New-Class Man

Published June 6, 2019

For the June Edition of our CFP Newsletter, it took particularly longer, plenty of back and forth, to think of the appropriate message from all of the daily thoughts that come into a coach’s head. Luckily, a relatively reluctant member came shuffling through the front door on a noon-class Monday and sealed the deal.

After we exchanged “hellos” and “how are yous,” the next words were, “I really didn’t want to come today. Almost didn’t. But figured I’d give it a whirl.”

I assured him that I was glad he came, as any coach would do. We talked about how the day’s workout was the perfect workout (this was a little fib, they’re all perfect workouts to come back to), then we gameplanned his approach to the WOD and away we went!

I’m all for rest. Rest is good. As the strength coach cliche would confirm, “your muscles don’t grow while you’re working out, they grow when you’re recovering,” and I’ve definitely shared this view a few times as well.

However, there are a few takeaways from the encounter with our less-than-eager friend. So much of our workout, our program, our health comes from what is taking place between the ears. How many times have you actually noticed how your attitude determines the outcome or success of a workout. You can make it a shitty workout by calling it one. You can make it a great workout by calling it one, too.

Our expectations for our performance can also dictate how we perceive a workout. If I’m in competition, and I expect to get at least third place, I didn’t do well if I placed fourth. If (insert name here) shows up to noon class expecting to feel like everything is clicking when it has been a stressful day at work, and his dog died last night, and his wife deleted his Game of Thrones recording, it’s not going to go well. If you expect to do 185 lbs. Squat Cleans for 15 reps to RX the WOD when your 1-RM is 195 lbs., you’re in trouble.

If you expect to give your best effort and focus while disregarding the outcome it’s going to be a great day.

If you have zero expectations for your 20 Minute AMRAP other than feeling it out and seeing where your mind and body take you, it has the potential to be a PR kind of day.

If you force yourself to smile when the clock reads 0:00, you’ve already won, it was a good day.

Not to mention, when you feel a sense of ease for your efforts. When you let the physical stress of a workout leave your body and mental stress of numbers and percentages and the leaderboard leave your mind when you leave the gym, your recovery is going to be better.

THEN you’ll grow them muscles.

Finally, while there are definitely some exceptions, we don’t have a giant ‘workout-too-much-psycho’ epidemic in this world where it’s bad for your health. Again, you need your rest day, but make sure it’s your mostly your body, your program, or your regimen that is telling you to do so, and not that thing between your ears whispering in.

You have a choice. You either show up to go to work that day, or you don’t. If you show up and you don’t feel so great…

  • check your attitude with yourself
  • set expectations that steer you toward success and aren’t data driven
  • smile more
  • give yourself the proper dosage (scale appropriately)

If you just simply can’t do any of the above things, maybe you should take the day away from the gym.

On the flip-side, if you feel like a million bucks, set the bar high! Go for gold! If you can handle the chance, take it! Go for the PR, work your booty off. If you can handle success, you have to learn to handle failure. That’s also part of being an athlete. We must be able to travel the peaks and valleys.

After the very brief pregame chat, our noon-class man felt like a new-class man as soon as he left the box that day.


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