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.
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.