Consistency is Key

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Group of men running

I way lying on my back looking up at the ceiling with my feet flat, resting against the wall. It felt like I had been hit by a truck. I was breathing heavy and had a burning sensation in my hamstrings.

I had just hit the time cap of CrossFit Open workout 17.1 and had done 100 dumbell snatches at 50# and 75 burpee box jumps.

This last week, the CrossFiit Open began. Every year it marks the opening of the CrossFit Games season that culminates in the CrossFit Games mid summer. Last year over 320,000 people signed up for the Open. There are many reasons why CrossFitters participate in the Open but by reason is: Comparing my fitness level to my friends and myself last year (they repeat one workout a year)

I went into this year’s CrossFit Open series expecting big things for myself. I have worked out all year long and have mastered some new movements that had previously eluded me. But I sucked. I landed smack in the middle of the gym despite my experience and longevity in CrossFit.

A set of black bumper weights

What Gets Measured Gets Managed

Over the past year, I worked out almost every weekday but I didn’t improve. The conclusion that I have come to is:  I worked out alone without a long-term programming goal and without motivation from fellow athletes. 

I decided last February that I would work out at the gym on base and save a bit of money. I also had some complaints about how the gym I was attending. So, for 10 months, I worked out alone, without a defined plan, jumping programming every few months as it got hard or I got bored.

There was no schedule and no tracking.

Like the heading says: What gets measured gets managed. I was not measuring my fitness well so it was not measured well.

  1. I didn’t have a consistent plan
  2. I didn’t record or repeat lifts/workouts to measure my improvement or regression
  3. There was carrot or stick to stop me from going through the motions or quitting a workout all together
  4. I had no one else to compete with or gauge my performance off

Constancy Trumps All

A person can only improve their fitness so much every day/week/month. The delta that affects why some advance faster than others is consistency. 

Kobe Bryant: “We are here because of 4 AM..”

I like this video because Kobe speaks of his success in terms of output and sacrifice, not talent and skill.

Most athletes in CrossFit want to be better. Some just want a muscle up, some to compete in the CroffFit Games. Me, I want to be better than last year. All of these goals vary by degree, not category and can be accomplished with consistency.

For me, consistency looks like showing up at the gym 5x a week and putting in hard work. For others, consistency may look like 2 mentions a day and a lifting or endurance workout.

A graph depicting the importance of consistency

My commitment to myself this upcoming year is to work hard every day at the gym. I have a lot of commitments and hobbies outside of CrossFit, so my goal reflects this. I do not want to compete if CrossFit, but to play with my kids when I am older. Stay healthy longer. Look good in a suit. Maintain my masculinity.

What is your goal and how can consistency help you get there?

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