Curls for the girls!

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How and why to add accessory work into your training. 

You’re stood at the coffee machine getting your double shot pre-workout before class and catching up on the latest goss when you look across to open gym and Matt is completing his 5 set of curls and performing what can only be described as the Karma sutra with bands. You think ‘pfft look at that show off, why doesn’t he just do CrossFit?’ 

Well let me tell you!

Accessory work is about focusing on the little movements that help support the bigger exercises. It can be based around building strength or developing mobility. 

CrossFit is a fantastic form of training. It covers a lot of movements, teaches correct movement patterns and builds strength and mobility. So why do we need to do accessory work?

As you train, your body has an amazing ability to cover up any weaknesses it has. If something is out of whack and a muscle isn’t firing well enough it, it will focus on using your strongest muscle group instead. This builds weaknesses and underdeveloped muscles, puts stress on joints and develop huge imbalances in your body. All of which can lead to injury. 

In CrossFit classes we mostly focus on Bi-lateral movements (these are movements that involve using both sides of your body at the same time to share the load. Ie squats, deadlift, cleans, thrusters etc). How many times have you noticed that one side of your body is more tired or an extra tightness in one side of your back after deadlifts? This is where the imbalances in your body start to show. 

So, to help this we need to add in more isolated movements. Weights should be light as the focus is on movement quality. 

Examples of accessory movements include split squats, single arm press, Romanian deadlift, plank and core work and rows. 

If you need help on these movements speak to a coach, sports physio or book a PT. Cat’s Build classes are perfect for this! 

By doing accessory movements, it will help:

To develop a more well-rounded body.

To build a strong foundation of fitness.

To overcome weaknesses.

On active recovery days as they are less taxing on your central nervous system and joints.

To prevent injuries.

Improve current irritations in the body before they become worse.

Promote muscle growth (hypertrophy) which will lead to PB central in your CrossFit sessions. 

 

So from now on when I look over to open gym I want to see you all do curls for the girls or split squats for the jocks. 

See you on the floor, Coach Liz. 

Why I Opened a CrossFit Facility

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My background is rooted in sport & fitness, I loved it as a kid, relied on them to make friends through my teens and to help me battle mental health issues in my early 20’s. I believe moving our bodies is a major part of our design, and therefore a lack of it can cause damage. This may seem obvious (we can gain weight and develop illnesses), but I mean deep down, soul damage. Each time I have hit a low in my life, whether it’s social, mental or physical, a lack of movement is evident in my life at that time. 

Think about it. You get a day off work, you love the idea that you’ve no plans so you mooch on the sofa all day indulging in daytime TV and fridge raids. But 3-4 hours in, the blissful, restful feeling you were craving cannot be found. Your heart and body are crying out for something else. But habit and culture tells you that this is rest and to ignore the feeling! 

Every single day, I fight the idea of working out. And guys, I mean every single day. Owning a gym, knowing the science behind it, and having great friends still hasn’t beaten that battle. And yet, every single day that I do fight the feeling and do my workout, I will finish feeling 100% better, stronger, more motivated, happier, more at peace and restful. 

Our bodies were designed to move. It has become our culture that we don’t, and we are suffering because of that. Mental and physical illnesses are commonplace, and yet we still haven’t made fitness and wellbeing “normal”. Why?

One thought I have is that we’ve been sold it all wrong. High schools teach PE with absolute dread, and kids end up playing a game of football, rugby, netball or athletics. Which yes, if participated in, can result in a higher heart rate, but generally ends with kids forgetting their kit, or they feel humiliated as it’s not a sport they’re built for, or picked for the team for. This is their first experience of fitness and in most cases, their last. These kids are not taught how to move, how to make their bodies stronger for life, they’re taught how to stand outside for 30 mins and kick a ball. 

My belief is that seeing eating as fuel and moving our bodies (wellness habits) are as important to us as human beings as brushing our teeth. We’ve been given one body, and it’s got to last us a long time, perform well and serve others, hasn’t it got to be on form? And yet it seems to be acceptable that it’s “just not for some people”. We don’t allow our kids to go to bed at night without brushing their teeth, so why neglect something that is important for mind, body and soul?

