There is an example used in goal setting that goes like this; the wise one says,
“What are your goals?”
Our inexperienced but driven person answers, “I want to make more money”. With great sagacity the teacher reaches into his wallet, pulls out one dollar and smugly hands it to his student,
“There, you now have more money.”
Our wise goal setter makes clear to the young man that a quantifiable goal will take him further. But wait a minute, look at who ended up with one more dollar and who finished with one less. Let’s take this a step further. What if our student found a “teacher” every week day for a year? That’s $260, have that conversation five times a day and it’s over a thousand dollars. Our young friend stumbled on something better than a goal. He’s got a system.
Goals provide direction but systems provide the means. Take football or basketball, every team wants to win every game and wrap up the championship at the end of the season; they all have the same goal. When they hire a new coach to accomplish the goal the first thing management, players and fans talk about is “the new system”.
“But I don’t have a system”, don’t you? You joined a CrossFit box, hired a trainer, bought a DVD guess what; you’ve got a system. Just like the football franchise it’s up to execution, we must ruthlessly apply our system, adapt it to our strengths and weaknesses while we continue to execute at higher and higher levels.
With the workouts we practice the physical part of our system and build our programming to stress our bodies in very specific ways. The movements and loads develop different aspects of all-around lifelong fitness. Our system requires and rewards intensity; the specific combination of repetitions, load and movements give shape and focus to our intensity. This recipe of effort applied with constant focus on form will turn a club into a sword and with even greater focus and discipline a scalpel
Did you listen when your coach said rest on your rest day would get you better results or do you still put in five mile runs and can’t understand why the scale doesn’t drop faster? Hours slept, how high intensity programming fits into your work day, the number, frequency and types of workouts all contribute to the stresses we put on the body to force an adaptive response. Don’t respect your recovery and you will not adapt, instead it’s kicking yourself while down.
When the coach told you to eat leafy greens, lean meats, some nuts and little fruit; did that turn into an endless bowl of almonds on the kitchen counter, and a banana with peanut butter for breakfast? With an endless stream of nutrition advice available, finding a simple system makes a little discipline go a long way. Building on and refining our small and continuing successes creates a plan for lifelong healthy eating avoiding the “latest and greatest” diet.
Constant and disciplined application of effort over these three areas provides us a system to take our fitness forward. With these areas of focus, as coaches we can easily identify and recommend changes to get immediate results. If your fitness is not going the direction you want talk to a coach immediately, but come prepared to give some honest answers to the above. Now pedal down, and lets continue to go as far and fast as we can in 2015.