Sometimes when we have been working on a goal, or investing in a project for quite some time, we might find ourselves in “auto pilot” and relying on the hopes that simply showing up will result in progress. “I’m doing all the programming, and I’m coming 4-5 times a week–why am I not making progress?” Yes, showing up is important, but what about when we’re already here?
There are a couple of ways to address this question, and the short answer is that it takes more than just showing up. Your coaches have some tips for being able to continue seeing progress in your fitness, in order to avoid boredom or a sort of “plateau”.
Focus on each movement or task as if it were just as important as a new PR attempt. Approaching every portion of your CrossFit class with this much care and attention will assure that you are making the most of your one hour that day! Warm up with intention to get your blood flowing for an hour of movement. Mobilize with intention to prepare your muscles and joints, and likewise, attack every burpee in your workouts just like your first one! Also, when something is not on your “enjoyable parts of CrossFit list”, take a breath, and take a pass on the doubts, groans and complaints; they won’t help you get better or more fit!
The movements that you don’t want to do, are probably the ones you should be working on most. If doing that couch stretch is just dreadful, or you just can’t overcome the idea of double-unders in a workout, that is a sign that you may need some extra time and focus on those areas. One benefit of CrossFit is its ability to address functional fitness through a wide variety of movements. Given that you do not have an injury or limitation, spending extra time outside of class, or in personal training sessions can keep propelling you towards progress.
Attempt it before you shut it down. Your coaches will give you the proper guidance for progressing in weight (e.g., add another 5 lbs, or stay at that weight) or movement pattern (e.g., kipping knees to elbows to kipping toes to bar). Trust in yourself, just as much you trust your coaches! You have put in the work day in and day out, so why not attempt the next step up, rather than settling for what’s within your comfort zone? Take that extra 1/2 step up every so often, and with coach guidance, and you will definitely be on your way to some gains. Besides, if you were just always successful at a task or comfortable with it, how much are you actually progressing?
Give yourself the time for proper recovery. “Recovery” mainly happens outside of the box–this is not just about catching your breath after a grueling WOD. Proper recovery includes factors such as adequate hydration levels, eating nutritious foods that meets our body’s needs, sleeping at least 7.5-8 hours a night, and also, not over-training. It sounds like a lot to take on if we haven’t ever really prioritized “recovery” methods, but building small habits throughout the day or week can help make these just another part of your daily routine. Read more on recovery here.
So–still thinking about why you haven’t met a fitness goal–big or small–in months? Just remember the few tips it takes to continue progressing. It takes more than just showing up, though, that certainly is the FIRST step!