Any high intensity Training is a major life commitment – Don’t mess around
Anyone ready to start a fitness program should mentally prepare themselves and get in the right mindset to ensure lasting success.
Box’s typically have a high attrition rate and people have a hard time sticking with the program. This is because anything worth having is very hard and most people don’t want it enough.
If you really want to change your life and develop a life-long training program you should prepare yourself with the proper knowledge that will keep you on track.
I have seen far too many great people fall off the wagon. It is a bloody shame because they have the potential to reach their goals if they would just stick with it.
Consistency is then name of the game when it comes to diet and fitness. You have to keep going no matter what. I hope these tips will help you commit to your program wether it is CrossFit or not. These tips can be applied to general fitness as well as any specific training protocol.
1. You Need To Eat Clean
If you want that ripped CrossFit-look you will need to eat a clean diet. Proper nutrition will also propel your CrossFit results to incredible levels. Please do not be a beer-belly CrossFitter; it pains me to see CrossFitters that are not ripped when they can be.
To me, CrossFit equates to being functionally fit and lean and a byproduct of being fit and lean is having a six-pack.
Go Paleo/Primal: It will change your life and give you a six-pack. Check out the Nutrition Resources.
There is no way around nutrition. It is the most important aspect of body composition and health. Make it a priority now and it will pay dividends for the rest of your life.
2. You Need To Work On Mobility
CrossFit is very hard on the body. In fact, for some people it is too hard and not sustainable under certain circumstances. Athletes that eat crap, forgo supplements, and skip work on their mobility cannot sustain long term CrossFit training in my professional opinion. Breakdown of your joints is inevitable; overuse injuries will invariably happen.
For these reasons mobility must be a regular part of your routine:
Work on your static stretches post-WOD and work dynamic mobility before WOD’s.
Active recovery can be defined as engaging in recovery enhancing activities such as ice baths, hot water immersion, Epsom salt baths, self-massage, massage, walking, mobility, supplementation, and proper nutrition.
This includes the first two points so I won’t go there, instead I will focus on the traditional ‘recovery’ methods.
Ice baths in short intervals, under 10 minutes, have shown to improve recovery. I can’t make an exact statement as to their effectiveness as I’ve seen conflicting information from reputable sources (Kelly Startett), but I will suggest you self-experiment and see if it works for you. The same goes for hot water treatments.
I recommend walking and mobility work on a daily basis with more time spent during rest days. When recovering from physical activity walking, jogging, and light movement has shown to speed up recovery as well as improve joint health.
4. You Need Stay Consistent
I’ve owned a CrossFit gym for 3.5 years now. It’s amazing and depressing to see the amount of clients that sign-up, come for a month, and pay for another 5 months – of their 6 month contract – without ever showing up again. This is a routine I see on a daily basis and I wish it wasn’t.
Most people have the “All or Nothing” mentally when it comes to most things in life, especially diet and fitness. They convince themselves that they must come to the gym X days a week or not at all. Is one day a week better than ZERO days a week? The beauty of CrossFit is it’s effectiveness. One day a week is 100% better and more effective than 0 days a week. Same goes for two days a week over one day. For 99% of the population who train CrossFit to improve their general fitness and body comp two days a week is ample training to make steady gains.
Once again: Twice a week of CrossFit training is enough to make steady gains (but 3 is the sweet spot)
That is two hours of the 168 hours in a week. I don’t want to hear any BS excuses about why you can’t or don’t have time; I’ve heard it all. Anything in life worth having takes effort. You must appreciate the journey and the reward. If a ripped physique was easy to have no one would appreciate it and everyone would have it, it would be common and thus nothing special. Different, unique and rare are sought after for a reason.
5. You Absolutely Must Sleep 8+ Hours A Night
Sleep is one of the most important health related things we do as human beings. Do it right, do it consistent, and don’t skimp.
6. You Must Take A Rest Week Every 1-2 Months
I see this ALL THE TIME in my gym. Clients hit plateaus, they get sick, or their numbers degrade. I always recommend a rest week when this happens. Your body will tell you, it will slow, you will feel weak, your PR’s will get worse. This means it is time to take a rest week.
CrossFit is hard mentally and physically. It is hard to sustain on a long-term basis and not have a degradation of your health and fitness. You must have top notch nutrition, recovery, and rest habits.
CrossFit is also very hard to stick to. The large majority of people who do CrossFit do not stick around for the long-term. This could be said of most fitness and health habits in general, but I want to point out that it is even more difficult to stick to a program that is very demanding of your body on a regular basis.
They key is to make a lifestyle change in all areas of your health. These changes will have complementary effects on each other and the more ‘good’ habits you solidify into routine the easier it is to stick with it.
Don’t have all or nothing mentality. If you miss a few days or weeks simply get your ass in the gym (and kitchen).
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