Motivation Issues

Recently, I’ve had motivation issues, my wife has had motivation issues, some of our clients have had motivation issues. Motivation can be hard to come by, especially when things aren’t going the way you want. It’s hard to get up and train at 5 or 6 am. It’s hard to train after work, when it’s 95 degrees outside and you’ve had a rough day. It’s easy to stay home and sleep in. It’s easier to drive straight home, grab a drink and watch a television show on the couch. Life isn’t easy, adding a strict workout plan makes it harder. The workouts are hard, getting up is hard, having the energy every day to get yourself to the gym is hard. But that’s why you train. Because it’s hard, and you enjoy seeing just how far you can push yourself. It’s an awesome feeling lifting a weight that is the heaviest you have ever lifted in your life. It’s a good feeling to walk in and see a workout that just looks so brutal that for a split second you think about just going home. But you stay, you push through and you complete that workout.

Right now, I feel many of our athletes are struggling with motivation. Classes have been small, minus a few here and there. It’s even harder to get the energy to come to the gym when you know it’s going to be a small class and you may be suffering by yourself. What I have noticed is our biggest class right now, by far, is the OCR class. That’s because the Utah Spartan race is coming up in 2 weeks. They have a goal to complete that race to the best of their abilities, and that goal is coming up quick! Coming to the gym without a goal is just going through the motions. One of the first blogs we posted, talked about the difference between working out and training. I would highly recommend giving that and our blogs about goal setting a read. Changing your mindset is hard, you don’t go from being a home body who likes fast food to an avid gym goer with a healthy diet by just deciding one day you want to. You need to set goals, long term goals and short-term goals that lead you to the life and lifestyle you want. We as coaches at RFT cannot make them for you. We have goals for all of you as well. But we can’t make you come to the gym and lift the weights or work as hard as we want you to. Your goals will be the goals that drive you to do this. I would highly recommend you all have a serious sit down with yourself, especially if you’ve been lacking motivation, and ask yourself what it is you want. What do you hope to get out of your training? Part of our jobs as coaches is to help you with this. If you have a question about how to create a good goal, ask us. If you have a goal but aren’t quite sure how to get yourself there, ask us. You come to the gym for the workouts, the atmosphere and the coaching.  We can’t help you if you’re not in the gym. Everyone will have times they struggle to get into the gym, even your coaches. Find out your goals, make new goals constantly, and ask for help if you need or want it. That’s what we’re here for.

 

-Coach Matt

The Difference Between Our Mtn Fitness Program and Crossfit

This last week brought some new things to light, namely that our program is being confused for the largest trend to hit fitness in the last 20 years. The coaches here are RFT Coaching do not hate Crossfit, in fact I held a level 1 Crossfit coach certification for many years, and got started coaching out of a local box in Salt Lake City, UT. I even used their system for awhile when I was first in the SOF community, and I continue to add things here and there that are very similar to their system. However as a training system and program, RFT Coaching is not affiliated with the brand of Crossfit and there are some glaring differences in how we program and the results you can expect. Click here to try us out! 

Crossfit has it’s merits. It has brought to the forefront the idea that people need to lift weights, and lift heavy, often. That’s a fantastic accomplishment. It creates muscle confusion and helps to increase gains (more on this later), and it has plenty of uses when it comes to military and law enforcement applications. They believe the definition of fitness is: increased work capacity across a broad range of time and modal domains. This in itself is a fantastic definition of what all coaches are trying to achieve, not just Crossfit. They use this to describe what fitness is, and RFT Coaching respects that definition, in fact there is a lot of truth to it.

With all that being said though, we have found some glaring holes in the system. One of the biggest is endurance. There are not a lot of Crossfit athletes out there winning Spartan races, bike races, road running events, or trail running events. If you watch the Crossfit Games you will notice during the endurance events they all seem to struggle, a lot and those events are (surprisingly) getting shorter and shorter to accommodate. I had a lot of respect for them when they did a full triathlon, but since then they have gotten away from events that might last 2 hours+. A lot of this is due to the methodology and packaging for television. Many Crossfit coaches (not all) believe that if they increase the lactate threshold capacity (about 2-4 min) really high this will transfer to other areas. This is sort of true. If you only train in the <30 min realm you can expect to have good results only in the <30 min events. Once it goes into the 45+ min time frame the athlete will suffer.

Another issue is with the randomization. In some ways this works well, but it leads to plateaus in training over time. RFT Coaching uses a periodized system which focuses on one specific pillar of training for a period of 3-6 weeks. These pillars of training include: strength, work capacity, stamina, endurance, and durability. There is room for some randomization here, and rarely are our athletes doing the exact same workout during a phase or even a complete cycle (6 months), but instead we focus on the overall goal of the training. We have found that this promotes more advancement over all of these modes of training. Our system may take a little longer to hit some strength goals, or work capacity goals, but ours is much more sustainable and we can predict the outcome after a phase. For example, our gym in Salt Lake is finishing up an eccentric strength phase and they will expect to see a 5-15% increase in strength (based on the lift and experience of the athlete). We know this because we have tested it out and have years worth of data using this training style, so we can easily make those predictions with a high level of accuracy.

A big argument against Crossfit over the years has been injuries. This is an area of contention because those that have been injured doing it are going to say it’s bad and promotes injury, while those that have never been injured will argue the opposite. As a whole I do not believe that Crossfit itself is to blame for injuries. I believe the use of overly complicated movements and the inexperience of coaches and athletes are more to blame. For example, an athlete will never see snatches done at RFT Coaching. We feel that this lift is too complicated and specific for the majority of novice lifters to accomplish safely. The snatch does have a lot of great benefits like learning to engage the shoulders, and knowing how to control your body in space, but the risks of a shoulder dislocation if done improperly are simply too high. Also, to use this lift for a timed workout totally goes against the function and purpose of this lift (it is meant to showcase total explosive power and body control, and as such to be used properly requires enough rest time to allow your body to recover from the effort and a high enough weight to elicit the proper physiological response). When I see this lift, or other like it, programmed in a high intensity workout I cringe. Add to that a hyper competitive setting and it’s no wonder why some people get hurt. We use clean and jerks in lieu of the snatch, and will only teach the snatch to people who can execute a clean and jerk with perfect form, which may take years.

Another big difference is that we do not put names on the board after the workout, nor are we “always competing”. Many boxes out there insist that athletes turn themselves inside out every day just to have the fastest time on the board. We have found over the years that this has a great effect if someone is in the top 3-4 spots consistently. Maybe they will work harder to make the next step in order to beat that other person. However, for the lower ranked folks this simply discourages them. Many will feel that they can’t make that top spot even after years of training so why bother trying that hard anymore. We have found this to be especially true with new clients who are already rather intimidated walking into a gym. We want our place to be welcome to all, elites and novices alike. We like to tell people “we are all on the same journey, just some of us are a little further along”.

The competition mindset can also lead to burnout, over training and injuries. If someone is going 100% every time they train they are going to eventually get hurt. Ask any top coach or athlete and they will tell you about the 90% rule. Always come home feeling like you could have done one more interval, one more rep, one more round, or one more set. Save that extra 10% for competition day, when things are actually on the line. RFT Coaching encourages our athletes to work hard, train often, but always leave one more in the tank…..you never know when we might just change things on you mid training session :).

Hope this helps to clarify some things about RFT Coaching’s signature Mtn Fitness Program and the Crossfit method. Click Here to get set up with a pass and come train with us!

-Aspera Non Spernit-

Coach Chris