What do you think is normal?
Is it normal to hit the snooze button repeatedly for an hour every day? Is it normal to deadlift twice a week? Is it normal to eat junk food daily? Is it normal to exercise every single day?
"We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then is not an act but a habit." That is a great interpretation of some work from Aristotle by Will Durant and it holds true whether we're talking about fitness or anything else in your life.
So what are we? What is normal to us? Well, you can easily make something normal if you do it over and over again. Getting up just in time to not eat breakfast, take a quick shower and have road rage outbursts on your way to work is normal if you do it most days. Feeling tired all day then staying up late to watch a Friends re-run is normal if you repeatedly do it.
How do we get out of this cycle? Simple. Start small but change some of your habits. You can't? That's just a lie you tell yourself. The reality is most of us know exactly what we need to do but we try to fight it.
Feedback helps. So where to start? Reflection. Take a few minutes at the end of your day and write down how you could have made the day even better. Write it in a notebook, take a note in your phone, text yourself, whatever, just do it. Don't want to take that time at night? Ok, in the morning, write down a few things that will make today great or could have worked better yesterday. You will start to see patterns of what you need to do and be able to make changes from there.
This little practice of reflection will go a long way in creating change in your daily life, your habits and what is normal to you. Try it tonight. Now you'll have a new positive habit in your life and hopefully the start of many more.
Also, stop hitting the snooze button.
You've heard it all before. Nutrition is 4000% of the equation. Abs are made in the kitchen. You can't out train a bad diet. (Insert other witty saying here.)
While my percentages above might be off, there is something to these old fitness cliches for most people. We are in the gym for typically an hour a day, so those other 23 hours are very important. Of course, what we fuel our body with and how often we do so plays a big role.
When people start to make a change, sign up at the gym, focus on their sleep, start to eat better, there is a lot of information coming at them and sometimes it's hard to put it all together. I'm not going to recommend a certain nutrition plan to follow here but let's take a look at ways people tend to go off the rails with their nutrition, even though they think they're doing the right thing.
A big group at Apache is taking on the Whole Life Challenge right now. (Not too late to SIGN UP if you're still interested in crushing the next 6 weeks with awesome people!) I hope this helps a little to anyone that is just getting started with the WLC or with whatever plan you're following. You made a decision to get healthier, don't let these common mistakes get in your way.
I was training a group of people outside of the gym the other day. We were doing sprints in the parking lot. It was a tough part of the workout but everyone was having a good time, smiling and high-fiving each other. I was happy they were having fun, training hard and felt lucky to take advantage of the nice weather in early April. As I was coaching some running mechanics I noticed that a lot of people in their cars were staring at us. Sure, it was Easter morning and maybe they were just jealous we were outside being awesome while they were stuck in their cars but I couldn't stop imagining what they must be thinking about us and about Apache.
I hear it all the time:
"Apache is a CrossFit gym."
"All they do is lift weights."
"You don't lift weights at CrossFit."
"Apache does that Strongman stuff."
"CrossFit is so intense."
"Apache makes you bench press."
"It's so much conditioning."
"I could never do that."
Ok, I'll clear some things up. We are a CrossFit gym. We lift weights most days but some days not at all. We like to mix things up so of course we add elements of strongman, gymnastics, powerlifting, rowing, etc. We believe in intensity (after mechanics and consistency have been demonstrated of course). We bench press sometimes. We program our workouts in a manner to not make you good at just one thing. And yes, you, whoever you are, can do it.
Everything you think we do at Apache and most of what I said above are just random activities you might do here. But here's the secret, you can do that stuff anywhere. People come here to be coached how to move better, improve their lives, and just generally be healthier.
If you're staying away because you think we have some crazy idea of fitness and we are going to force you to deadlift 500lbs, that's on you. The reality is our coaches make sure every single workout, movement, and lift is relatable to you, not the strongest person in the gym or the fastest runner, you. We constantly think about what is going to help you get better. Can people deadlift 500lbs here? Sure. Do people run sub 6 minute miles here? Sure. Those people come to Apache and get trained in a manner that will make them better. Our coaches will challenge them to continue to improve while also making them work on their weaknesses. That goes for everyone. So if you have never worked out before or you just finished competing at a high level, we got you.
Nobody is here to just lift weights and crush some crazy workout. They are here to get better. They are here to get healthy. They are here to improve their lives. They are here to be coached how to do so.
That's what keeps me coming back. If it was just some sweat fest, I'd be gone a long time ago.
We got you.
Life is tough! We get it so we figured we'd come up with some reasons for you to not go to the gym today.
1. Your bed is so comfy.
2. You forgot to pack your weightlifting shoes.
3. You got out of work 30 minutes late.
4. The Yankees are playing and they only have 160 games left this season.
5. You didn't get enough sleep.
6. You didn't have a great lunch.
7. There is running in the workout.
8. Your 5K is coming up.
9. You're getting married next week.
10. You haven't gone in so long, why start today?
11. You have a trip coming up.
12. You don't have a trip coming up so why bother.
13. You have to watch the the entire "The Office" series on Netflix...again.
14. You have a hot date tonight.
15. It's your birthday.
16. You've been eating really well lately.
17. You haven't been eating really well lately.
18. You have work tomorrow.
19. You haven't been training hard lately.
20. You've been training really hard lately.
21. You forget how to sign up for class.
22. You'll be embarrassed.
23. There are double unders in the workout.
24. You didn't get to eat breakfast.
25. You've got so much going on lately.
26. It's so hot out.
27. It's so cold out.
28. It's raining.
29. It's so nice out.
30. You didn't drink enough water today.
31. Your watch says you got enough steps today.
32. Your friends aren't going today.
33. You'll start working out when it gets closer to summer.
34. Your arm hurts.
35. Your leg hurts.
36. You don't want to get too muscular.
37. You can just work out at home.
38. Somebody cut you off on the way to the gym.
39. You'll just let your husband/wife work out this week instead of you.
40. Your buddies are going out for pizza tonight.
41. You don't have any time.
42. You're too old.
43. You're too out of shape.
44. You cut your finger yesterday.
45. The workout clothes you packed don't match.
46. You just got your nails done.
47. You're sore from the last workout.
48. You didn't feel sore from the last workout so it's not working.
48. It's not Monday and you always start things on Mondays.
49. You didn't see results from yesterday's workout.
50. You already took a shower.
51. It's so far.
52. You forgot your wrist wraps.
53. You didn't have your coffee yet.
54. You ran out of protein powder.
55. You have to get in shape first before you go to the gym.
56. You don't know what the workout is.
57. Your sneakers feel weird and you probably need new ones.
58. You'll go tomorrow.
59. You just don't feel like it.
I gave myself exactly 5 minutes to come up with that list and I could probably keep going for awhile. We're all capable of coming up with plenty of reasons to not go to the gym but the reality is nobody cares that you have to watch "The Office" again, your health and fitness certainly don't, so figure it out and get after it.
*Two things: One, a lot of these "excuses" came to mind because of the amazing people I see at Apache every single day that say things like, "Yeah, I got off work late today but I didn't want to miss my workout" or "I went to a party last night but heard the alarm this morning and got right up to get my workout in." Two, we don't expect you to go to the gym every day.
I'm pretty lucky to be surrounded by dedicated people.