10 Tips For Making the Most of Your Workouts
1. Track Your Workouts
How can you know if you have gotten better if you don’t know what you have done?
I started lifting weights in high school for sports and one of the first things we were taught is that we need to track our workouts. We were all given a notebook and were required to keep detailed entries of our results.
At CrossFit Dark Horse we do you one better than a notebook; we give you access to WodTogether, a program that tracks your workouts, lifts, personal bests, and much more! If you aren’t tracking your workouts, you are doing yourself a massive disservice. One of the best rewards in fitness is being able to see your improvement. If you don’t track what you do in the gym, then you’ll never get the satisfaction of seeing your own progress.
Even if you have no desire to be a top level athlete or competitor, you’ll feel great looking up a workout you did a while ago to see that not only did you use a heavier weight, but you finished the workout a minute or two faster.
2. Be Great At The Basics
Don’t worry about the advanced gymnastics and weightlifting movements before mastering the basics and developing the appropriate mobility, technique and strength for them. Move well and live well.
It’s better to do it light and do it right! There’s nothing impressive about someone struggling to move a lot of weight with poor form. Better to take some weight off and do a movement correctly because it will serve you much more in the long run. You won’t be building the proper strength you need to consistently lift more and more weight if you aren’t using proper form.
3. What You Eat Is More Important Than How Much You Lift
This topic could be an entire blog post in and of itself but we’ll keep it simple for now. EAT REAL FOOD. The prescribed CrossFit diet is pretty spot on: “Eat meat and vegetables, nuts and seeds, some fruit, little starch, and no sugar.”
Not sure what to eat or how much to lose weight or gain muscle or otherwise achieve your fitness goals, just give us a call and we will let you know how our custom nutrition coaching and programming can help.
Quality matters. Avoiding pesticide soaked fruits and vegetables matters. Where your food comes from matters. Support sustainable food practices, and humanely raised meats. A cow that spent it’s life roaming around eating grass is healthier than a cow that was confined to a stall and forced to live an unnatural life pumped full of antibiotics; that difference matters. Better to pay the farm now, than the pharmacy later.
4. Food Over Supplements
See #3 above and remember that supplements are exactly that, things used to supplement an already good diet. Don’t worry about supplementation before getting that diet dialed in.
5. Ask Questions
There’s no such thing as a stupid question at Dark Horse. We do our best to explain what’s needed for class as clearly as possible, but we know that people learn different ways and have different experience levels.
We’re here to make sure you have the best experience and that you constantly learn new things and make progress toward your goals. Whether your question is related to diet, a workout, your goals, weight loss, or fitness in general, don’t hesitate to ask, we here to help!
6. Don’t Be A Stranger
One of the great things about being a member at CFDH is that there are people here from all walks of life, with all sorts of different careers; all people that may otherwise have never met. Get to know the people you see in class, because odds are you’ll make some really great friendships. Some of my closest friends are people I met through CrossFit, including my wife and our mutual friend who married us!
Remember, all of the work you do in the gym won’t pay off if you don’t allow your body the time it needs to rebuild and recover, so enjoy your rest days! Rest day doesn’t have to mean sitting on the couch! Check out last week’s post for some great ideas of things to do outside and make a Saturday or Sunday morning an active rest day.
8. You Can’t Rush Fitness
True health and fitness don’t happen overnight. And it’s just as much about the journey as it is the destination. True health and fitness is a lifestyle. Each workout leaves you stronger than you were the day before.
Don’t believe me? Start logging your workouts, and repeat a workout in a year and check out the progress I guarantee you’ll see!
9. Train Your Weaknesses
Need a muscle up? How about perfecting that snatch? Spend some time in open gym working on them or book a couple of private sessions with your favorite coach. What better place to work on getting better at things that cause you problems than open gym with your buddies.
For example, avoiding workouts with double-unders because you can’t do them will only ensure that they’re something you can’t do.
My wife used to really struggle with double-unders; I mean really really struggle. Until one day she just decided that there’s no reason why she shouldn’t be able to do them. So for 10 minutes after every class, she would layer up with sweatpants and a sweatshirt to guard against the whip marks and practice. At first the goal was just stringing 2 together doing 20 sets of two perfectly; then sets of 5, and then once sets of 5 were easy, sets of 10, and so on. In a short time, she was regularly doing sets of 50 and now they’re her favorite thing to do and she can string 130 together at one time!
When you’re ready, compete! It’s fun and you don’t have to be ready for the CrossFit Games. There are several competitions with “fun” divisions designed for beginners who can’t do advanced movements. A really great way to get your competition toe wet is to find a partner style competition with a “fun” division.
Doing competitions with a buddy is the best because you get to share the work and you have someone right there with you helping you out. Ask a coach about local competitions much smaller in scale coming up. We’re there for you!
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