CrossFit

What Motivates You?

Winter is here. Maybe. Maybe Not. All we know is that summer is over and days are getting shorter. We find ourselves wanting to stay under the sheets for an extra 5 minutes and pressing the snooze button a couple more times these days, yet some of us still manage to get out to the gym nice and early.

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Ever want to understand the psyche of someone who enjoys working out when everyone else is fast asleep?

We polled some of our consistent morning gym goers and asked what motivates to wake up for a 6AM or 7AM class. Here's what they said:

"Evenings are free so I can have a more consistent nighttime routine, in case of work stuff, social events, unforeseen things come up"

"I don't need to worry about getting to the gym in the evening (or worse, not making it to the gym because of legitimate or made up excuses)"

"committing to a morning routine forces me to be accountable in prioritizing sleep"

Our Personal Favourite:

"Imagine being a solid rock fighting back against a raging river. You can’t help but feel like a solid rock “owning” your day after a 6AM workout. For me, working out at 6AM gives me a mental, physical and emotional boast that triggers a progression of positive momentum throughout the day. Since adopting a morning routine that involves physical exercise I feel I get more out of life. Own your morning, own your life."
(yes, that was meant to be cheesy)

Some of these reasons are quite logical, and some are inspiring. Whatever it is that motivates you to head out to the gym (morning, afternoon or evening), try sharing it with a few friends and inspire someone to go out and get healthy!

Overcoming Weakness

We tend to allow ourselves to avoid movements we hate. Why? Because we like being good at things. Being good at things is fun, so if we have an option of doing something we excel at versus something we struggle with, more often than not we will gravitate to the movements we are good at.

Everyone has weaknesses, that is what makes us human, that is what allows us to continue growing and striving to be better, regardless of whether the weakness is physical, intellectual or emotional. Allowing yourself to recognize what your personal weakness is and wanting to improve is a sign of your character. It's easy to do things we are good at, there is no challenge in that really. We cannot improve if we do not accept that there are aspects of our life, in training, at work, in relationships that are...less than ideal.

When it comes to training, there will always be moments when we reflect on our weaknesses and are then met with a crossroads: do I actively and intentionally set a strategic plan in motion to improve myself OR do I actively and intentionally avoid what's tough.

We are firm believers of "what you hate the most is likely what you need the most". This can often be the result of preexisting injuries, mobility limitations, limb lengths, strength discrepancies in your body. If we do not actively work on these weaknesses, they will never get better.

Group classes are great for general fitness, we touch on everything, a little bit of this, a little bit of that. Trust in the process and the improvements will come. Personal Training on the other hand can encompass targeted training on improving those weaknesses through having S.M.A.R.T. (specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, timely) goals. Goals can range from having pain-free movement, shedding a few pounds, being able to extend your arms overhead without having to arch your back, reaching a full depth squat, or getting that elusive muscle up.

Take a step back and evaluate what is important to you. Enjoy your fitness, but don't avoid what you know needs work.

Self Motivation

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We often are asked whether or not the workouts we run at Black Tusk get any easier and the short answer is no. As movements, weights and skills improve, we inevitably become stronger, faster and more efficient. We learn to become comfortable with the discomfort of working hard.

Memorial Day was yesterday and our neighbors to the South of the border always do Murph on Memorial Day to honor Lt. Michael Murphy. For those of us who are unaware, "Murph" is a workout consisting of:

 

1 Mile Run
100 Pull Ups
200 Push Ups
300 Air Squats
1 Mile Run

..all for time (ie. as fast as you can)

We know that it is scary and daunting to read that and picture yourself doing that amount of work. Murph is physically taxing but more importantly, Murph is mentally taxing. There will always be customized modifications and scales for the movements in order to be able to execute the workout to its intention. The hard part is mentally preparing yourself for the sheer volume and the amount of "suck" you will experience.

So why do we do work outs like this? Every so often (pretty few and far between) we will program a LONG 45+ minute workout to test our endurance. These workouts test our capacity and force us to push past our comfort zone. The movements themselves are not the limiting factor. With this type of volume and length, we will use little to no weight outside of our own body weight. What will limit us is our mental resilience. We look at a workout like this and want to quit before we even start. During the work out your body will want you to stop and that is when your mind needs to override your body and keep you going.

Obviously, finishing a tough workout isn't the same as battling through some real life issues. This doesn't mean that we can't draw on the same parallels. Starting and finishing a tough deadline, saving up for a down payment, battling through illness. This all takes character and self motivation. Tough workouts are practice for tough journeys that lie ahead. Whatever the challenge is, just start attacking it. 

Are You Coasting?

We've been fortunate to have this amazing weather in May that the number of hours we've spent on our bikes is probably more than last year already. While we were riding, something became abundantly clear: there are no flat roads. Of course, after every uphill climb, we would get a little break and relax downhill. That downhill would never last. We would always have to climb a hill to be in a position to enjoy the coast; and even if it was a relatively long stretch of flat road, we are suddenly hit with a strong gust of wind, forcing us to pedal harder to continue moving forward. 

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The road will always have a grade, never perfectly flat. The same applies to work, to training, to relationships and to anything in life: we reap what we sow. After a long stretch without riding, the first ride always seems to be the toughest. Starting a new exercise routine, a new job, a new hobby will always be the toughest in the beginning. Once you're comfortable, continue to challenge yourself. Continue climbing on your bike, getting better at your job, progressing in life, as the reward is always worth it. Keep in mind that once that downhill is over, there's always that next hill to climb.