Last week I came into the box, I hadn’t been paying too much attention to the workout programming that I was following, and I went about as if it was just another day at the box. . . it wasn’t and I wasn’t mentally prepared for what was in store that evening. . .
A few months back, I decided to try out the Wendler Program prior to our box implementing as part of the programming. I had used prior 1 rep maxes that I had lifted all time – not 1 rep maxes that I had done immediately prior to the program, which would negatively affect the outcome because I would be lifting too much at the beginning. I didn’t make any massive gains in any particular lift, well, I shouldn’t say that – in 4 months I gained 10 lbs on a back squat and I was able to do more repetitions within the 80%-90% range of my 1 rep max – which I would indicate as more muscular endurance. I was extremely regimented, I had the Wendler Program – which I may have overloaded with too many lifts – and I had my gyms programming which I was following. I was set up for 3 days on, 1 day off and I knew in advance (minus the actual WODs) what I was doing for a given month.
I was not completely satisfied with my results. At the same time, not every day is a PR (personal record). Many things can impact results – stress, training, sleep, nutrition, water intake, caffeine intake (guilty), and environment. In some people’s eye’s, this is just a long list of excuses – in my eye’s, its reality.
It was Friday of last week. It was friggin’ freezin’ outside. I strolled to the gym, not really thinking about what I was going to be doing that day, cause, about two weeks prior to that I started the Russian Squat Program. There is a website where you enter in your information – it has the Sets and Rep scheme already set up, you enter in your 1 rep max and it spits out all these weights that you should be using for the workouts. The majority of your lifts are around 80% of your 1 rep max – in my estimation – you’re playing around with some heavy weight for you.
Well, it was the end of week 2 for me and I was feeling pretty good. At the beginning of the week I had accomplished 6 sets of 4 reps at 270 lbs. I was elated; I was on top of the world; I whistled while I worked! Until Friday. . .
I rarely get goose bumps prior to workouts – they mostly come when I am getting mentally prepared for Hero WODs or Named Workouts. And for most of those workouts, I have already done them before, so that butterfly feeling comes and goes.
I was walking around the front counter, idly chatting with another Coach when I sat down and typed up the web address for the program on the computer, 6 sets of 5 reps at 270 lbs and I looked at it with horror. I wasn’t ready for this I thought, I can’t do that. I was nervous from the beginning. I had to pee immediately after looking at it. And after going to the bathroom, I read and reread the workout on the computer; maybe there was a typo somewhere, but nay.
I procrastinated doing this workout, I warmed up, I stretched, I warmed up a little more, stretched a little more, talked, anything to get that “I can’t” mentality out of my head. It was stuck there like a tick, growing as if sucking the entire positive vibe out of my noggin’.
Another gym member commented that he hadn’t seen me this flustered in a couple of years . . . and then it clicked. I snapped out of it. “I’ve been here before” I thought to myself as I started to walk towards that bar. I got on the platform, set myself, took a deep breath, another Coach was standing by watching – and I banged out the first 5 reps – not as the single gun fight that would win the war, but the first battle of six to cripple the opponent.
I won all my battles that day, I struggled and fought. And once in the zone, I wasn’t coming out. My lesson to you, if you’ve done a CrossFit workout – and you struggled and fought and eventually won, don’t be negative, workouts may be hard – but you can overcome, you can persevere and in the end, you will be better for having done it, and fighting valiantly does not mean fighting in vain when it comes to working out.
“It is not what we read, but what we remember that makes us learned. It is not what we intend but what we do that makes us useful. And, it is not a few faint wishes but a lifelong struggle that makes us valiant.”
- Henry Ward Beecher