We’ve all been there – that funk, that slump – where you feel like you’ve hit a wall; you can’t get any better and you’re just ready to throw in the towel. It’s normal to hit a plateau or feel like you’re burnt out in this sport of fitness that is undoubtedly getting harder and harder. With that being said, here are 5 tips to help you keep your head in the game and retain the same passion for the sport you had when you first started.
Keep a Journal
You can use this to record workouts that you really liked and/or want to retest in the future; positive thoughts about your workout performance; or a simple evaluation of your workout performance by answering questions like ‘Did you break too many times on the set of a pull-ups?’ ‘Could you have pushed a little harder on the rower?’ Etc. These may seem like trivial thoughts, but evaluating your performance (whether good or bad) on a daily basis can help get you excited about the good things and motivate you to work harder to improve the bad things.
Get Out of the Gym
Sometimes CrossFit can lose its appeal because we feel like we are doing the same thing every day. We come to the gym, we warm-up, we do a strength piece, we do a wod, we feel like we’re dying, and then we come back and do it again the next day. CrossFit boasts about being “constantly varied”, and if programmed correctly, it usually is, but going to the gym multiple days a week can still get boring after a while. One way to combat this is to actually get out of the gym. Spend some time outside going biking, hiking, running sprints at the track, doing a 5k trail run, signing up for a Spartan Race or a Tough Mudder. It’s ok to use your inside fitness to get fit outside.
Work Out with Friends
Most class workouts are programmed for members to complete by themselves. If you’re feeling in a workout slump, recruit your friends to do a partner or team wod with you. It’s always more fun to share the workload and to have someone (or multiple people) to suffer right along side of you. Added bonus: doing a wod with other people pushes you to go harder than you normally would in class because you don’t want to let your team or partner down.
Celebrate the Little Victories
As you progress further and further along as an athlete, you will eventually reach a point where you start to plateau. Your snatch will stay at 135# for a year or two and you’ll lose hope that it will ever go up. You’ve built up the capacity to complete 30 butterfly pull-ups in a row when fresh, but when you do them in a workout you have to immediately drop down to doing sets of 5. When you feel like you’ve reached the best that you can be, it’s important to take a step back and celebrate the little victories. For example, push yourself to complete 8 butterfly pull-ups unbroken for two rounds of a workout before dropping back down to sets of 5 for the last few rounds. This may not seem like that big of a deal, but for your mental game it’s actually a huge deal. You’ve just proved to yourself that you can do more than 5 reps unbroken in a workout so next time pull-ups show up, you’ll have the confidence to attempt bigger sets (which is, in fact, a pr).
Sign Up For a Local Competition
There’s nothing like a little friendly competition to help you rediscover your passion for CrossFit. Competitions are not only a great way to show off all the hard work you’ve been putting in at the gym, but they are also a great way to connect with people who share the same passion for fitness as you do.