So, instead of getting frustrated about it as a P.E. teacher, I decided to change the trend and open a facility that taught that fitness is something that can be as fun, challenging and as important to us as netflix, brushing teeth and eating sweets. 

CrossFit will make you run, jump and lift on one day, then skip, go upside down and throw things on another. You’ll do things you never thought you could, and learn how to do fitness you can do absolutely anywhere at any time. You’ll be surrounded by people who are on the same mission as you, who love to hate it the same way you do and smell as bad as you after a session. 

I know that CrossFit doesn’t tick this box for a lot of people. I’m totally aware and okay with that! But as a PE teacher, turned PT, I watched more people get better results doing CrossFit than they ever would with me as a PT in a month. They’d actually turn up too, and saved money by going to CrossFit than PT which they could use to do more amazing things with their families and friends on the weekends. So I know CrossFit isn’t for everyone, but it’s a good start for a lot of people, and those who don’t enjoy the sport that we love have so many other avenues they can explore to find the thing they LOVE! Zumba? Go for it. Rock climbing? Awesome. Running backwards in baltic weather? Whatever makes you happy dude. 

I don’t want everyone to love my gym, I want everyone to love moving their body. If your heart rate increases, your muscles are stretched and your mental capacity challenged, then I am so so excited for you. 

More on this to come, but thanks for reading a little bit of my heart!

Sara x

Motivation & External factors of fitness

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We all struggle to motivate ourselves to get into the gym now and again. Especially as we head towards the winter months; comfy PJ’s, fires on, and warm drinks punch way higher than a workout. But what can we do to help keep ourselves motivated throughout these times, and the rest of the year too?

 

There’s a multitude of things at play as to whether we have enough motivation to get ourselves to the gym, get going and hit that WOD that makes us feel fantastic afterwards!

 

SLEEP;

            Most of us know that the optimal amount of sleep per night is 7-9 hours. But the majority of us don’t even cut close to this. Ensuring you’re winding down, sleeping well and resting enough to replenish your energy stores is vital to motivation in the gym. That extra couple of hours can make a massive difference to your mood and outlook towards exercise, and your energy levels. Start to set yourself a bedtime and hit the hay a bit sooner!

 

STRESS;

            As a collective, our society is very fast paced. We rush to get up, we rush to work, we rush here and there, then rush back again. The Mentalhealth.org website stated that ‘74% of the UK were 'overwhelmed or unable to cope' at some point in the past year.’ Our Cortisol levels (stress hormone) must be sky high, and this is not going to help when thinking about getting ourselves to exercise.
Managing your stress can be very effective to helping motivation within the gym. Call it clearing up our environments! Whether your stresses involve work, money, children or any other variation, meditation can help with this. Any variation of meditation can be useful; however, mindful meditation is the best way I’ve found for managing my own stresses in life. There are apps to help guide you through this if you’re new!

Also, we offer a child friendly environment within CFNS to hopefully ease some of those child stress issues too! 

 

RELATIONSHIPS;

            Relationships are a biggy for motivation!

Your relationships can be with your partners, parents, friends and acquaintances. Any of these relationships can sway your outlook on your fitness. You can easily be led to ditching your workout for a drink with a friend, or a dinner at your parent’s. And yes, nurturing your relationships is very important. However, understanding that some relationships can be detrimental to motivation, will help you prioritise your fitness. Being within a CrossFit community means finding friendships and relationships within people who share the same views and fitness goals as you, so motivation levels can thrive! I’m not saying ditch any other friends who don’t do CrossFit (but do haha!), just be aware these relationships may not serve you well motivation wise.

