The difference that a year makes. Every time you think that you know something, all you really do is realize how much more you don’t know. Even in the past year it seems like all I have done is start discovering how much more there is to the iceberg. In some cases we find something completely different, and in other cases we start to see how deep the rabbit hole really goes and how important it really is. As I enter 2016 here is the biggest most notable “icebergs” that I take with me from 2015. And as the year goes on, we will keep traveling down some of these “rabbit holes”.
1 – What Are You Training For? Have a goal, have a reason for the journey. Maybe its training for a competition, or working towards a new a certain weight on a lift, or a new run time. But have a reason to show up every day. Write down that goal, Write down three reasons you want that goal and three ways to meet it. Make it realistic, make it attainable, and make it measureable. Not just “I want to get better at double-unders”. Instead I want to string 10 double-unders in the next month. “
2- Warm Up. Your warm up must match the intensity of the workout. I can show up and jump into a WOD sometimes, but it usually takes a round or two to really get going. I started a basic warm up routine I do before every workout and then add things as I need to. And if you don’t have a little sweat going when you finish then you aren’t warmed up yet. It can only lead to better movement and less injuries. The intensity of the warm up should prepare you for the intensity of the workout. As the saying goes “If you enter the ring cold, you leave the ring cold”.
3 – Get Stable. Do dead bugs ,planks, pillars, Turkish Get Ups, and other isometrics. You can never have too much stability
4 – Speed Kills. Learn to move fast. The only way to get faster is to move faster. Functional fitness is about being able to apply your strength. If it takes you 5 minutes to move the weight then you lose the functionality. Your 1RM may be the slowest weight you lift but anything lighter than your 1RM should be moving fast. Google “compensatory acceleration”. Go ahead, Its okay, you might learn something. Move fast. The only thing training slow does for you is make you slow.
5 – Learn to cook. Even if it is only throwing meat on a grill or ingredients in a slow cooker, being able to make your own meals is one of the best ways to manage your diet. When you see what goes in your food you make better choices. Stop eating out so much. Your health and wallet will love you for it.
6-Intensity. Gotta have intensity to get results, gotta have recovery to get results. You have to have rest days, if you never take rest day it means you aren’t going to be able to train as hard as you should.
7 – There is no master program. Find a program and stick with it. Don’t be a cafeteria crossfitter and do one WOD from Invictus and then the next day from Outlaw and then where ever else the next day, all while trying to do an Endurance WOD or Gymnastics WOD sprinkled in. If you do, you will end up as a giant ball of hurt doing nothing but Mobility WODs. Slow Progress is still progress.
8 – Train. Every day is not a 1RM day. Know the difference between training and testing.
9 – Go to Bed. Turn off the TV and go to sleep. 8 Hours. There is no such thing as catching up on sleep, you either got it or you didn’t.
10 – Soreness is an injury. If it hurts there is a reason for it. Your muscles have been damaged, and in most cases this is the type of damage that we want to so can rebuild stronger. Do your mobility, do your warm ups. Everything plays together. If you do a lot of pullups one day, then your lats will be tight and it might be the reason you are missing those squat cleans the next day. If you do Annie one day, and the Overhead squats the next day, then you are going to have to work twice as hard to keep your core tight.
11 – Consistency is the secret to life. Nothing good just happens, you have to work for it. One workout will not make you, and one cheat meal will not break you.
12 – Earn your carbs. Carbs are not the enemy. Too much carbs is the enemy. Your diet should match your activity level. Nutrition is not about being low-carb, but being low crap.
13 – Try a little bit of everything, and worry about nothing. This applies to food, working out and life. If you eat a little of everything you will never eat too much of one thing. If you only ever lift, then get out and run sometimes, or play a new sport. Get out and have an adventure. Happiness comes from the memories we create, not anything we can ever buy at a store.
14 – Don’t be weird. It is important to maintain good nutrition and to have a good training plan, but nothing will drive away friends faster than refusing an invitation because you are on a diet. Your friends may understand if you have a competition coming up that you need to prepare for, or that you are staying away from sweets. But there is a big difference between being a badass and just coming off as an asshole. Have a piece of cake from time to time, just don’t eat the whole thing.
15 – “Don’t do anything by half. If you love someone, love them with all your soul. When you go to work, work your ass off. When you hate someone, hate them until it hurts.” – Henry Rollins
If you made it to the gym you owe it yourself not to half-ass anything. Sometimes giving your all might be a run, other days it might only be a crawl, but you come in for a reason, don’t cheat yourself out of that reason.
16 – Home. So somewhere in the last few years life decided to step on the gas pedal. Sometimes it is all you can do to just get a chance to come up for air. But at the same time you don’t want it to slow down. Family puts things in perspective. At the end of the day all we really have is our health and those around us.