Warming Up

We all know that one person who is the star at practice, but come game time shows up flat. We see this same type of person who is feeling great one day, and as soon as the warm up starts, they are off to the races. The same type of person also wants to fly through all phases of the warm up to check a box instead of using the warm up as a chance to achieve full range of motion and movement quality. While they have done their warm up in record time, have a sweat going, and are breathless, they are actually not prepared mentally or physically to start the actual workout. Their entire effort was spent going 100% warming up or on the practice field, only to lay an egg, when it mattered.

Don’t be that person.

Imagine the same situation but instead of a warm up, or practice, it is a New Years Challenge to start the year off right! It’s a new month; a fresh start. The CrossFit Open is just around the corner which makes for great motivation to get fitness and nutrition in check. Many will meet that challenge with a 100% surety that this is their month. For the next 35 days, they vow to be perfect with food­­­ logging, eating and drinking within the prescribed ranges of the challenge, and get their mobility, movement and lifestyle changes in. They promise, almost guarantee success.

If this is you, I applaud your determination and motivation, but I am also realistic in knowing this may not be the case, or may not be lasting change you. While I want you to succeed in the challenges, January must be treated like a class warm up. The intent is NOT to win the challenge, but to win the year, to win the new you that you are doing this challenge to beocme. So the goal is NOT to be perfect, but to set the stage and be prepared for a fantastic and successful year. Why should we not strive for perfection?

Perfection, or 100% effort, is not realistic nor is it sustainable. Think back to the last time you went all in, and think about how long that lasted? In fact,striving for a perfect month might derail your performance in subsequent months.


I know when I have done challenges previously, and I have watched this for ten years, people strive to be perfect in the challenge, they have seen great results, but the second the challenge was over, everything that was not allowed was on one plate and one glass, and a one week binge occurred, nullifying every result gained. When the program wraps up, after being perfect for so long, you believe you now deserve a break or reprieve from that strict schedule. You have every intention of ‘getting back to it’ after a short break, but you don’t. Motivation wanes and old habits start to creep in.

So think about changing your mindset to view the challenge as a thoughtful and intentive “warm up” month – an opportunity to develop some great foundations that will set the stage for a successful year. Use this as motivation to learn strategies to use at the end of your initial program.

If performance is your goal, or a motivation, it is important to stay consistent with progress that prepares you for not only the Open that happens this year in Feb/March, but for the one that falls later in the year. Build on your results, education, engagement and behavior every month. This will ensure your progress will be slower but consistent instead of fast and short lived.

I encourage you to tackle this month, and any challenges as you would a warm up – with 80% effort and in the mindset that this month is intended to prepare you for an extraordinary year ahead. Once the challenge is over, we are here to help you make continued success on your year long goals!