What’s Your Mentality?

What’s Your Mentality?

Your Daily Approach to Training

There is always more than one way to skin a cat. Heard that phrase before? If you over the age 30 anyway. There is always more than one approach or way to do things. It’s only the test of time that proves the theoretical approaches as optimal or not. 

Every new athlete has millions of thoughts, questions, and emotions running through their head.

“What weight do I use?”

“What’s a snatch?”

“Where are the boxes?”

“Icky Shuffle???”

“What’s the coach’s name again?”

“What did I get myself into?!?!”

It’s easy to get lost in all these thoughts, until you’ve been taught how to navigate class and the situations. You’re taught how to execute the movements, and you’re taught how to modify movements. Each day you come you feel a little more comfortable and face slightly new situations. You have less frantic thoughts, you have less questions and have less anxiety with each day at the gym. 

Learning the movements is the bare minimum and basics. Learning the stimulus of the workout is a whole other level. That’s why the coach is there. But learning the approach takes cognitive awareness in yourself. This. Takes. Time. Knowing you as an athlete is huge. Just like your pre-pubescent age of learning how to deal with ever changing emotions, peer pressure, and caught up in the caddy school drama. 

Each day you have a mentality. Is it about making everything happen at once? Or are you building for the long run? The athlete’s training age will illustrate this.

What’s training age? I often tell new members who get caught up in trying to go RX too soon or struggle with the idea that they aren’t where everyone else is. I tell them “you are in your infancy of CrossFit”. Training age is how long someone has been working out or training in general but more specifically in that particular methodology.

Every one’s journey is different and starts in a different place.

The new young rookie athlete tries to build everything fast and build that stack super high. The experienced with the right mindset builds a wide base, adding a couple bricks (workouts , movements) each day with strong mortar.(consistency, technique) They build a foundation!

“How tall is a pyramid? As wide as it’s base”- Louie Simons

The tall stack that was built in one day will get blown over at the first gust of wind. The wide brick-comprised base will stand the test of time. Every day training should be about soldifying you as an athlete and trying to get just a little better each day. This sets you up for longevity in training. Rushing technique and weights results in bad habits, injuries and a weak foundation.

The next time you’re in the gym ask yourself. Is this a testing day or a training day? Training days lay bricks and mortar to help us achieve a greater level of fitness. Testing is when we’ve see if our fitness has progressed. 

For example, we program “Jerry” twice a year. 1st to set a benchmark time, 2nd a couple months later to beat it. Or when we do 7×1 BSQ every 4 weeks with linear progression over the course of weeks. These are times to test, these are times to flirt with the line of failure. You can not take this approach to training everyday. You will not survive. 

Get Better Each Day.

We need to do both. Both are important and have their place. With that said it should be a 80/20 split. Eighty percent of the time we are building and not redlining. Twenty percent of the time we are REALLY pushing it and seeing what we are capable of.

Next time you look at the whiteboard ask yourself is this a building day or a testing day? 

*PS.-If you don’t know, ask the coach.

Nick Carignan

CrossFit 8 Mile