New year, new you? New year, better you! As you plan your fitness goals, we’d like to offer a few simple tips to improve your metcons this year. Maybe you’ll shave off a minute from your Fran time or maybe you’ll add a few rounds to your Cindy score… who knows! Give it a shot!
- Only take breaks when absolutely necessary – no more standing around. As a beginner, taking things slowly in order to get comfortable with the various different movements and how they affect our body and our ability to perform is a wise strategy but as we become more familiar with the workouts it becomes essential that we begin to push the pace. Keeping rest periods short is the number one way to accomplish this. We can’t always move faster (without sacrificing the quality of movement) but keeping the amount of rest to an absolute minimum will ensure that your heart rate not only remains elevated throughout the workout but that you accomplish the maximum amount of work in the given timeframe. Constantly pushing yourself past your perceived limits is one of the best ways to improve not only your physical fitness but your mental fitness as well. The ability to push through physical and mental fatigue is the hallmark of a great athlete. The next time you think you need a break, keep pushing a little longer.
- Put the water down – your body wants more oxygen, not water. Taking a sip of water during a workout doesn’t make you a bad person but it’s important that you avoid using it as an excuse to take an extended break. For a workout that lasts less than 12 minutes, skipping the water entirely isn’t going to kill you. Likewise, a belly full of water when you’re moving around really fast doesn’t usually sit well either. Try to skip the water entirely unless you really think you’re going to die. The truth is even then, that little guy in your head, he’s probably being a bit of a drama queen.
- Stop thinking that the end of each round warrants a rest – it doesn’t. The best way to keep moving is to continue right into the next movement as soon as you finish the round. The end of a round doesn’t warrant a rest. If the clock is ticking, keep on ripping. Pick it up and go – get it done.
- Workout with people who are better than you – they’ll keep you pushing harder and harder. What better way to push the pace than to chase or keep someone behind you during a workout? Being the best at the gym can be difficult. Sure, you beat everyone’s scores but how are you going to get better? If you can check the ego, you’ll know that it’s most effective to learn from those who are better than you. Seek them out and try to train with them a few times a week.
- Stop strategizing so much – just go! Most of those who have been around CrossFit for a while will agree that strategizing too much is often pointless as the plan usually goes to shit anyway. Just focus on staying consistent throughout the workout (i.e. no walking during the run, no wall ball sets less than 10 unbroken, etc.). Don’t confuse this with going all out at the beginning of a workout and then burning out. Pacing is still a very important factor; it does not however, mean you should be moving along at a slow rate. Remember: the goal is to get our heart rate up and maintain it there throughout the workout – high intensity.
- Stop complaining – nobody wants to hear it. Life is generally better when you stop complaining. Progress is the name of the game. Fight for it.