Sunday 2.27.11

How do we develop this kind of attitude with our fitness?

Work Towards Something

Most of us who have been around the fitness game for 10 years or more can recall a time when everything was going right:  your training was going well and PR's were dropping left and right, your nutrition was on point and dialed in, and your body composition reflected your success.  But most of us never maintain that level of fitness for many reasons.  Some people get injured, jobs change, schedules change;  life just gets in the way.  

Whatever the reason is, most fitness enthusiasts lose motivation and drive after a while.  Things get stale, they get bored, and they give up the habits that got them to where they wanted to be.  Then late at night they see the Shake Weight ad, or P90x, or whatever new fitness fad pops up and gets them motivated again.  Then they're back in the gym and the cycle repeats itself.  I remember when I used to train at a big chain gym that I would see the same people over the years and they always looked the same.  They never got better and some actually got worse.  They would be in the gym for a few months, then they were gone for a few months.  They'd come back renewed and rejuvenated only to quit again after a few weeks.  

Why do people in general have a hard time maintaining their focus and determination when it comes to our health and fitness?  I'd like to say that I have the answer but I don't.  What I can do is look at my own experiences and tell you what always worked for me, and that is having something to to train for.  

Two years ago I decided I wanted to get as lean as I could for our family trip to Tahoe.  I was highly disciplined and got my body fat levels low enough for a four pack.  I never reached my goal, of a full six pack, but because I was working towards a goal I got to the leanest I had ever been.  Tahoe came and went, I had a good time, but afterward I relaxed a little (okay a lot) and my four pack smoothed out and was gone.

About a year and a half ago I decided to train for a few half marathons.  I sucked at running when I started training, but I used CrossFit Endurance principles and by my second half marathon I had gotten down to a pretty respectable time of 1:45:00, which isn't bad for a 240 pound athlete.  But after my second race I did not maintain my running, and now I'd be happy if I could run a 5k without stopping to rest.

What I came to realize is that absent a goal, my training was less intense and my drive and motivation were severely lacking.  I got to thinking, why can't we always have a goal to work toward?  For example, I am going to Hawaii in two months.  From now until then my goal will once again be body composition so I don't make anyone ill on the beach.   This means my nutrition will have to be dialed in.  When I get back, I am toying with the idea of signing up to compete in the Highland Games in the summer.  This is a competition similar to a strongman competition but in kilts.  My training will then be as intense as possible and my nutrition will change to support my athletic goals.

So how about you?  How dialed in would your diet be if you knew you had to take pictures in a bathing suit for all the world to see in a month?  How focused would you be on your strength work if you could win a huge cash prize for deadlifting twice your body weight by summer?  Or on the opposite end of the spectrum, how much effort would you give if you had no goal and you just went through the motions every day?  Probably not much, or at least no where near what you are capable of.

Whether it be Vacaville's annual Loop the Lagoon, the Tough Mudder race, a half marathon like the Shamrock'n Half crew is working toward, if you want to attempt to compete at the CrossFit Games regionals, or if you just want to add 20 pounds to your CrossFit Total, having a goal to train toward will focus your efforts and give you that drive and determination that you need every day at The Compound.  And the beauty of it is that the programming at The Compound will help you achieve any goal, with some minor tweaks to nutrition, recovery, and additional work (like the CFE stuff going on right now).  If you have a specific goal, talk to a trainer about how to make The Compound programming work for you.

So what are you training for?  Post your goals here and let people know!  bc


  1. I would like to drop 25-30 pounds..but I want to be able to keep my strength while doing it.I know my diet needs MAJOR amounts of work.I will do well for a few days then I will be walking out of the grocery store and get "forced" to buy girlscout cookies. Will somebody please come and cook and prepare my meals for me?

  2. Was looking at the board the other day and noticed the spot we put our goals was empty. Got to thinking what are my fitness goals and why am I here. I continue to show up at The Compound for several reasons. (1) Results! Have never been able to achieve and MAINTAIN my current fitness levels anywhere else. It all boils down to me following the direction of people who know whats up. (2) Younger people have more energy than most people my age(motorin' the exception)Plus you guys are just fun to be around. So commradery, its way easier to stay motivated with people who share a common interest and we are everywhere! Have trained at 5 different boxes and was always welcomed with open arms. (3)Programming that is constantly changing. I just dont get bored with it. To be honest most days Im intimidated, but when I try something new and improve on it down the road it just feels awesome. So what are my keep coming back, support the newbies the way I was supported, to maintain and improve this level of overall fitness and contribute to the common good of our box. See ya'll Monday:) Oh..Matt, no sugar and no white flour for 10 days..Have kept 40 lbs. off for two years now.Maintain that weight by," eating meat and vegetables,nuts and seeds,some fruit little startch. keep intake levels that will support exercise but not body fat". Also drink a boat load of water.Do I have cheat days..sure do and have a couple beers on some days but boy do I feel better than several years back!

  3. WOD:
    400m run
    40 burpees
    400m run
    30 burpees
    400m run
    20 burpees
    400m run
    10 burpees
    Forgot my timer....

  4. Well said, Doug. Matt, I'm gonna try and do the same over the next couple months. It's gonna suck!

  5. My goals are almost the opposite of everyone else's, and I know this is going to sound annoying, but I would like to be able to PUT ON 20-25lbs. My metabolism is through the roof, and I need to be diligent with eating, and eating a lot. Specifically I want to be 200+ lbs, with a 1000# total, but be strong enough in my metcons to do Helen sub 10. I am hoping to start doing strength training two days a week to bring up my lift numbers.

  6. So many Goals so little time...
    Okay so my main goal is loose another 10 pounds( i finally lost all Abigail and Brookes baby weight =)) and increase my overall strength.I want a bigger back squat,deadlift and the ability to string a few pull ups together. I feel so much better than i did even just a few months ago with getting into the Compound more regularly and running for the Half marathon next month. Everybody at The Compound motivates me every day. The Coaches and Members are such an amazing group of people.I am so happy to be a part of this family and community.