What is the most you can do right now to maximize your potential?

Throughout the year we should have checkpoints: times that we address and re-address our short-termgoals and long-term goals. Short-term goals give us motivation for a long-term vision.

For instance, Coach Sam has a goal to string together five muscle-ups by the start of the third quarter.  Most of us would grab a marker and write up “get 5 muscle-ups” on the goal board and hit the muscle-up work really hard when it is programmed in the WOD. We may even tell ourselves that we’ll work on them in open gym on a Thursday or Saturday each week.
In reality, that is extremely vague and unfocused goal and easy to stray away from. Yes, she has a long-term goal of getting five unbroken muscle ups but her short-term goals are really the accomplishments she needs in order to achieve her long-term goal.

Sam knows that there are three short-term objectives she can improve upon and accomplish to help get her goal achieved.  She needs to:

  1. get her body weight down (read: diet in check, lose approx 8-10 pounds of bodyfat),
  2. get her ring dips stronger, both strict and kipping, and more specifically 7-10 unbroken ring dips (strict),  and
  3. improve her muscle up swing efficiency (she knows I’m telling you this stuff, by the way!)

She has laid out a plan to bring her diet in check that includes meal prep, knowing her macros and adding in some solutions to the most common obstacles that keep her from adhering to her diet (a buddy system would be good and a replacement for high calories snacking that happen in the afternoons). She has a way to measure this (bodyweight and body composition) and an estimated time it should take to achieve the goal without losing too much weight too fast, which would affect her strength and overall performance …no bueno!

While she is working on her body weight she will also be implementing more dips in her warm-ups. She will be aiming for 20 dips three times a week for 4 weeks then progress to 30 dips three times a week for 4 weeks and the progression increases. Sam has a plan to work on her swing and only her swing (versus practicing the swing INTO a muscle up) until she feels it is good enough to move in the actual muscle up. She will practice just swinging before her workouts on Tuesdays and Fridays. After her swing is looking and feeling better, which includes grip strength, she will migrate that into how to flow from one muscle up to the next. She is even as detail as to what month she wants to have completed each progression of her swing (short-term goals.)

This is a focused athlete. Someone who is willing to set out goals and accomplish them. Her check-in is her coaching team…honesty is the best policy and when you know your workout buddies care, the truth doesn’t hurt, it helps.

How Can You Be Focused?

We all get distracted throughout the year. You come in to train on Thursday for Open Gym and you want to work on your double unders (since it is a goal of yours) but the class is doing your favorite WOD. It is easy to put off the things you are bad at to throw down in the class WOD with some friends. It is easy to just say screw it and do something fun instead. It’s even easier AND more fun to do things you’re good at and you love…but that leaves your weakness as weaknesses and leaves your goals unmet.   So what matters more to you? Wouldn’t it be awesome to have that victory when those double under come up in a WOD and you can do them because of the hard days? The days when the WOD was enticing but you said no and did your grunt work to reach your goal?

“Hiding from your weaknesses is a recipe for incapacity and error.”                                                                ~Greg Glassman, CrossFit Founder and CEO

Focused means taking action every chance you can to benefit your long-term goal. Each step you take ask your self, “is this step towards or away from my goals?

Setting S.M.A.R.T Goals

Let’s do a little boring education.  It’ll make you better!  Make sure you set S.M.A.R.T. goals. Below is an example of how Sam’s example above can be laid out as a  S.M.A.R.T. goal.

Specific:I want to achieve 5 unbroken Muscle Ups.Target a specific area for improvement and make sure its….(see Measurable).

Measurable: I will set up a WEEKLY ring dip template to perform X amount of reps each week and increasing reps by X every fourth week.You need quanitites or indicators that can be measured.

Attainable: I can currently do the number of repetitions I set for dip goals, so doing three sets of them regularly will be build strength so I can up that repetition number in four weeks! Achievable! Is it possible (or safe or smart?) to lose 10lbs in 1 week?  Make your goals realistic and doable. This way you won’t be defeated if you chose a ridiculously unreachable goal.

Relevant: Having better dips makes it easier to press out of the muscle up from the catch position.  Does your short-term goal affect your long-term goal?

Time-bound: After the first two months I’ll reassess and tie the swing into the full movement.  My body weight will make it easier to swing and press out of the dip.  Can you physically achieve your goal in the amount of time you have set?

Committing & Putting Your Plan In Place

Here’s that fun little NY Times article: How to Start Working Out.  AND, it lists CrossFit!!

And here’s Goal Setting Part 1 if you missed it.

Get your goals on the board and make them known to us so we can help guide you!


Are you doing the most you can right now to maximize your potential?

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