 

RECOVERY;

            If I was to survey the box for the actual amount of rest days, FULL rest days, people take, I bet it would be a poor result. But rest is very, very important for your motivation levels. If you’re not recovered well from previous workouts, injuries, or other activities outside of the gym, your motivation levels can plummet. If you’re constantly feeling sore, creaky and stiff, you’re not going to want to smash your workouts. Taking time off is just as important for muscle growth as your training is.

Two rest days per week is recommended. You can begin to introduce ‘active recovery’ days if you’re struggling to rest completely (like me!). An active recovery day can include a brisk walk with the dog, a light jog, a ROMWOD (stretching workout) or another activity that isn’t particularly strenuous. This can help make you feel like you’ve done some exercise, but also allow your muscles to recoup and recover enough to hit Fran first thing Monday morning!

If you’re injured, rehab of that injury is super important for maintaining motivation levels too. See a sports physio, get it looked at, and figure out what you need to adapt and do to help it get better ASAP!

 

NUTRITION;

            The tip of the pillar! 

Nutrition is THE MOST important thing, I find, to maintaining my motivation levels. If I’m fuelling my body correctly, I’m getting the response I want from my training, making progress, feeling fitter, looking better and just overall, I’m happy!

Firstly, you need to know how many calories your body needs to function, you can do this by using a BMR calculator online. You then need to make sure you’re eating close to that amount; you can use a tracking app for calories. Lastly, do some research on macronutrients. Protein/Carbohydrates/Fats - find out how much your body needs specifically, and then eat that amount!! Simple, right? Obviously, it’s more complex than it seems, but it can be made simple by getting some help from a coach. Our transform programme within the gym can help with nutrition, and I run ‘Shreds’ most of the year through to help anyone who wants it, the understanding to lead the front on their own nutrition to complement training!

 

HORMONES;

            The final hurdle.

Females – we have a multitude of hormones to contend with on a daily basis. Oestrogen, progesterone, cortisol, testerone (small amounts), HGH, thyroxine and soooooo many more!

Tracking your cycle, your mood bouts and your high motivation days can help with understanding your body and when it’s ok to push yourself to work out, and when it’s also ok to pull yourself back and give in. The way that female training is changing and evolving currently, is impressive. Women are now tracking their cycle and using this as a training guide. On weeks where their oestrogen is high, they’re training hard. On weeks where their progesterone is high, their cutting back and implementing lower training volumes to get the most of out their bodies.

Males – Bar a few lapses in testerone in the winter months (seasonal affective disorder), you rarely see a dip in hormones day to day or week to week. You’re extremely fortunate to not have to have this as an issue, and if you’re struggling with motivation, starting with some of the other issues may be your best bet!

 

 

Take all of the above points, get them working in unison, and your motivation levels should be through the roof! If you’re having trouble with any of these things, seek out some advice, make a plan and smash it! But don’t put too much pressure on yourself, the odd day off will most definitely, not hurt.

 

Coach P x

Weightlifting Belts: Pros and Cons

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Everyone is excitedly gathered around the board knowing today is the best of all days: HEAVY SQUATS! We gallop to our bags to gather our PB making kit. Lifting shoes, knee sleeves, weightlifting belt, wrist wraps, copious amounts of chalk and of course we set up for our phones to make sure we capture this incredible day, because did we even squat if we didn’t film it? We PB (woo), get back home, complain about lower back pain and accept this is just the Fit life. 

 

But is there something we could have done differently? 

Weightlifting belts:

 Pros

Belts are an incredible piece of kit when used properly. The most commonly agreed upon (and truthfully, only agreed upon) benefit to wearing a weight belt is that they increase intra-abdominal pressure. In laymen’s terms, you want to be able to support your spine as much as possible when lifting heavy and belts can do this by increasing intra-abdominal pressure (think of it like a balloon inflating behind your abs). A belt gives you a barrier to press out against and in turn makes your core more rigid. 

 

Cons

Relying on a belt can often mask injuries and weaknesses. I have heard many athletes over the time say, ‘I’m going to pop my belt on, my back is sore.’ When in reality the belt is the problem as it is stopping the core and lower back from strengthening (especially in high rep, low weight workouts). 

