Categorized as: MOTIVATION

Stop. Take a Deep Breath. Enjoy The Process

Instant gratification, everyone’s deepest desire. Everyone always focuses on the end game or the results but what about the process of getting there?

I want to tell you about an experience I just had recently that took place in, you guessed it, the gym.
It was a Tuesday, I was coming back from an off-day and during the group class I glanced up at the board to read the workout and the conditioning piece screamed bloody murder in black and white. I love working out, I love fitness, but the first thought that came into my mind was “let’s get this over with and I’ll feel great afterward”. I was having a crappy day but I knew I had to work out.

Then something hit me, I realized I was being negative about the whole situation. I stopped, thought about it, and took a different approach.

I decided I was going to take each exercise, each rep, each set and make it very intentional. I refrained from thinking about what was ahead of me and shifted my primary focus on what I was doing in the present moment.

I got this idea from a book I’m  currently reading a book titled Tools of Titans by Tim Ferris, and in the book, I came across a page about a fitness guru that shared one of their breathing techniques. He describes a technique he using during training where he takes a certain amount of breaths depending on the number of reps he performs for that exercise.

For example, If you are doing 5 sets of 10 Deadlifts, you’d perform 10 Deadlifts, then take 10 full breaths, then perform 10 Deadlifts over again until all 5 sets are completed.

Flashing back into my workout, the requirement was  I would perform 5 overhead presses, so I followed that up with my  5 deep breaths, 7 power snatches, followed by 7 deep breaths, finished with 9 wall balls, and 9 deep breaths. I kept this strategy throughout the entire 15-minute duration of the workout. This technique not only increased my performance physically but gave me a natural high mentally and let me tell you, I enjoyed every second of it.

Looking back, I feel this technique not only increased my performance physically but gave me a natural high mentally that let me enjoy every second of the workout. 

This philosophy can be transferred outside of fitness and directly into everyday life. Take a step back, take a deep breath, and enjoy the moment. If you’re taking college courses stop every so often and take a deep breath during class instead of desperately rushing towards a degree. Stop, take a deep breath and enjoy the process of building a new business instead of day dreaming about the millions you want to make.  Enjoy the page your reading in your current book and soak in that knowledge instead of rushing to complete another book on your checklist.

One step at a time, control what you can control, and embrace the process of doing it. In the end, we all have choices and decisions to make, if you catch yourself rushing through something, rewind a little bit and remind yourself, you chose to do this, so enjoy it.

You can read more of Coach Brett’s work on his blog HERE.

Compete To Better Yourself

Competing against others in the CrossFit realm is very unique. Everyone comes from different backrounds, has different body types, and excels at different movements/workouts. Competing against others in good fun pushes both you and the next closest person to reach a higher level of fitness. Never should you beat yourself up over not performing as well as others, nor should you ever boast of finishing ahead of others – That right there takes out the fun of competing. Remind yourself you’re doing this for your fitness and happiness. 

Here’s some tips in regards to competing against others:

  • Pick a person in class that is just slightly more fit than you are.
  • Do your best to keep up with that person during the workout -but never try to cut corners – good technique is paramount.
  • After the workout make an effort to cheer and congratulate your classmates for working their butt off. You’re in it for a good time!

What is equally rewarding as competing with your classmates is competing against yourself! Now you may be confused about this term but I’ll help you to start competing against yourself. Competing against yourself is simple. Tell yourself you’re going to get X amount of rounds or reps. Tell yourself you’re going to finish in a certain amount of time. Tell yourself before you start that you’re going to go unbroken on that set of burpees. Competing with yourself must start before you even start the workout as you must place expectations on yourself. One strategy would be to set the bar somewhat low if you’re just starting to do this. In the beginning it might be, “my goal today is to finish this workout”. As you progress and know capacities better, that goal mi ght transform into, “my goal today is to finish 3 minutes before the time cap.” 

3 TIPS TO BUILD MENTAL TOUGHNESS

As an endurance athlete, I’m sometimes asked where I find the most challenge during an event. Is it the swim portion, elbowing for room through a pandemonium of competitors? Is it the bike as I strive to maintain my pace through a series of hills, or is it the run, the final stretch?

Without hesitation, I always answer the mental game is where I find the most challenge and reward.

I have experimented with focused breathing exercises to relax my mind before an event. I’ve used some of these techniques to relax my body and limber before the starting line, as well as urge a shot of energy the moment my body wants to back down.

Yet, as an amateur athlete who’s gone from a complete newbie to placing in the top three in my age group, I’ve been unable to maintain gains beyond certain strength and stamina thresholds.

From consulting numerous nutritionists to incorporating a variety of strength training programs, these barriers have persisted. Had I reached certain impassable thresholds in my physiology, or were they perceived? Was there no way around them, or did I simply lack the key? Read More…