Feel like quitting?

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Have you been ever in the middle of a workout and feel like quitting. Don't worry, we have all been there. My wife hates running, in workouts involving running she often wishes a car would hit her so she could stop running. This is common. It is a very rare case that someone will be doing a workout and wanting to do more rounds than is prescribed. This is usually due to scaling the movements too easy. This is part of the mental toughness that Crossfit bestows upon its members. You learn to get comfortable with the uncomfortable and learn how to push through it. You soon realize that the instant the workout ends, all the discomfort and pain goes away. This is usually the moment to have a little talk with yourself saying you could have pushed harder.

Time and experience will make this easier. You will learn to get more comfortable during the workouts. You start to realize that your mind lies to you. Your brain is screaming "I'm hot, I'm sweaty, my muscles are tired." These are all lies. Your body doesn't want to waste resources on working out. It will spew forth a million reasons for you to stop. As soon as you listen to one of those reasons, it has won. You will break again and again after that.

Pain is a different story. If something hurts during the workout, stop. It's going to hurt more once you calm down. NEVER push through the pain. It is better to train year round at 80%, taking a couple days off when you are having a bad day. Versus training at 100%, getting injured, then having to take time off to rehab the injury. If something feels odd, let your coach know. If you really want to continue the workout we can substitute the movement that causes pain with something else.

There are a couple of little tricks you can do to help make the workouts easier to approach. Set numerous small goals and break bigger numbers down. Here is a great little example for an average Crossfitter that most people can relate to. Keep in mind these weights are geared towards men, women would be 70% of the listed weight.

Can you front squat 95 pounds for a set of seven? How about push press it for a set of seven? How about putting the two moves together. It then becomes a thruster. Do 3 sets of 7 of this movement, you then have done the first step of Fran. Now you break the pull-ups into reasonable sets for you. Maybe 3 sets of 7 as well, or if you are not as confident, perhaps, 7 sets of 3. You can do the same with the second round, performing 3 sets of 5 or 5 sets of 3. Finally, 3 sets of 3 for the final round. Congratulations, you just completed Fran. It seems a lot less intimidating when it's broken down like that. For workouts like Isabel and Grace, which is 30 reps for time. Break it up into a set of 5, 4, 3, 2, then 1. Do that twice, and you have your 30 reps done.

Another analogy I use which runners can relate to is running a marathon. If you start off running saying to yourself "only 42 more kilometres to go", it seems so far away. Instead, run the first kilometre, if you want to quit after that, you can. But reaching that first goal will make the next goal seem much more attainable. So thinking it of 42 sets of 1km runs instead of 1 set of 42 km seems much more attainable. Setting small goals boosts your confidence and makes the total work seem easier.

Look at a workout, analyze it, and come up with a plan. STICK TO THE PLAN. I can't stress this enough, start slower than you think, take enough rest between sets to be able to stick to the plan. As soon as you break it will be mentally defeating and it will be easier to break again.

I will use the Fran example again. The first time you did it you did it in 3 sets of 7 for the 21s. Next time try to either take less break between sets, or up it to sets of sets of 4 next time. Once you work your way up to everything unbroken, then we can try to speed up the movements such as starting to butterfly pull-up and pulling the bar down on the thrusters.

Strategizing the workouts is dynamic as well. It gets easier with practice, but sometimes the workout sneaks up on you in an unexpected way. Prepare to come up with a different plan.

Yours in health,

Coach Everett

Crossfit Bytown