Frequent use of a belt might inhibit motor learning in the abdominal muscles meaning you will never fully learn how to brace without wearing a belt. 

Wearing a belt too much can become a mental crutch. Weightlifting requires both physical and mental strength. Relying on a piece of kit can often throw you off and create negative links towards the lifts. Try and rely on your body as much as possible instead of kit. 

 

So bearing the above in mind, here a couple of simple questions to ask before reaching for the belt. 

·      Am I lifting heavier than 80% of my 1 rep max? If so, get a belt and create a strong brace.

·      Is my back sore? If yes, remove the belt, reduce the weight on your bar, focus on rehab, stretching and good form. Your spine will thank you a few weeks down the line. 

·      What is the intention for today’s WOD? Remember not every day is designed to be a heavy WOD. Speak to your coaches about what weight they think you should have on the bar if you are unsure. 

 

Move well, build strength, smash those PBs! Coach Liz x

 

What is RX?

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So, you’ve just started CrossFit, you’ve finally built up the courage to surrender your soul to this cult of amazingly strong and skilled people. You’ve heard that CrossFit, and all of its constantly varied functional movements, are not only performed at a high intensity, but are also scalable to all levels, abilities, and age groups. This is what attracted you in the first place!

 

Your first class comes around, you stand at the board, listening to your fate, surrounded by an array of varied level athletes. You hear a few murmurs about ‘RX’ing this workout’ and have ABSOLUTELY NO IDEA what this means.

 

‘RX’ is actually a medical term. It means ‘as prescribed’. And RX is a very sought-after achievement within the CrossFit world.

In the box, RX means to do every required repetition of each movement, through the full range of motion expected, in the exact prescribed order of the workout. 

So, to RX ‘Fran’ for example, you would need to complete 21 repetitions of a thruster at 42.5kg for males and 30kg for females, ensuring your hip crease goes below parallel, and you fully extend under your bar; hips and knees locked out. Then complete 21 repetitions of pull ups, starting from full hang to your chin coming clearly over the top of the bar, without any assistance. Then 15 of each and 9 of each to finish. If at any point, any of these movements fell below this standard, you decreased your weight on the bar, or you changed any of these movements during your workout to suit, the workout would no longer be being completed at an RX level.

 

This is where ‘Scaling’ comes in.

Scaling is changing a workout to fit in with your abilities. A pull up could be scaled by adding a band to the bar to assist with some of your body weight or using a ring to control yourself backwards and forwards, working similar muscle groups. A push up could be scaled by doing the movement on the knees, or even resting on the thighs. And scaling is absolutely nothing to be ashamed of. Pretty much all of us start off as scaled athletes, and over a period of time develop our strength, co-ordination, skill and execution of movements to move towards being RX. 

Scaling enables a huge variety of people to access the same workout, and get almost the exact same stimulus from it, regardless of their experience as an athlete.

 

At CFNS we use a level system to enable our athletes to scale according to ability. Level 1 is usually a beginner’s level, the base scale of a movement. Level 2 is usually a middle ground, for those of us that have those base level skills or strengths, but have developed and refined them, either becoming more efficient, or increasing to a more difficult movement. Level 3 is our RX level. The level used to do the workout as prescribed.

For ‘Fran’ our level system would go as follows:

            L1 – Thrusters at 27.5kg Male/20kg Female, Jumping pull ups
            L2 – Thrusters at 35kg Male/25kg Female, Band assisted pull ups
            L3 – Thrusters at 42.5kg Male/30kg Female, Unassisted pull ups

 

 

            But just because you can ‘RX’ a workout, does that mean you should?

