Consistent Hard Effort Over Time: The Only Guaranteed Method of Success
I work in a unique setting. I manage and coach a CrossFit within a YMCA, so I am exposed to what is known here as “hardcore” athletes (the CrossFit athletes) and also our health seekers. A health seeker is your average person looking to get fit but really doesn’t know anything. Both crowds are extremely different but show up with the same question: “How do I get results?” My answer is the same to everyone - consistent hard effort over time.
We are plagued by fitness trends, people trying to get fit fast, drop hundreds of pounds, or compete at a high level. The truth is we all have to pay our dues before we get the rewards. It doesn’t matter if you are trying to lose weight, run for the first time, or win CrossFit Regionals. You must put in the time, at the gym, in the kitchen, and of course, in bed sleeping.
There are many different things that need to be addressed for everyone, so listen up. Here are some items related to the five ways people can get tripped up or distracted in their fitness journey. Have you fallen into any of these?
- Supplements - They are supplements not magic, nor food. They are extras only.
- Gear - It is designed to let you work hard, not do the work for you.
- Food - If you can grow it or kill it, then eat it. If it’s made in a factory, then don’t.
- Rest - Good sleep means getting to bed before midnight and doesn’t include the phone or computer.
- Water - Drink it. You don’t need so many “sports” drinks.
People always look for the easy way out. If you are this person don’t even bother showing up to ask me or any other trainer the question, “How do I get results?” Stay home until you are ready to make a sacrifice and make some changes. If you think fitness or any significant change is going to happen in a few days or weeks think again. Becoming athletic, healthy, and able to move well takes time.
This is a journey not a destination. Think of fitness and health as a water bottle with a small hole in the bottom. Unless you are doing something to fill it up you will slowly lose it. Fitness is not something that can be achieved permanently or a benchmark that sticks. It is in constant fluctuation, and to truly be fit means fitness has become your lifestyle and a part of who you are. It comes down to owning your exercise, diet, and life. If you want to succeed more than the person next to you in class, you have to ask yourself one question: are you willing to suffer more than him or her?
Working hard is not as simply as it sounds. You need to have an intelligent plan and learn how to work hard. Take a reality check here to get some direction. And then give yourself a workout check such as this.
Suffering through a workout gives you a certain satisfaction and also the confidence that you can persevere. Knowing you have the ability to keep going when it gets tough starts with hesitation and fear. You are not sure if you’re going to make it. The workout today looks beyond intimidating. You might not be able to make it at all. Then, an hour later, you lay in a pool of your own sweat, but the glimmer of confidence rings though.
Next time you begin to believe in yourself. In the next few weeks and months you start changing not only physical but also mentally. You relish in the hard workouts and are ready for the suffering, delighting that others are intimidated. Soon your confidence becomes infectious and you push yourself harder, but become a catalyst to those around you. As your fitness and confidence booms, you cheer and support others allowing them to being on the journey that you started earlier.
Becoming an athletic human is a process for most of us that involves a community. It becomes our responsibility to pass along what you have learned, and also to help people knowing how difficult the journey is.
Share the list of the five general myths people fall for, take a reality check, and try the physical and mental check of the workout above. You too can find success through consistent hard effort over time.
Photos courtesy of CrossFit Impulse.