We all know “That Guy” or “That Woman” who lives and breathes fitness. They meticulously plan every meal down to the macro. Everything is weighed and measured. They show up to the gym and will not leave until they feel like they’ve almost killed themselves with fitness. Anything short of a near-death experience in the gym is considered a wasted day to them.
At weddings and special events, these people won’t touch a drop of alcohol and will stay as far away from the dessert table as possible. They spend a massive amount of energy optimizing their nutrition and training in order to wring out every last drop of progress; often at the expense of being actually interesting to interact with. These are the same people who walk around with almost no bodyfat yet continue to try to keep their calories low and pursue an unreasonable level of leanness. And in most cases, they still aren’t exactly qualifying for the Olympics any time soon.
While I believe there is a lot to be learned from that level of discipline, for the average person starting in the pursuit of fitness that can become a pretty solid recipe for burnout. As creatures of habit our subconscious mind can only allow for so much change at one time before we push back or fall off the wagon completely.
The ultra-rigid workout and nutritional regimen is definitely the best way to get the results fast. Optimization of training principles is what separates the GOOD athlete from the GREAT athlete. But if the optimized system isn’t adhered to over a long duration of time, then it will yield ZERO result. If we give up after 3 months because we don’t enjoy the rest of our lives enough, then what type of progress will we have made at the end of the year? or decade?
So be disciplined when you can, and make sure to enjoy the process. Don’t punish yourself with training. Don’t be overly dogmatic about your nutrition or your gym sessions. Learn to enjoy yourself in the gym and find a sense of PLAY while you’re there. Make little corrections in your routine and cut out a few of the things that you know are working against your goals. But always find a way to enjoy your new routine.
Take that sense of play out into your daily life and you’ll see your overall activity level increase, which will then drive your progress even further. Go for walks. Training with intensity and lifting weights is important, but learning to enjoy moving yourself around in the world is what makes us crave more activity. And more activity translates into better results over time.
Build yourself a routine that doesn’t cause you unnecessary stress or anxiety. Life throws us enough of that on it’s own. Fitness and wellness shouldn’t further drive your stress higher. Build a healthy lifestyle that allows for PLAY, MOVEMENT, and FUN. It’s a lot more enjoyable that way.
Shoot us a message if you’d like to find out how we apply these principles at CrossFit Erosion and how we can help get you started.