The Open is over, now what?
This may have been a question a lot of you were asking post-CrossFit Open 2017. You aren’t the only one. Now is a time to reflect on your year and decide what’s next for you in your journey of fitness. It’s almost as if some of us were so focused and zoned in during the Open season, and now that it’s over we’re wondering what to do next. Some of you may feel motivated; others may feel like they’re in a rut. Speaking of ruts, I’ve been in a rut for several months now dealing with a knee injury that doesn’t seem to be getting much better. I’ve just been doing what I can knowing I’m not at my best and just decided to work hard even if I have to modify the workout.
Things like this…unexpected circumstances, are inevitable. It’s going to happen. It’s how you deal with it that matters most. With that, I’d like to share a list of what I think makes a ‘successful’ week of training. Remember, this is solely my opinion, but it’s what I think about and look back on each week to deem my week of training a good one. The list will obviously vary by individual. ‘Successful’ is a relative term, so with that, do what YOU think is successful, and use these tips as a general guide:
1. Be in the black
What does this mean?
‘In the black’ is being profitable, or in the ‘positive’. We can use that positive term in various ways in the gym and outside. By having a positive outlook on life and ‘ignoring the noise’ we’re setting ourselves up for success. For example, if you had a bad day at the gym, you can sulk about how your toes-to-bar were shit, or how heavy your lifts felt when normally you should be moving a particular weight easily. Or, you can chalk it up to just a bad day at the gym and say to yourself. ‘I could have been on the couch. Instead, I got up and made the trek to the gym to put in some work.’ Think in the positive. #OnToTheNextOne #HDEU (head down, eyes up)
2. Prioritize sleep & rest days
When you get a good night’s sleep, it makes a world of difference on how you perform in the gym. Personally, I coach Wednesday and Friday mornings, and on those days I have to get up particularly early. I admit, I don’t get the right amount of sleep those nights, and sometimes when 5 or 6pm rolls around, I can feel those affects during my workouts. It’s really important to make sure you’re sleeping enough each night. The work we do inside of CrossFit Reach is intense, and that sleep is the most opportune time for recovery.
Going hand-in-hand with sleep is taking rest days. You don’t want to burn yourself out by showing up 7 days in a row. If you’re doing it right, your body should feel beat up by the third or fourth day anyways. If you go on too long without a rest day, you’re increasing your chances of injury right out of the gate. Rest is key. Rest plays a vital role in our performance in the gym. Do yourself a favor and rest at LEAST once, preferably twice in a span of seven days.
3. Show up on Monday
Start your week off the right way and develop good habits/routines by showing up to the gym on Monday. Monday can set the tone for your week and I believe we should see the most names on the whiteboard by the time the 7pm Monday class is complete.
4. Plan out your nutrition
Meal prep and eating the right foods during the week is essential to not only your training, but also how you feel in every day life. Generally speaking, if we eat like crap, we feel like crap. If we’re not prepared, we eat like crap. But if we’re prepared, eat good foods and the right quantity, we start to feel better about ourselves, perform better in the gym, and get better sleep. Meal planning takes time and discipline. You can plan for the week, or cook your meals from Sunday-Wednesday, and again Wednesday-Saturday. Find what works best for you and don’t forget to eat the bulk of your carbohydrate intake 2 hours before(to fuel) and 2 hours after(to recover) your workouts.
5. Make the gym part of your routine
This all goes back to routine. Make working hard and getting to the gym on your ‘on’ days a priority. Life is hectic. We all have jobs/kids/family. Life does happen but one place that is always here is CrossFit Reach. Let the hour that you’re inside the box be the time you blow off steam and not worry about what else is going on in your life. Train hard, be coachable and have fun.
6. Log your workouts
We should workout with a purpose, and by logging our workouts we have a visual representation of the actual work that we put in each week. Logging your workouts is beneficial for you and your success. Some reasons why is:
- It helps when a percentage lift is programmed. You have a record of where you should be
- You can see how many minutes you’ve shaved off of particular workouts (re: seeing how your fitness is progressing)
- It develops good habits and by default makes you take your fitness more seriously
- If you have a bad day, looking back at what you did previous months/years provides reassurance on just how long you’ve come
Personally, I use beyondthewhiteboard.com. It’s $3/month but it’s a great web tool/phone app that you can compare numbers with others who use the application. It’s a tool I’ve recorded almost 4 years of workouts with and it provides data/analysis on where my strengths and weaknesses are and how I should attack those weaknesses. Beyond the Whiteboard also provided data analysis for each workout of the 2016 CrossFit Open. Dan Bailey and Julie Foucher are just a couple of athletes that use the tool.
See you at the gym!