CrossFit workouts are designed to be completed at a high intensity. And sometimes our egos get in the way of this intended stimulus. For example, the workout ‘Grace’ – 30 Clean and Jerks for time, was originally intended to be completed in under 5 minutes. The RX weight for males is 60kg. If your 1RM Clean and Jerk was 70kg, it wouldn’t be a smart idea to attempt the RX level for this workout despite being able to lift the RX weight for more than one repetition. It would be near impossible to finish this workout within a 5-minute time cap when you are that close to your 1RM for 30 reps. And so, you would stand resting for a very long time, or fail lots of times. Required intensity lost. Bear this in mind when deciding which level is suitable for you for any given workout, and if unsure, you can always seek guidance from your coach!

 

I started off CrossFit roughly 4 years ago, a lot heavier than I was now, unable to do a strict pull up, push up, squat to required depth or move fast enough to get anywhere near the top of any leader board. It’s taken an incredibly large amount of dedication to working hard on my strength and mobility and taking extra time to develop the skills I didn’t have. I scaled pretty much every workout I did until my second year of CrossFit. I earned my RX badge and then some. I also developed my integrity and awareness of my own body to know that I’m not always going to hit every single repetition perfectly, and that’s fine. I no rep myself and do it again. Some days RX just isn’t possible, because I may lack in a particular skill still. And that’s also fine, I do my work out anyway, and document my scaling choices, in hope of completing that particular workout RX the next time it comes up.

 

RX is sought after but isn’t necessary to be fantastic at CrossFit. All that is, is a willingness to put yourself outside of your comfort zone and smile whilst doing so. That’s non-negotiable at CFNS. But also, if you choose to do CrossFit as a sport, doing CrossFit the right way is necessary. Anything less than that would be substandard.

 

As coaches, we want you to always work hard, strive for a better you, and have fun whilst doing that.

If you’re struggling with your development in a particular area of your training, never hesitate to ask your coach. We also have multiple membership options that give you extras to help you move towards being ‘RX’ or just simply being better at the hobby you love!

 

CrossFit is my passion and love, it absolutely changed my life, and I hope this reflects in the way I conduct myself as a coach AND an athlete.

 

Coach P x

CrossFit Shoes - Ridiculous or Necessary?

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So you’ve been CrossFit-ing a couple of months and you head to your local supermarket straight after class wearing your nano’s, covered in chalk and still dripping in sweat. You’re perusing the protein shake isle (or Soreenisle in my case) when you spot a stranger wearing similar attire. You get all excited and resist the urge to shout,‘OMG you must CrossFit’ and instead give a subtle nod to each other as a show of respect of being a part of this amazing cult, I mean lifestyle training.

But why do we wear what we wear and accept that booty shorts are now acceptable in Tesco? Well in the next few blogs I am going to explain, starting with footwear. CrossFit promotes wearing flat based shoes, so the toes and heel are in a perfect line, which suits both running and barbell work. We were designed to run with the middle hitting the floor first, not our heels. More cushioned trainers allow you to slam the heel down and promote an unnatural way of running. Flat shoes also remove unbalance and helps keep the joints aligned and moving correctly. And lastly,we focus on building our power output, with a flat shoe and a good connection to the floor you ensure that you are not losing any power and will be deadlifting a tonne in no time!

There are two popular CrossFit shoes, the Reebok Nano’s and the Nike Metcon, (I personally am a big fan of the Nano 8’s but it’s all about preference. I also love working out in Vans as the support my ankle and are very flat).

This leads me onto weightlifting shoes and whetherwe need them. Like the CrossFit shoe, they do not have any cushioning to ensure we keep the foot stable and do not lose power, but more than that they have a heel. This allows you to increase the range of motion in your squat and usually means you can keep your chest more upright which is a much safer position. For me there is a balance, you don’t want to be wearing your lifters at ever chance possible as this will stop you from developing the mobility needed in your body and, we are functional fitness athletes. We want to be able to transfer our gains into everyday life and I don’t often find myself squatting around in a kitten heel (each to their own though).

Weightlifting shoes can be expensive,but you don’t have to spend £100s (unless you want to) as essentially,they all do the same job.

