if you lose focus for a few days and eat too much – it just means that you might need longer to look leaner than the other person who is doing it every day.
But the most important thing I learned about nutrition is that you should not have a plan that makes you lose weight or fat and then change and go back to your normal eating habits.
Try to find a routine and stick to it – long term eating habits are the answer here.
I will look at 2 different angles of consistency in training.
First of all, your quality of training. I like to think about mentality and how to approach training. If you never push yourself during workouts, the person next to you, who does challenge themselves, will be better than you one day. Maybe not today or tomorrow, but in the long term.
We don´t like to step out of our comfort zone, but CrossFit is about being uncomfortable most of the time.
Do your very best when you train, and as hard as you can. Now, a few people might think this is the wrong approach, so just to clarify: if you can´t go all out on a particular day, because it´s just impossible, you will also do the best you can even if it´s not the absolute maximum.
But you will always know if you didn´t give everything that was in your tank. Just think about a competition: you will outperform your competitors with a strong mental game, because you knew how to handle the pain during a workout.
Who you are on the competition floor is a reflection of who you are in practice: no more, no less.
Secondly, the volume of training. It´s simple, but let´s just write it down.
If you prioritize partying or a vacation over a training session, it´s called life and making decisions about what is more important. I know a lot of people, who say “oh this person is crazy or doesn´t have a life”, but also complain when they don’t make as much progress as they want to. That person, who goes to the gym every day with a clear focus and plan, will always outperform the one who prioritize something else over a training session.
For me, recovery is about sleep, active recovery as swimming and stretching and mobility.
Plan your day in order to get enough sleep if you train hard and often.
I know a lot of people who don´t care about how much they sleep, but want to train the next morning and don´t know why their performance isn´t good enough. Aim for 7-8 hours of sleep if training matters to you. If you want to go out and party with your friends, don´t expect your body to perform well the next day. Consistency is definitely the key here.
If you don´t sleep enough for a few weeks, you might not feel it the first day or in the first week, but after a few months your body will suffer setbacks. The same goes for mobility work and stretching: I honestly think it´s one of the most important parts in Crossfit. Without it, you won´t be able to perform well with higher rep and heavier weights and your risk of injury will increase.
You can´t ensure good functional movements if you only do it once. Do it daily and include it in your warm up/cool down or before bedtime, even if it´s just for 10 minutes. You will feel the difference later.
If you have a plan for something in life, go for it. Don´t make excuses and do your best. That´s what makes the difference and draws the line between the ones who will succeed and the ones who will not.
It´s all about commitment and priorities.
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