If you work out at a gym, go to a CrossFit box, or workout at all, the most important part is to take ownership of the process and gain as much knowledge as possible. I constantly see new members in our CrossFit affiliate, or as personal training clients, or in the gym in general. Very quickly I size them up and ask them a few simple questions.
- Why are you here, specifically what are your goals?
- Are you willing to make sacrifices and change how you live to achieve these goals?
- Are you willing to work harder than you think is possible right now?
If people don’t know what their goals are I ask them to take time and define them. Specifically I ask them to use SMART goals. This means:
- Time Bound
If someone already knows his or her goals, we can then begin a real discussion. If you are not willing to change how you live, change what you eat, or change how you work out, then you won’t achieve your goals. It is easy to remain in your comfort zone, sit on the recumbent bike, pedal to nowhere for thirty minutes, do a few minutes of abs, and reward yourself at Starbucks. It’s simple, comfortable, and requires no sacrifice. Yet it also yields no results. There are many other examples that fit this paradigm but all end with the hamster wheel of fitness. It all but fits the definition of insanity, yet you or someone you know is in this cycle.
Change has a cost, and one you should consider paying. Set your goals, and then begin to map out how you are going to achieve them. The more effort you put into your goal, the better chance you’ll have to achieve it. Ownership means that instead of relying upon others and waiting for the answers to be given to you, you are actively seeking your goals. When your coach gives you a cue in class or a movement to work on, then you go home and research it. Spend time practicing on your own, seek out correctives and mobility work that will let you move how you’re supposed to, and come back better. You don’t come into the gym a few minutes late, asking the same questions day after day. If you want progress and success, you don’t make the same mistakes day after day, and year after year.
Take a good look next time you walk into the gym. Does it look the same since you first entered? Is it a stagnant culture that remains unchanging? Take time to critically evaluate not only the facility you attend, but also the people who surround you, the coaches or personal trainer you work with, and your own progress. In the last year if you have been effectively losing weight at a safe rate, you should be many pounds lighter. If you are a runner and you haven’t peaked to your genetic potential you should be dropping time month by month. In CrossFit, your times on the “Girls” should be faster this year than last.
Not everyone needs to be an expert in the fitness industry, that’s why coaches, personal trainers, and experts exist. How far you want to dedicate yourself is your choice, but make sure the time you spend is quality and not quantity. It’s okay to sign up for CrossFit classes and attend without ever having the goal of becoming a certified trainer. These people are here to guide you and help mold you into the best possible version of yourself, but make sure you are not wasting their time. Don’t defeat your hard work in the gym with terrible nutrition and lack of activity through the entire rest of your day.
If you have read this far through the article you are interested in becoming better, but what is stopping you from realizing your full potential? Define your goals, set a plan on how to achieve them, prepare to make sacrifices, and start pushing yourself. Invest in your health and your future, and become the positive force that everyone strives to be around.
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