‘0k, you’ve convinced me, where do I get these exquisite PB shoes?’ I hear you shout. Well before you head online to treat yourself it may be worth checking out Pear Mill in Bredbury. (Pear New Mill, Stockport Rd W, Stockport SK6 2BP). It is a reebok and Adidas outlet that often has CrossFit kit. It’s a little hit and miss but I have grabbed a few bargains over the years. The latest was a pair of Nano 8s for £24 (usually £100).

Otherwise hit up reebok.co.uk or Nike.com to buy your pair.

Enjoy! Coach Liz x

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Settling into the grind

A little milestone passed almost un-noticed this week. I’ve now racked up 500 hours of class time as an athlete at CrossFit Northern Soul.

Trust me, I’m pretty astonished by this. No other sport, exercise regime, fitness system or “thing that involves moving & shit” has ever held my attention like this at any point in my life. I’m nearly three years into my CrossFit journey and I feel like I’ve only just scratched the surface of the possible.

With this amount of time invested though there does come some associated “baggage” I’ve collected along the way. I’ll try and break this down into meaningful chunks.

Daily PB’s are looooong gone.

Chuckling at this one as I actually hit a cheeky Cindy PB today (entirely accidental as I was busy failing to complete Chelsea) but the days of you simply having to walk in and pick something up to be doing a PB dance are over. Every single kilo, second or repetition has to be ground out over weeks of solid graft. The downside of this is that you can sometimes feel like your progression has stalled. That sinking feeling of grafting and getting nowhere. The upside though is that when that tiny 1% improvement finally does arrive, the feeling of accomplishment is sweet indeed.

You have a profound understanding of what you’re shit at (and you start avoiding it).

I suck at bodyweight gymnastics. I don’t bend (much). I am the least natural upside-down human I’ve ever seen and I live in constant terror of irreparably smashing myself to bits whilst swinging about like a stunned fish on a gym rig. Where this understanding can lead you is being selective in your focus / what you gravitate towards. I’d likely be better at bodyweight gymnastics if I spent more time actually doing it. What’s my next learning event? Rowing seminar this weekend...

“I know what I’m doing”

No I don’t. Most of the time I’ve not a bloody clue. I am vastly, vastly more experienced than I was but I don't “know”. At best, I understand and can replicate with some success. What I’m talking about here is the mindset of “I’ve always pulled early on a heavy Snatch attempt so you ain’t changing me now”. The challenge of overcoming bad habits and simply being coachable is huge and I take this moment to apologise to any coaches that I may have inadvertently given “the eyes” to at any point.

“Why am I doing this?”

The struggle is real. I know that a good percentage of my time I've got a smile on and I’m somewhat genial but to drag my arse out of bed to get to CFNS for 6am is bloody hard and there’s plenty of times I’ve had to have a long conversation with myself. Keeping the reasons why CrossFit is important to me and what I want to achieve (move well for a long time, don’t be shit etc) close to me are key to me making that walk each day.

Ditch the bags

So, what have I learned over these 500 hours? Quite a lot really. The key that underpins this though and keeps me coming back for more is that even though the game has changed, it’s no less fun than it was before. The goal now is to spend the next 500 hours wisely trying to ditch the bags I’ve picked up. Stay humble, stay coachable, go upside down once in a while (bugger) and celebrate PB’s like no-one is watching.

Here’s to enjoying the grind! 

Ed. Member since 2014.

Motivation

I believe we have 3 different member types at CFNS, and I’m not saying one is better than the other, or you should be “A”, or you will even fit into one. Just awareness of the types will help you to adjust your mindset when it comes to your goals and training. 

 

Type A: “I just go to CrossFit to blow off some steam, I don’t lose any sleep on my score”.

Type B: “I came to CrossFit to lose weight, fell in love with it because it’s fun, but can’t push myself to the limit it takes to lose weight”.

Type C: “I come to CrossFit, give it all I can, compete with others in the class, and am dead afterwards”.

 

Again, nothing wrong with being any of these groups. But each group has their own goals, and own motivations, and if you simply copy others, you may not reach your own personal goals because their method and motivation is different to yours. 

