A few weeks ago we spoke of our mate, Gerry. Much like Alice no-one knows who the hell he/she is! Just some random guy/girl at your CrossFit box who has made awesome gains over the past few months. There’s a Gerry in every box but here’s the interesting point – at some stage, you will be Gerry too! So don’t bother comparing yourself to him/her. No athlete can continuously lift heavier or PB every WOD every time. We all have periods where our gains are more…or less, or even non-existent!! Sometimes we can even go backwards and we wonder what the hell is happening.
Which is why at CrossFit 4504 we emphasise to our members that there is no value in comparing yourself to Gerry. Or Roy 😉 or Janice. Or whoever happens to be smashing it lately. Because everyone trains differently. Everyone has factors which will alter their results. Therefore, results will differ. We encourage the members of CrossFit 4504 to make their class time one of the highlights of their day. We don’t ask them to compare their times, skill level or strength to that of other members.
Rather we recommend that they ASPIRE to improve. There is a huge difference inComparison and Aspiration between athletes. So let’s talk about the two….
Comparison – a consideration of the similarities and differences between two things (or people)
Comparisons between people are part of human nature, but can unfortunately lead to negativity, jealousy and deceit. Whilst all humans have some similarities, we also have many differences and we at CrossFit 4504 feel that comparisons should not be made between our athletes. There are many factors involved in determining why athletes achieve at different rates. If you’re someone who compares your results with a fellow CrossFitter, you need to ask yourself many questions about who you’re comparing yourself to…like, what sort of work do they do? How tall or short are they? How long have they been CrossFitting? What sort of environment did they grow up in? Are they confident in their own ability? Do they have children? Have they ever had a serious injury? Do they….? We could go on and on….
Can you see our point though? Comparing your results or rate of improvement to someone else’s is a fruitless exercise. Because they are not you! Take this example – you may have had a month where work has been quiet, or you’ve been on holidays. So you’re well rested. The kids are healthy and happy and everything is rosy as. During this month your improvements during training skyrocket. This gives you a boost in over confidence and you continue to push harder and improve your skills. It’s like you’re the new Gerry! Until you have health issues, or become snowed under at work, or family life becomes stressful. It’s now a major effort to drag yourself to class, let alone switch on the Beast Mode like you did a month ago, and suddenly everything that seems so easy last month is now hard. Sitting down and comparing yourself to everyone else and feeling like you’re a failure or you suck at xyz, just based on pure numbers just makes you feel worse about yourself. And the cycle downwards continues.
We’ve mentioned this in previous blogs. You aren’t Gerry! You’ve got to be your own version of Gerry. Gerry 2.0! If you have to compare something, compare your own results…with your own results. Did you lift more for this 1RM compared to last time it was tested? Or were your numbers lower than you wanted? Compare not only your results, but the factors behind each result. Take into consideration factors like stresses, concerns, difference in programming, highlights and confidence levels. Analyse your data and you’ll have a much better idea on why your results have improved or not. Speak to your coach about your training results and work out a plan to move forward.
This is the one of the only reasons we encourage all of our CrossFit 4504 members to enter their results into our ZenPlanner App. To keep a record of their results for comparison – of their results. Say you complete Fran (an iconic CrossFit WOD of 21-15-9 thrusters and pullups) for the first time in 7min 25sec with 20kg on the bar and Jumping Pullups. Compare this 6 months later and Fran takes you 9min 33sec, but this time you’ve completed her RX. To have this data to look back on is an invaluable tool for our members’ CrossFit training. It isn’t for comparison with other members and that is why we also encourage CrossFit4504 members to perform all WODs not only with intensity, but integrity. This will give members a true indication of their results and improvements.
We don’t have members log results so we can rank them as athletes. Your numbers don’t define you, who you are, but they provide a tool to help you grow and improve if used correctly.
Aspiration – a hope or ambition of achieving something.
This is the word we want our athletes to use at CrossFit 4504. Aspiration. Aspire to meet a certain standard, lift a certain weight or achieve certain techniques. This is way more beneficial to our members’ CrossFit journey. A much healthier view, aspiration encourages us to be better athletes, better people. For our benefit only. We have many levels of fitness at CrossFit 4504. Some of our members have been with us for more than 3 years, while others are approaching 3 months. Their varying levels of experience mean they have different aspirations and goals relating to technique, strength, speed, co-ordination and overall fitness. And while we definitely don’t encourage comparison between our athletes – aspiration is another story.
If you’re wanting to improve technique, a particular movement or skill and you see ‘ole Roy over there with textbook wallballs, or Janice pumping out RX pushups – we encourage you to Aspire to perform to that standard. The programming and coaching at CrossFit 4504 has helped Roy and Janice achieve these levels, which they themselves aspired to once upon a time. And the same standard can be achieved by you. Mastering techniques, getting stronger and learning new skills is what CrossFit is all about. Our members are encouraged to aspire to the higher standard of their more experienced friends because it will only serve to enhance their CrossFit experience and fuel their passion and aspiration for improvement.
And our more experienced members are extremely encouraging. They know how it feels to be new to CrossFit – because they were once in the same situation. These members are genuinely excited when our newer athletes finish a tough WOD, pick up a new skill or show improvement in technique and strength. It inspires them. Which fuels their own aspirations to improve.
CrossFit 4504 could be your community. Without comparison. Loaded with aspiration. And fuelled by quality coaching and inspiring performances. Come and try CrossFit 4504 today.