Back To Basics Part 2: How To Workout Better
"Working Out" … Just do the stuff that's on the board, right? That is one way to do it ... below we'll go over three ways to work out BETTER! [If you missed Part 1, it's on how to recover better after the workout, and you can read that HERE]
Choosing Your Intensity
Not Good: SEND IT every single workout (100% intensity every workout)
Good: Go 80% intensity every single workout
Better: SEND IT 100% on some workouts, and go 80% on others
Best: Some workouts 100% intensity, some 80%, and some 60%
Why: One of the most misunderstood aspects of high intensity fitness is that not every workout should be "intense". Lets say for example I workout 5 days per week, I would choose the following breakdown: 2 workouts at 100%, 2 workouts at 80%, and 1 workout at 60%. Why? Two main reasons. First, you need to differentiate between practicing, training, and competing. Practicing is done at 60% intensity, training is done at 80% intensity, and competing is done at 100% intensity. Most people skip the practicing at 60%. This is where you really develop good movement mechanics, develop better mind-muscle connections, and really reinforce proper habits so they become second nature when you increase the intensity. A hallmark of skipping practice is when someone increases intensity their movements get sloppy. Thankfully we have coaches who can step in to prevent an inbound injury! Second, your central nervous system (CNS) controls your muscles and plays an important role here. Depending on your level of fitness and how you scale your workouts, your CNS can fatigue if you go too intense too often. What the heck does that mean? It is defined as a reduced ability to maximally activate a muscle, and really means that your brain is tired and cannot send impulses to your muscles fast enough for them to go 100%. It's like driving with the parking break on. Not only are you going slow, you are wondering what is going on! This is another important reason why you should not go 100% all the time ... it's not just your muscles that get tired ... your brain needs a rest too! If you aren't sure how to modify the workout intensity, ask a Coach!
Choosing Your Scaling/Modifying
Not Good: Always going above your level (too heavy, too technical)
Good: Always going below your level (too light, too simple)
Better: Picking from each of the levels to do what is best for YOU on this specific workout
Best: Let your coach pick the scaling for you
Why: So much goes into picking your workout modifications. Skill. Strength. Mindset. Social Dynamics. Competitiveness. Knowledge. Experience. We try to simplify the workout modifications with our Health - Wellness - Fitness - Competition groupings to give people starting places, but the absolute best practice is to have your coach tell you what to do. Think about playing a sport ... football, hockey, basketball, any of them ... who's job is it to tell the athlete's what to do? The Coach. They have an objective point of view - to make the athlete better. Simple.
Having a Growth Mindset
Not Good: Thinking "I Can't" during a workout
Good: Thinking "This is hard" during a workout
Better: Thinking "This is hard, but I'm getting better" during a workout
Best: Thinking "I got this" or "I can do this" during a workout
Why: Having a negative attitude is the single biggest impediment to growth. Whether you are looking for weight loss, or performance gains, or just to be healthy, if you are negative in your mind about yourself, your progress, or your future ... the likelihood of achieving your goal is very low. Conversely, if you have a positive, or growth mindset, the likelihood of achieving your goal is GREAT! People ask me all the time how I made it as a Navy SEAL or how I opened a business or how I ran a 50 mile race - the answer is simple - I believed I could. It does not mean any of those things were easy, but the first step to achieving is believing. When it comes to working out and achieving your health and fitness goals, the first step is to believe that going to the gym will help get you to your goals. Period. Often times that negative mindset creeps in early in the morning, or late in the afternoon, and just the simple act of going to workout becomes the challenge. Be positive about it. Once you get to the gym, believe that you can do it. Believe that what you are about to do will make you better and that you'll feel better afterwards. And finally, once the workout starts, be in the moment, and just tell yourself "I got this". Stay positive and watch your world change for the better. Not just for you, but your family, friends, and coworkers that interact with you!