How do you approach your workouts? Do you simply look at what’s written on the whiteboard and go? Do you have a focus or something specific that you want to work on during that session? Different techniques to cycle reps faster, short quick sets or performing a movement unbroken are just a few methods athletes can utilize to develop a plan going into a session. We could spend days talking about the variety of different ways to attack a workout, but how often are you making a plan or choosing one focal point and actually putting it into action?
Whether you are a beginner or a seasoned veteran, having a plan prior to the start of a workout is a must. Let’s be clear, your plan doesn’t need to look like a formula that is about to send a rocket into space, we can keep it very simple and to the point. Before any workout, I have an idea of what I want my focus to be on; choosing one movement and going unbroken every round, making something a little heavier than normal or keeping a consistent pace each round. Again, the options are limitless, but we want to keep it simple so that midway through a workout when your heart rate is elevated you are not overwhelmed.
3,2,1…. GO! You have made a plan or know what your focus will be for this workout, now it is time to put it to the test. As you go through the workout, try to ignore what everyone else is doing. Their plan is different than yours and trying to mimic what someone else is doing defeats the purpose of having your own strategy to begin with. Your plan might not always work, you might get halfway through round number 1 and realize you were a little too ambitious. Don’t worry! That’s part of the lesson. Testing our plans allows us to learn and make adjustments for the next time. Either way, stick to your plan as best you can and worry about fine tuning your approach for the next session afterwards.
Clock stops and the workout is over, hallelujah. How did it go? Were you able to stay unbroken or keep that same pace the whole time? Regardless of the outcome, we need to reflect on the session. There is always something to take away from the workout, especially on days we think our performance was subpar. Just like in life, the hardest lessons are the ones that stick with us. If we were a little over zealous and couldn’t do 4 rounds of 50 wall balls unbroken, that’s ok! Next time, that workout/rep scheme shows up, we can fine tune and plan on breaking them up earlier to keep ourselves moving through the workout.
These are just some ideas to get you guys thinking. Feel free to use your own strategies or focal points, the more ‘experiments’ you conduct, the more you will learn about yourself as an athlete in the long-run. Next time you show up for class, look at the workout ahead of time and develop a plan. When the clock starts, do your best to adhere to your plan and don’t get caught up in what everyone else is doing. Afterwards, once you’ve caught your breath and can feel your legs, reflect back on the workout. Did you accomplish what you wanted? If you did, give yourself a new challenge for the next time. If not, what could you have done differently? Be sure that you take something away from every session and apply it to your future training sessions.