When you’re in a workout, are you moving with a purpose or are you just moving weight? Something I still hear ringing in my ears from my military years is, “Move with intent!” That sentiment relates to CrossFit extremely well. When you’re swinging a kettle bell, are you achieving full, aggressive hip extension every time, or do you glaze over and let the kettle bell take charge for all your reps? How do you make sure you’re not going into autopilot during your workouts?
Ask yourself: what’s the goal of your workout?
Is your goal to get a quality rep or to complete the circuit? If you’re new to CrossFit or are trying to get better at a movement, your goal should be quality reps. If you feel confident in your approach and are trying to beat a previous time, focus on a crisp transition between reps. And remember: even if you’ve done something for a long time, it never hurts to dial it back a little and make sure your form is still in tip-top shape.
If you’re not sure of how you should approach a workout, ask your coach.
Visualize the lift/movement ahead of time.
Try to imagine the sticky parts of your lift and how you’ll move through them. Practicing it in your mind can be the difference between achieving desired results and staying stagnant, because it ensures you have a purpose in the back of your mind every time you come back to your barbell.
Be present and don’t get complacent.
Proper form builds muscle memory, improving accuracy, precision and power output over time, while complacency can result in injury. It’s easy to zone out during a workout, but if you make it a habit to check whether you actually completed a lift (Did you achieve lockout? Did you stand up all the way?), you’re setting yourself up for success now and in the future.
One way to force yourself to be present is to check your breathing. Did you brace? Are you breathing through your lift? It’s easy to forget, but our breath is one of the keys to success and staying injury-free, especially during complicated lifts.
Get yourself psyched.
Figure out what gets you pumped to work hard, even if the WOD isn’t your favorite thing. If you enter a workout with the mentality of “I WILL” rather than “I MIGHT,” you’ve already won half the battle. In the absence of fire, you’ll find “almost.” Our attitude drives us to make each rep better than the last, so give it all you’ve got when you step into the gym.
Next time you’re in here, I challenge you to stay present during every rep, every movement and practice positive self-talk during the WODs. The results will immeasurable.