 

Let’s start with Type C. 

Rich Froning is a typical type C. As a kid, his parents made him do chores for the sake of it. In his book, “First”, he recalls being told to move bricks from one side of the garden to the other, only to be told, once finished, to move them back to where he started. He did it, because he was told, and was taught to not question it. He claims that this mindset has helped him in his training. He doesn’t question a workout, he keeps working because theres still work to be done, because there is, because there is. (I’ll explain that bit later.)

We find that this mindset can be replicated in military or ex military personnel. They’ve been conditioned to do things without questioning, and to keep going until someone tells you to stop, with simply the reason of “honour” or even no reason what soever. They don’t need a reason, because it will end, and when it does… then it’s forgotten about.

Type C people don’t listen to their emotions, until the job is finished. And that is going to be my point for this essay. Don’t listen to your emotions, because they lie. 

 

Type B. (The person most likely to have reached this part of the essay).

The simple fact that you care about the way you look, highlights the fact that you care, you have emotions and can be pretty sensitive about certain things. That’s cool.

But that can be a hindrance to your training (and your diet for that matter). You’ve decided you want to look different - that’s awesome. But you haven’t decided what lengths you’re willing to go to to get there.

SO you start your diet, or CrossFit, or both and your immediate emotions are still based on the very recent emotion of wanting to change, so it goes well, you put your all into it. But then you have a bad week at work, or you come last on the board, OR you don’t lose half your body weight in a month like you thought you would (Holla!) and your emotions twist and turn to something else. Your emotions are telling you that it’s actually harder than you thought it was gonna be, so is it really worth it? OR your emotions tell you that you’ve worked hard for a month, you DESERVE a rest, so you’ll just take this week a little easier at the gym, or on your diet. You’ll tell people you have a slight niggle in your (insert body part here), and that you need to take it easy but you’ll be back to 100% next week. You won’t do any mobility or extra rehab work on that body part because it’s not actually there (even if you can feel it!). Your emotions are making up lies to excuse you from ultimately not doing what it hates doing - which is being uncomfortable. You’ll keep coming to CrossFit, but you won’t see any differences because your diet has given up (“I’ll just rely on CrossFit”), and you’ve now understood that it doesn’t take 120% effort to finish an AMRAP. Even if you go slow, you’ll finish it (therefore not getting your heart rate up, therefore not hitting fat burning zone). 

 

Type A. (These people didn’t make it past the heading, but that’s cool.)

These guys are pretty secure in themselves. They know they need to exercise to live longer, so they join up. Seeing the people at CrossFit makes their day, the exercise is just an added bonus. They generally give it 80% effort, and then either head straight out or the door, or congratulate everyone else. Their mindset is that they come to the box to switch off, so thinking during a workout or allowing emotions to dwell just doesn’t happen. They don’t have any particular goals, so they don’t get despondent when they don’t hit a target or get a new movement. These guys won’t lie in bed at night and think they could have gone harder, because tomorrow is a new day and they’ll just train again. That’s cool too.

 

Again. There is no right type for you, it’s personal to you. Unless you want to get better at CrossFit. 

 

I, Sara, am a type B. I used to be a type A. I had a season of depression that crept up on me 6 years ago, and I simply went to the gym to get out the house, try to ignore everyone, and get those free drugs (endorphins). I just wanted to get to the gym, move, and walk out. I worked hard in there, but I didn’t cry over it at home or tell everyone about my routine (until now…). When I eventually fell in love with the people there, got strong, and then was introduced to CrossFit I became a type B. I wanted to be the best and quickly. I quickly found that I wasn’t the best, and I wasn’t willing to do what it takes to become the best (eat, sleep, train 3 times etc.) So I made excuses for myself and eventually quit CrossFit because of a “niggle” in my knee. 

I won’t bore you with how I got back into it, but it literally was due to a change in my mindset. I adopted a type A mindset towards physically making it to CrossFit, and then a type C mindset to training. And it went from there. 

