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At CrossFit Askal, we designate a special area on the whiteboard for our members to write their goal(s) and every month we encourage them to think of new goals to conquer. Goals can be something as simple as getting 8 hours of sleep a day, getting your first pull up or beating your 1 mile time. It’s a great way to motivate and push our athletes to continually accomplish new things and holds them accountable. We also have a “PR” (Personal Records) area where our members can list their accomplishments.
Month after month, I see our athletes list their goals. For example, take a look at last month’s Goal Board:
- Increase more fiber in my diet (I’ll admit, this one is mine)
- Bar Muscle Up
- Pull Ups
- Rope Climbs
- Place [on the podium] at a competition
- Mobility + Health + Eat & Sleep
- Handstand Push
- Muscle Up
These are all very good goals and each month goals very similar to these are repeatedly written on the board however, often these goals are not accomplished. Why?
Who’s guilty of setting “empty” goals? Maybe “empty” is not the proper word. Maybe you had great intention to conquer these goals but simply forgot about them? Admit it, we all do this.
So how can we fix this? The next time you set a goal ask yourself the following questions:
Is the goal specific?
Let’s take pull ups as an example. How many would you like to be able to complete? Assisted or non-assisted? By what date? If you have been doing ring rows, maybe your goal is to do one or two pull ups with a (specific color) band. Or perhaps you would like to do a specific workout without assisted pull ups (“Fran”, anyone?)
Is the goal realistic?
Make sure the goal is attainable within that month. If you come to a conclusion that your goal isn’t break it down into smaller goals or steps. For example, if your goal is to do a handstand push up but you are unable to do a handstand, you might want to divide that goal into smaller ones. It would look something like this:
May Goal: 1 solid handstand hold
June Goal: 1 handstand with head target 12 inches off the ground (you would be stacking abmats underneath your head)
July Goal: 10 handstands with head target 12 inches off the ground
August Goal: 5 handstands with head target 10 inches off the ground
September Goal: 5 handstands with head target 8 inches off the ground
You would continue setting small, realistic goals that would take you one step closer to achieving your overall goal. Keep in mind, there is more than one way to achieve the example goal above and any goal.
Keep in mind your mobility too. If your goal is to do a handstand but have tight wrists and/or shoulders, you will need to address that first and implement it as a goal within the first stage.
Do you have a plan?
“A goal without a plan is just a wish.”
You can’t set a goal without a plan of attack. Sit down and write down a game plan. If you are set on achieving your first unassisted strict pull up, what kind of homework will you do to get yourself there? For example, a few months back this was my goal and my game plan was to do pull up work 2-3x week depending on how I felt. It looked very similar to this:
Mondays: Negative pull ups
Wednesdays: Ring Rows and Face Pulls
Fridays: Assisted pull ups with the band
Reps and numbers varied on my workouts and how I was feeling. I have tendonitis on my left elbow so I always err on the side of caution and did a ton of mobility too.
SO WHAT NOW?
Ask a coach
Feeling overwhelmed or simply don’t know what plan of action to take? This is where coaches come in—simply grab a coach either before or after class and ask for some guidance. They are very knowledgeable and can help you create a road map to conquering your goal.
Grab a pen and paper…
.. or preferably your workout journal and put your thoughts onto paper and put them in action. Think about the above questions and write down your answers.
Grab a buddy
Do you have a friend that can keep you on check? Ask them to help keep you accountable. Or perhaps you know someone who has similar goals- buddy up and work on your homework together.
For most of you who are competing at Battleground South Bay, this will be your first CrossFit competition. Perhaps it may even be the first competition ever in your life. We are very excited for you and hope you are just as excited as we are. As we get closer to competition date, here are a few tips on how to prepare for your competition.
- Continue working out as you would. If you have developed a game plan and/or training schedule with your coach, follow it.
- Taper your workouts as you get closer to the day of the competition. I recommend taking a day or two off prior to the competition and instead focus on mobility and form.
- Address any mobility issues.
- If the competition workout is pre-released, take advantage of reviewing the workout, standards and any additional details of the competition. Make sure you are prepared for those movements and work on any weaknesses.
- Get adequate rest and sleep.
- If you haven’t done so, dial in your nutrition. If you need help with this, please see a coach.
- Prepare for the impossible and be sure to pack your gym bag. Some items I suggest packing:
- wrist wraps
- knee or elbow sleeves
- weight belt
- extra hair ties/pins/headbands (for the ladies)
- mobility tools (lacrosse ball, massage sticks, foam rollers, pvc, etc)
- athletic tape
- jump rope (for warm up)
- extra underwear (hey, you never know!)
- extra shirts
- extra shorts
- extra shoes
- extra socks
- shaker bottle
- Prepare food. Food vendors at a competition are not guaranteed and if there are any, there is usually a long line and the food might not be the most beneficial for an athlete. Pack food items your body is already familiar with (do not experiment and eat something new the day before or of the event!) Examples include:
- plenty of water
- coconut water (or electrolyte supplement)
- carbs (baked tubers, Vitargo, fruit, steamed rice, etc)
- lean protein source (ex grill chicken)
- roasted veggies
- nuts or almond butter
- Food bars (ex. Perfect Foods Bar, Epic Bars, etc)
- protein powder
- Most importantly, be prepared to have fun!
If you have any other advice to add to this list, please share and comment below!