“We are what we habitually do…”
It certainly has been awhile since I posted. In one breath, I apologize for this as I know that many of you have been asking questions and wanting guidance. In another breath I do not apologize simply for the fact that the reason I have been unable to blog/rant has been because the box has been growing and we have been busy trying to make it the best it has ever been! Since my last post a great many things have happened. We have added coaches, classes, admin positions, hosted events and competed elsewhere, organized activities for our members and many other things that happen behind the scenes. The CrossFit Wrath Staff has been AMAZING in helping, and many times leading many of these initiatives. We thank you for your cooperation and understanding of our schedule and the craziness that sometimes ensues when we try to manage so many things at once. One thing is for certain, and that is that CrossFit Wrath is on the rise and better than it has ever been.
Over the last year I have seen many people come in and out of our doors and trained literally hundreds of athletes from collegiate scholarship athletes to stay-at-home moms looking to become better versions of themselves. We have had the opportunity to witness a shift in the way that people look at their own fitness and in the way they prioritize things with respect to their bodies and their health. Since opening the gym over 3 years ago we have tried our best to accommodate different schedules and lifestyles to align what WE do with what YOU do. As a result of seeing these transformations and shifts in priorities, we have naturally been witness to what some might call failures. I know that word is not a kind one in many eyes but I think that this is a time when I need to be more candid and honest about the realities of training and what is actually required to experience positive VISUAL CHANGE.
To say that “everybody wins” or that there is no such thing as failing is to do ourselves and everyone else around us a disservice [sorry Fun Fair Positive Soccer]. From a personal perspective I can say that have failed in many ways with respect to my own fitness and with respect to the example I want to set for the people I coach. I have to be honest with myself and say that this is unacceptable and thus requires change. I must be wiling to change what I have been doing to what I am GOING to do. But first I must understand what the problem really is.
Good science uses good observation and analysis to identify a problem, and not necessarily the effects of that problem or behavior but rather what is the “root cause”. I heard that term all the time when I was a supervisor at UPS and it bugged the heck out of me sometimes, but I see now that I simply did not understand what my superiors were telling me. I did not understand what that term was really referring to. Root causes are the initial circumstances and changes that start a chain of events thereafter. As an example, I could say that me failing to execute good technique in my power snatch caused a partial labrum tear in my shoulder which then caused me to lose scapular stability in my shoulder which then ultimately brought on my elbow tendonitis. [That is, in fact, true in my case btw]. My elbow pain is the EFFECT of the root cause. It is not the PROBLEM per se, although pain is always a problem when moving right, but I digress; so let’s turn this back on the subject at hand.
How many of you find yourselves a bit frustrated with your current state of fitness? Perhaps you have been coming to the box for a good length of time but you find yourself still not where you believe your hard work up to this point should have taken you. Maybe you have just started and are upset that you cannot perform all the movements that your friends can in a workout and you feel somewhat bothered. Maybe you come in and sweat [A LOT] every time you come to the box and work your freaking tail off only to find that your improvements are tiny at best and you are still holding on to some pounds that you jokingly call your “weighted vest”.
I know some of you very well and some of you I am only beginning to know, but I somehow am pretty sure that if you are reading this post that you could place yourself into at least one of the above scenarios. In order to do away with those statements above and find yourself in the “best shape of your life” you must first admit that those things are the RESULTS of a collective set of events or actions. They are the EFFECTS. What is the root cause or problem related to all of those things? The root cause is… INCONSISTENCY.
In an effort to not drag this on more than is necessary lets just go ahead and throw out there that I am not going to cite sources. I absolutely could, but ultimately I am asking you to trust me here. If you want to we can sit down and talk ad nauseum about all of this, but just go with it for now. Now believe me when I tell you that nobody hates hearing all of this more than me. I wish sometimes that attaining results were a bit easier than what I have found it to be. But sadly, as your coach, I am obligated to tell you the truth. I am not the one that makes the rules. I am the messenger. Like I mentioned above, the real reason that MORE has not happened to you is the result of inconsistency.
This inconsistency has been present from both training and, more importantly, a nutrition perspective. “Six pack abs are made in the kitchen, not in the gym.” Truer words were never spoken. Bottom line Wrathians is that ANYTHING above 1.5 cheat MEALS per week is too much. Notice how I said cheat MEALS and not cheat DAYS? Eating clean, even SUPER CLEAN, 5 days out of the week only to basically forget it all over the weekend will NOT get you results! It will NOT help you lose the excess body fat you so desperately want to take off. Worst news…it would take you until at least WEDNSDAY of any week to make up for the damage from a bad weekend, which basically only leaves you with Thursday and Friday to actually get anything positive from nutrition, then you are right back to the weekend again. I am sorry to have to tell you but that is the truth. I can absolutely say that the only time I have witnessed ANYBODY that I coached or worked with experience body composition change was when they were eating LESS than ONE cheat MEAL per week for at least 4 weeks straight. Read that over again if it didn’t sink in. Now if you are reading this and start to think that you DO eat THAT CLEAN week after week and that you are still not losing body fat then please start TODAY and keep a COMPLETE food journal for 7 straight days and send it to me then. I will tell you where you are messing up. And, as much as it may suck to year, I should probably just throw this out there and say that yogurt and the occasional English muffin are NOT clean eating in any way. Now for the other half of the consistency equation we get to address training frequency.
I will be as plain and blunt as I can without making you cry. Coming to the box 3 times per week or less is NOT sufficient to incite CHANGE. It just isn’t. I am sorry to have to be the one to break that news to you but that is reality. That is how the body works. Training 3 times per week is BARELY enough to maintain the status quo once you have gone through the “breaking in” stage of the first 2 months of CrossFit. Past that window it literally is not possible to train a total of 3 hours out of a possible 120 or so that you are awake during a full 7-day week. Again look at that ratio for a second. Logically could you really get behind the notion that 3 out of a possible 120 hours is enough to get your body to freak out enough that it adapts favorably and changes? We are all Homo sapiens. This is a species that came out of Homo erectus roughly 200,000 years ago. This is the same species that spent the VAST majority of its waking hours MOVING in some way. We are not a species that evolved to be STAGNANT. 100,000 years ago I can assure you that you would have been MOVING from sun up to sun down and eating what your body SHOULD eat and as a result of this…we ALL would have been SHREDDED as hell!
Wrath Nation I am pleading with you to take these words to heart. Understand that you have an entire coaching staff at your disposal on a regular basis that cares about you and wants to help you. We have extensive knowledge and experience with respect to CrossFit and human adaptation. We have INSTRUCTOR-LED classes 6 days per week to help you achieve what you desire. We are eager and waiting to help you every time we walk in the doors. But unfortunately, we cannot change the laws of physics and we cannot FORCE you to be here. We cannot make you show up to class. We cannot make you eat better when you are out in your every day life. We can offer our help but it is up to you to decide that the time is NOW to change! Now is the time to realize that you do not DESERVE a cheat weekend to blow all your hard work during the week. You DESERVE and are entitled to RESULTS! But remember, results do not come from thought or desire alone. Results come from CONSISTENT ACTION!
[Drops mic…walks out awkwardly like Michael Scott]