Your habits will usually go unnoticed by you because you are the person doing it. It becomes a routine, something you subconsciously do and it can sometimes takes somebody close to you to point it out. The first step you need to take is to take a step back and acknowledge the fact that you could be doing one of the below 5 things and it is what is holding you back from being a better CrossFitter. If you can’t do this ask your coach they will generally be honest with you. Even though at times it may be something you don’t want to hear they are saying it because they want to help you…
1. Overlooking your mobility
Lack of mobility and flexibility is one thing that definitely holds far too many CrossFitters back! If you’re like most normal people you spend anywhere from 6 to 12 hours a day sitting and working in a bad posture and then expect to rock up to the gym that night or the next morning and perform like a games athlete. I’m afraid to say it but it’s not going to happen! What do I do to combat this… I eat my lunch and dinner while stretching or standing. If I get time to watch TV I will do mobility while watching the TV. I understand that most of my day is spent in bad positions and with bad posture so if I want to perform well and be mobile enough to reach good depth and range of motion in different movements I need to take every available opportunity to undo that time.
2. Becoming reliant on your equipment
Lifting belts, knees sleeves and lifting shoes are part of most CrossFitters kit bags and because of this they see themselves as having to use them all of the time. You can become so reliant on this gear that the one day you forget it you have a freak out and you tell yourself you can’t perform well because you aren’t wearing your shoes, belt or knee sleeves. I see the wearing of this gear as useful for some but it is only a bandaid solution! A weightlifting belt makes up for a weak core, lifting shoes make up for limited mobility and stability and knee sleeves are most of the time a placebo because to be honest a thin piece of wetsuit material is not going to stop a 100kg bar on your back from crushing your knees if you don’t squat correctly.
3. Not setting or having clear defined goals
Setting goals should be a fundamental part of your training.
“When a man does not know what harbour he is making for, no wind is the right wind" Seneca
You can do all of the training you like but if you do not know where you’re trying to go or what you’re trying to do it can become frustrating because you seem to be staying stagnant. We do so many different things in CrossFit training that I find it hard to believe that somebody cannot think of a goal they want to work towards. There are so many. Pick one dedicate some time to it and get the results!
We regularly send out goal forms to our members so they can identify what it is they want to achieve and those who do we can help get there. These are the people who reach their goals. Those who don’t fill out the form seldom get there and we cannot help them because we don’t know what they want.
4. Not keeping track of your progress
If you asked me right now I could tell you what my 1RM back squat was my fran time and my filthy fifty time. Why did I do this…
I do this because it gives me a benchmark. Every time I step into the gym I had something to beat or to strive for. I know what I have previously done and what it was going to take to beat that. It serves as a daily reminder of where I am and what I need to do each day to reach my goals. This is a big motivator and if you aren't currently doing it START NOW! I guarantee it will be a game changer for you too!
5. Thinking food has no effect on performance
You don’t put diesel in your petrol car and expect it to run well so why would you put bad food into your body and expect a good performance when you train?
If you find that your performance isn't quite where you want it to be at the box and you’re doing everything else right, mobility, good movement patterns, showing up most days, listening to your coach, then it could pay to take a look at what you’re putting into your mouth. The one question you need to ask yourself before you eat something is…
Will eating this help me reach my goal of (insert your goal here)... If the answer is no then have some self control and don’t eat it. If your goal is something you truly want it should not be a hard decision to take your nutrition seriously. Nobody will ever force you to eat or drink things that aren't good for you so learn to say NO when the temptation arises. You only get out what you put in!