Since The Open I think the general thought around the gym is, “Let’s get better,” but the real question is how do we get better for next year?
The first step is just showing up. I know I have been on this topic a lot lately, but it is the easiest way to get better. When explaining our program structure to people, I usually tell them it is like school. What I mean is our curriculum is very broad, and like school, you have to show up to learn. You would not sign up for calculus, show up three to four times a month and expect to pass the final. You have to show up and learn and do the work given to you. Many times there is homework that needs to be done to make sure that you are advancing as you should. If you show up and do the work, you will get better.
The second step, maintain intensity. Lately, I have been programming multiple levels for each workout, and the other day someone said to me, “If I don’t do RX then I won’t get any better.” And that could not be more wrong. The base for getting better is intensity and applying it appropriately to each workout. While you are still acquiring the skills to RX every workout it is essential that you do your homework. Don’t have double unders yet? Instead of tripping every five reps and losing intensity to your workout stay after class and practice double unders for another twenty minutes. Instead of trying to do the RX weight and only doing two or three reps at a time sign up for some personal training and have a coach write you up a strength program. If you are taking away intensity from your workouts so that you can try to do the RX weight and movements you are not getting better. You are also lowering your chance of losing weight and toning up. Or if you are looking to build lean muscle without proper technique and doing too much weight will prevent that. Without intensity, there is no point.
The final step is your diet. Everyone by now understands in some way how to eat. Stay away from sugar, especially sodas and sweet tea. Do not eat out at restaurants or fast food. Drink lots of water. Eat lots of vegetables. Keep your red meat intake low and keep your protein to lean meats only. As you progress in your workouts, you need to start thinking about how to eat to fuel your workouts. To maintain the appropriate amount of intensity in your workouts, you have to fuel yourself with enough of the right foods. If you can push yourself in every workout because your body is ready to be pushed then the results will come faster. Not only in your numbers on your workouts and lifts but also in your body composition.
Ultimately in life, we care about how longevity and how we look. Finishing first on the whiteboard is cool but waking up in the morning and being happy with how you look is even better. Workout often and keep the intensity in every workout all while fueling yourself properly. Do this, and you will get better, and your next open placement will be significantly higher than this years!