Perhaps the most important part of any fitness regimen is the intention behind it. Especially in the image drive world we live in, those of us looking to get into better shape could be being influenced by all the wrong reasons. This approach usually ends up with a whole lot of frustration, binge eating, and self judgement which is never a great result for anyone involved.
That being said, when people approach me about wanting to get into better shape, I always encourage them to connect with what their goals are and why they want to achieve them. This is especially important for those new to the gym or a particular fitness program like CrossFit, for the sake of longevity. We all know results don’t happen overnight, whether we want to admit it or not, so having something to train for makes the days at the gym so much more worthwhile.
What are your intentions?
The same questions apply to veteran athletes and everyone in between. I myself have recently had to ask myself what my intention was and it revealed some interesting things. The questions I asked:
1. What is my fitness goal for the next month? The next 3 months? The next 6 months?
2. Why is putting the time in to train so important to me? What sacrifices am I willing to make in order to achieve my goals?
3. How will I support my training at the gym with my diet? Am I willing to change the way I eat in order to reach my goals?
4. What will my training schedule be in order to achieve the goals I set for myself? (Be specific — I will attend x class on x days, etc.)
Establish a plan
Once the specifics are laid out, a training plan can be established.
For me, this includes 4 CrossFit classes (Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday), 3 sessions of cardio (Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday), plus at least 2 additional lifting sessions per week (Monday, Wednesday). My main goal is to lean, losing at least 1 inch from my midsection, and this will be supported by a mostly Paleo diet of around 1600 calories on work days, and 1300 on rest days. Training is important to me so I can maintain a lifestyle where I am ready for anything.
What are your goals?
Goals can vary drastically from person to person and the plan to achieve those goals will also be different. Therefore, setting an individual intention is important. One thing note is that training isn’t just about the time spent at the gym, but also the time spent in the kitchen, too. After all, 80% of fitness is diet. Don’t sabotage yourself by temptation.
The bottom line is if there is no intention, it’s difficult to establish direction. Without direction, it’s tough to reach the goals set forth. And no results often equals frustration and the cycle continues because it’s much easier to fall back to old habits than keep pushing forward. Don’t get caught in the cycle! So, write down your goals, set your intention, and get after it!
Why do you train? Tell us in the comments below.