Pay Attention to YOU!
CrossFit is a sport now & maybe a very lucrative one based on some crazy rumors I’ve heard in regards to this next years games. So is this going to change people’s thinking as they plan their training. CrossFit is also very competitive and as athletes all of us have more then likely compared ourselves to another athlete. But is that the best thing? It’s always nice to have that rabbit to chase but sometime it can be destructive. It can be depressing to see someone always beating you and your pride will get in the way. This is why I always tell my athletes to keep record of all of their times and weights. So even though you might compare yourself to someone, you can still be positive and see your improvements! And it goes without saying, stay away from steroids. Our success are built my hard work, not pharmaceuticals. Here is a good article by Greg Everett on this topic.
It’s human nature to compare ourselves to others in a multitude of respects, from athletic abilities to hair styles. It’s also natural to rationalize away the source of our failures, inabilities or shortcomings in ways that mitigate the sting and comfort our delicate egos. These habits are reinforced by community behavior until they’re all but invisible. This process eventually transforms into a defeatist attitude, which only fuels the process further until failure is virtually guaranteed.
Before we continue, understand that this is not meant to suggest that competition or the evaluation of an athlete relative to others is inherently problematic. Comparison among athletes is what competition is, and the effects of competition on performance and mental fortitude are invaluable. This discussion is concerned specifically with excusing your own failure to achieve your goals by citing what others are doing or have done.
To put this in the context of athletic performance, we’ll use the sport of weightlifting. Not just because I’m a fan, but because it happens to involve exactly the circumstances to foster the above described attitude.
On a personal level, it’s easy to become discouraged with your own training when focusing on the performances of more advanced lifters. I’m frequently compelled to remind my lifters, particularly early on, that it’s important they compete with themselves, not the other lifters in the gym. It’s remarkable to me how discouraged lifters can become watching another lifter or looking at numbers on the record board when those lifters have made dramatic gains, often far greater than those of the lifter to whom they’re comparing themselves. This is simply a matter of maintaining perspective and reminding yourself that you started at a different time, a different initial level, have different strengths and weaknesses, and that the only performance you have control over is your own. You can get wrapped up in the abilities of others and get frustrated, or you can focus on your own abilities, watch them improve, and use your own progress as continued motivation.
This is not to say that it can’t be useful to have models or heroes. Having lifters whom you admire, whom you want to emulate, and who inspire you can be immensely helpful. However, this is different than becoming obsessed with the abilities or progress of such an individual and feeding feelings of inadequacy. This is far from productive and can have a profoundly limiting effect on your motivation, your commitment and your enthusiasm for training.
I’m not going to say that if you work hard enough, you can achieve anything, because that’s simply untrue. This is not cynicism or self-defeatism—it’s fact. The truth is that with enough hard work, commitment, and consistency, you can achieve your full potential; this is very different, and this detail trips up many athletes.
While there is inarguably a significant mental element to the sport of weightlifting, there is a more significant physical element. I tell my lifters that weightlifting is 90% mental—if you have 100% of the necessary strength. No amount of focus, determination or visualization of success will make up for inadequate physical capabilities; it will only aid in their development and recruitment. In this respect, these things are critical. But don’t make the mistake of believing they’re magic.
On a grander scale, US weightlifters have collectively stumbled into a rut. We don’t win and we’re way behind. There are some in the community who are optimistic and believe we will turn it around and make a comeback. And there are some who are convinced there is no way for us to compete internationally because of the circumstances in which we find ourselves: underfunded, unrecognized and out-drugged.
This is a topic about which I have some strong opinions, but the thought of putting them all down at this moment is a bit daunting. I will give them their due in another article. I addressed some of this in this article, but it deserves a more expansive treatment.
The short version is this: We are not on a level playing field, but that doesn’t mean it’s hopeless and we need to resign ourselves to poor performances. Even if every single non-US weightlifter were using drugs, it’s possible for us to become competitive again, but it will take dramatic changes to the way we recruit and develop athletes, and a significant increase in our athlete pool. None of these things is an easy or quick change, and all would take a coordinated effort by a great number of people over a considerable period of time.
At the same time, it needs to be acknowledged that with the current state of things, we will not be fielding world-caliber medalists with any regularity—the system is simply not in place. And the drug issue is very real. I honestly find it baffling that people even argue about whether or not top lifters in the sport are using or have used drugs. The tests and suspensions are right there to be seen by everyone, and it should be quite obvious that this is not nearly representative of the scope of use. If drug use adds 10-15% to an athlete’s lifts, it explains a large portion of the gap. Is this the only thing separating us from the rest of the world? Of course not. But it also can’t be ignored, just like no other elements can be ignored.
Without getting into those details, the take-home point is that there is no use in getting wrapped up in what the guy on the next platform or the rest of the world is doing. Focus on what you’re doing, what you can do, and what you can do better. Be ambitious; use your heroes as models without stripping yourself of merit unless you can duplicate their performances; let your competitors push you without demoralizing you; set goals that require a great deal of dedication and hard work; and then make the commitment and put in the work.
WU: Tabata planks / tabata hollow rocks
OHS Wall stretch/& keg stretch
Sump Deadlift High Pull
- II: 55/35
- I: 35/20 (KB/DB)
Lunge 50 steps 10 push ups, 40/20, 30/30, 20/40, 10/50
WOD: As Many Rounds As Possible in 20 min
- Farmers Walk (street and back) III: 55/35 II: 35/20 I: 20/12.5
- Run (street and back)
- 10x Back squats III: 135/95 II: 115/75 I: 95/65
- Run (street and back)