 

You can mix and match, but a type C athlete is going to see the gains you’re wanting to see in your life, quickest. And, ultimately, that’s what we want… right?

 

So… what’s the secret to becoming a type C mindset when you’ve not been conditioned in that way growing up? Condition yourself. In every corner of your life. We get preachers talk about this at church. 

 

Our emotions tell us that our husbands/boyfriends don’t love us anymore because he doesn’t surprise us with gifts everyday, like Ryan Gosling does. But the TRUTH and LOGIC is, it would be pretty boring if they did, and does that REALLY mean that they love us if they did?

 

I did Cognitive Behavioural Therapy back during the “Great Depression” of my 20th year on this earth. It was life changing, and I recommend it to ANYONE, mental health issues or not, who wants to be mentally stronger. 

 

CBT

My lame-o explanation of it (sorry any experts I offend) is that we must reason with our brains over everything. Our emotions are altered because of the weather, hormones, or even what we freaking EAT! So why allow all these things to alter our days? I would lie in bed all day because I felt that the earth had let me down in certain ways. CBT helped me by questioning my thoughts. Why has it let me down? I would answer that, and then the next question would be and what has led me to feel that? And then, Is that my fault, or did I have any control over this? And so on. (I used this book, it’ll explain it better than me https://www.amazon.co.uk/Cognitive-Behavioural-Therapy-Teach-Yourself/dp/1444100890/ref=sr_1_4?ie=UTF8&qid=1496305949&sr=8-4&keywords=teach+yourself+CBT.) 

 

Applying this to your motivation

You turn up because you’re ready to lose fat, boost your metabolism, and get stronger. You need to tell yourself that you’re ready to just give 100% of yourself up

You give the warm up 50% effort because it’s boring and repetitive, and it hurts. But you need to tell yourself that you’re ready to just give 100% of yourself up. 

You cap out at a safe weight on the strength, because you hurt, or you had a bad day, or you need to save yourself for the WOD. But you need to tell yourself that you’re ready to just give 100% of yourself up. 

You feel that as you didn’t really feel the effects of the strength like others did, so you may as well pretty much just give up on the idea of “smashing” the WOD and just write off the session, and do better tomorrow. But you need to tell yourself that you’re ready to just give 100% of yourself up. 

You’re lying on the floor like everyone else post WOD, but you know in your heart of hearts, you completed 10 no-reps, you didn’t go all out, and you could probably do more. But you need to tell yourself that you’re ready to just give 100% of yourself up, so you go and complete some airbike work in open gym.

 

 

My point here is that you need to ignore, question and ACTUALLY change your thoughts. 

 

  • “I need to rest”. No Sara, you don’t, just make it to 10. TURNS TO -  “Pick up the ball”.
  • “I need this chocolate bar to make it to the end of this depressing day”. No Sara, the hormonal response from that sugar will trigger a hyper and then hypo energy level and you’ll feel crapper in an hour. TURNS TO - “I’ll ring my mom and see if I can make her day better”.
  • “I’ll just make it to the end of the WOD, I’m not feeling this today” No Sara, you’ll feel worse for not going all out, work until the last second, harder. TURNS TO - “Throw yourself into that burpee and switch your brain off until you’re finished”.
  • “I’m having a glass of wine, do you want one?” No Sara, that’s not going to help you, or Gary with your training tomorrow, and that’s your goal. TURNS TO - “let’s play Nintendo together”. ;)

 

If you find yourself asking WHY, then you need to answer yourself with the same thing I mentioned above that Rich Froning says, because I am, because I am, because I am, because I am. And keep going until you’re all out of excuses.

 

It’s a choice guys, you’re gonna feel like an idiot at first. But this is the secret you could have paid £300 to a life coach to find out. You’re welcome to pay me the £300. 

Practise it in EVERY SINGLE CORNER of your life. Question your emotions. It takes doing something 21 times before its a habit. Stick with it and you’ll find yourself doing it without realising by summer. Please. 

 

Peace Out, Sar.