Happy new year! As cheesy as it may sound, the new year is a chance to start over. It’s a chance to be whoever you want to be. The year 2013 has come and gone and all of the shortcomings, unrealized goals, and dreams are history. Those who embrace the new year spirit most will find that they’re likely to meet every goal they establish for themselves, and then some. Having said that, it’s also incredibly important that the goals you set match your ambitions. Lofty fitness goals that don’t align with the type of lifestyle you desire will only lead to disappointment and frustration. And we all know what happens when we become disappointed with ourselves – brownies, cookies, and other tasty pastries become even tastier. Instead, learn to set yourself up for success with reasonable, attainable goals.
CrossFit for Sport vs CrossFit for Training
Legendary CrossFit athlete Chris Spealler recently released a blog talking about CrossFit for Training Purposes and CrossFit for Sport. There is a big-time distinction. It’s important to know the differences and to which category you’d like to belong. To put each into context, Jeremy Kinnick belongs to the “CrossFit for sport” category. Jeremy’s workload is very high and much of his time is spent in the gym working out, mobilizing, or doing skill work that addresses his personal weaknesses. Constant adherence to proper nutrition is essential. The CrossFit for sport category is very time demanding and, in essence, becomes your life. In contrast, “CrossFit for training purposes” utilizes CrossFit as a way to enrich your existing life. Athletes belonging to this category aren’t necessarily interested in competing or setting massive PRs. Instead, the focus is staying in shape to help support other sports and activities, or to simply stay healthy. Being at the gym an hour a day for three days a week is probably plenty.
Picking goals and being proud of them
It doesn’t matter to which category you belong. What does matter is that your goals match the necessary commitments of that category. It wouldn’t make a lot of sense for someone aiming to make it to the Games to not put any effort into changing his/her poor eating eating habits. Likewise, someone CrossFitting merely to stay healthy and in shape wouldn’t need to be at the gym for hours upon hours each day. Those individuals would only be setting themselves up to burn out early during their CrossFitting experience.
Setting the right goals is especially important for those with nutrition-specific goals. Nutrition is probably the hardest aspect of fitness to change. Understand what your goals require and plan accordingly. If you want to go to the CrossFit Games ASAP you probably shouldn’t cheat every week, every two weeks, or even every month. The Games is where the best of the best in the world go to compete, so unless you’re willing to train like the elite, don’t expect to see results like the Rich Fronings and Annie Thorrisdottirs of the world. Cheating every weekend and expecting their results is downright foolish, and will be enough to drive you mad with disappointment and frustration. If you aren’t looking to go the competition route, and CrossFit is more of a way to stay in shape, your nutrition will be held to a slightly different standard. More cheat days would be more acceptable because your goals likely revolve around long term health and fitness rather than next week’s competition or instant results. Very few people will be successful going cold turkey onto a clean and balanced nutrition program. Non-competitors need to set goals that slowly eliminate bad foods from their diet until they are finally ready to start balancing their meals. The all-important balancing step might even take months to get to after setting the initial goal, and that’s okay. Don’t rush into something you aren’t ready for.
The best part is that no one person’s goals are more or less important than anyone else’s. We all have different ideas of how we want to live our lives. Different things make different people happy. As long as a goal is productive and it helps you grow as an individual physically, mentally, or emotionally, it’s something to celebrate. Let’s celebrate the CrossFit Games aspirations. Let’s get excited about performing a pull-up for the first time. Let’s praise losing 10 pounds. They all matter and they are all the first steps to a life of prolonged health and happiness.
We’re starting a Goal Board this year at CrossFit Kinnick. It’s our way of helping to get you motivated about this year. As awesome as CrossFit is by itself it’s even better if we have goals to keep us motivated throughout the year. Write them on the board and embrace them. Odds are several other CFK members have similar goals and ambitions. Take advantage of our amazing community and help keep each other accountable.
Know who you are. Know what you want. Make goals that match those wants. Let’s turn 2014 into the year of the new you! And, as always, your trainers are here to help.