5 Ways to Get the Results You Want in 2015

Hey there CFKI teammates, and those that I haven’t had the pleasure of training with yet – as 2015 is approaching I wanted to throw out some ideas to get stronger, faster, and fitter in the new year.  Check it out!
1. Dial in your nutrition.
This one has to be first.  If you feel like you’re plateauing (is that a word?) in the gym performance-wise, you HAVE TO take a look at WHAT you’re eating, and WHEN you’re eating.
What you’re eating has to be whole foods 90% of the time, meaning veggies and fruit, meat and seafood, and good fats like nuts, seeds, avocados and oils (olive and coconut are my favorite).  Can you “cheat” once in a while?  Absolutely, and I would even venture to say you SHOULD cheat, because it keeps you sane if there are things that you crave all the time.  But the overwhelming majority of the time, if you care about being fit, make the right choice about what you’re shoveling in there.  As someone very eloquently put it, eat like a human, not an ignorant teenage human.
When you’re eating is important too, in relation to when you work out.  About an hour before you work out, eat some easily digestible carbs.  Not too much protein or fat right now, because it might make you queasy during your set of 100 Burpees.  Within one hour after working out, eat or drink some protein mixed with carbs.  A protein shake, a turkey sandwich, or my beloved chocolate milk all work well here.
2. Go heavy.
Even if your main goal is weight loss, you still need to lift some heavy weights at least once per week so that your absolute strength increases, which means you will be able to lift more weight for a longer time during your workouts, which means that you will go faster, which means that you will lose weight.
A couple caveats on this one:  #1 — If you are still in high-school, don’t lift any weight that you can’t hoist at least 5 times; you’ll get stronger by staying at higher rep schemes.  And #2 — “Heavy” is a relative term.  Please stay within your range of correct technique – we’re not interested in matching someone else’s deadlift max if it means rounding your back and then having to sit out the next month.
3. Throw in some intervals.  
Are you traveling over the holidays?  Try some Tabata intervals of push-ups, sit-ups, squats, or the dreaded Burpee.  Tabata forces you to get back into it before you think you’re ready, increasing your stamina over time as well as your mental fortitude.
Maybe you like to run as well as throw the weights around.  Rather than always doing a long, slow run, change it up once a week and do a similar interval to Tabata – run a mile by sprinting 200M, then jogging/walking 200M, repeating that for 4 rounds.
Intervals change up the flavor if you’re bored, and also get your heart rate way up for a longer period of time.
4. Have fun.
Anyone know a runner that hates running?  I do — they talk all the time about how they “just went for a long run, and it was terrible, and man do my shins hurt, and I can’t believe I have to run 5 miles on Saturday, that’s going to be terrible.”  Yeah, that sounds like a pain train waiting in the station, and I wouldn’t board it if I were you.  If you want to stick with something, make it something that you can find some enjoyment in.  It might not always be double rainbows every time I step into the CrossFit gym — sometimes I might have to do something in the workout that I know I’m not very good at and I dread (overhead squats), but I know that every time I finish a workout I feel great about the effort I put in, and I enjoy throwing down with my friends.
5. Be disciplined.
I know, #4 was “Have Fun” and now we’re getting serious.  But here’s the thing – if you’ve picked something that you like to do, but you don’t regularly do it, you’re not going to get fit and you’re going to be disappointed.  So here’s a good goal that I’m going for this year:  Don’t ever skip a planned training session.  If you are planning to go to the gym on Monday, Wednesday and Friday of this week, then do it.  If you’re a CrossFitter, don’t let a workout that looks especially rough keep you out of the gym.  Be disciplined, get in there and put your work in.  If you’re injured, get in the gym and work on something that you can do.  Your bonus benefit from this plan will be an added level of mental toughness.
Have any other good tips for amping up your fitness in 2015 you want to share?  Feel free to leave a comment.  And please email me at ryan@crossfitkentisland.com or call me at 443.988.2145 with any questions you might have about CrossFit, nutrition, burpees, or chocolate milk.

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