Leave it at the door. This motto is used to help focus athletes that once they enter the gym, it’s go time. It isn’t time to worry about job stress or arguments with a loved one or anything else. It’s time to sweat and lift heavy things. It’s time to go full-fledged beast mode on the workout of the day. How many of us can flick the switch like that though, to just turn off all other distractions in preparation of an optimal training session? I can’t. I need a little more time than just crossing the threshold into CrossFit 865. I need to get myself mentally in the box before I’m physically in the box. I need to get hype before my workout. Here’s how I do it, and how you can too!
Back before I found CrossFit, I’d go into the gym and have a semi rough idea of what I was going to do that day. As in, oh today will be all pushes or I’m going to do lower body today. Then I would judge based on available equipment what exercises I would do. I’d do whatever weight, whatever reps, whatever whatever I dreamed up in the moment. And…… no wonder I was stuck in a multi-year plateau! I had no real plan!
Go into your workout with a plan. Or, perhaps an even better way to state it is to have a goal for your workout. If you’re running, don’t just go out and run until you don’t feel like running anymore. Have a plan to run a certain distance or a goal to run at a certain pace. If you’re lifting weights at the gym, know your reps and weights beforehand. Research technique and work on lifting more efficiently. With CrossFit, you generally know your WOD prior to entering the box. A simple search over at WODwell.com will next you tips and strategies (as well as video!) for many common CrossFit workouts.
When you have a plan, you think about it during the day before you workout. You walk in confident in what you will be doing and can tailor your warm-up accordingly. You’re that much more prepared to slay whatever fitness obstacle is in front of you. Moving with a purpose trumps moving through the motions every single time.
Visualization goes hand in hand with having a plan. Running an 8-minute mile pace today? Imagine how quickly your feet will need to hit the pavement to accomplish this. Going for a new PR on a lift today? Picture the weights on the bar, see yourself moving that load with good form to completion.
When you visualize, it is paramount that you visualize yourself succeeding. Don’t imagine a super heavy weight and pain and fear of dropping it! Visualize a successful completion of whatever goal (plan, see #1) you have set for yourself that day. Visualize that even if it is a small victory, it’s still worthy of celebration. And even more so, remember that a failure doesn’t have to be a bad thing! Visualize your success, then use your plan and go out and get it done!
Or, as I like to call it, the get hype zone.
Most gyms and CrossFit boxes play music that’s appropriate for working out. If you workout or run or whatever to your own music and it doesn’t get you jacked… well that’s your problem. (get some hype music stat!!) It’s easy to use music as motivation when you’re in the middle of a WOD. However, I say that waiting until you get to the gym is waiting too long.
Institute a buffer zone on your way to workout. Sure, call your significant other on the commute from work to the gym, but when you get close, bid them goodbye and turn on some music that gets your blood pumping. Pause that podcast on self-improvement and play some pulse-pounding tunes. Don’t wait until you start running to turn on your jams, get them blaring as you are stretching and warming up! This isn’t just some normal workout… this is a battle! You’re about to wage war on your health and mortality! Attack that shit!
I’m not saying go out and make a fashion statement. Your workout attire should be two things: functional and motivating. Functional is pretty straight forward – dress for the temperature, right shoe for the job rather it be weightlifting or running, WOD shorts that get out of the way when you squat, etc etc.
This post is more focused on the motivational get hype appeal of your apparel.
Wear something that makes you want to work out. Do you hate sleeves? Wear a sleeveless shirt. Do you prefer the feel of fabrics that Reebok and Nike use? Wear that. Wear what makes you want to workout (even if you take your shirt off once the workout starts…) I’ve said before, look good, feel good, do good. If you feel like a warrior, chances are you’ll workout like a warrior. Perhaps you like slogans and mantras on your shirt? Maybe the pair of shorts with the blood stain remind you that working out is a battle? Put a little conscious thought into what would make you workout better.
It’s important to not wait until you’re working out to get hype for your workout. A little effort on the front end can set you up for major success. And remember… this. is.
SPARTA a workout!!!
Your turn –> What do you do to get hype before your workout?