Training without a purpose serves no purpose at all. I mean sure you are out there moving and some would argue doing something is better than doing nothing, but really if you are training without purpose are you getting the most out of that session? Are you really furthering your progress towards your long term health and fitness goals?
I know people who simply go to the gym and train until they have burned x number of calories. They don’t care what they do, just keep going till they do it. Their purpose is simply to burn calories. Most of their time is spent doing cardio, flogging away on the cross trainer, bike or treadmill till it’s done.
The training is not structured, it’s about an immediate result, the today need. If you are following a a structured plan and working at a hard enough intensity should not the calorie burn be a side benefit of that rather than the purpose for the session? Having a goal cal burn might be the way for some people to gauge if they have worked hard enough in the session, however isn’t a better healthier way to want to feel like you could not have given any more? That you left it all right there in the gym. Having the satisfaction that you pushed yourself hard, felt the blood pumping through your body, sucking in air like it was your last breath, muscles screaming, that you challenged yourself and went further than you thought you could.
If you simply work out to reach a calorie target that really isn’t a stretch then what are you gaining from it? Are you learning about your physical capacity to push through, to discover hidden pools of inner fight & strength? Reserves that you can draw upon when life gets hard or you are confronted by a physical challenge.
I am all for people reaching out and embracing their life, to experience and live, not just dial it in. Change & challenge are uncomfortable. That’s a fact. But it’s only through challenge & change that we grow & learn what we are truly capable of. Why go into a workout with a pre programmed number in your head and walk out the door feeling satisfied when you could have given so much more?
I still track cals when I workout, but for me they are the by product of the workout not the reason I workout. Some sessions due to the nature of the work I burn less, that’s ok, the number is what it is, my satisfaction comes from knowing I pushed, I challenged and in some way I grew as an athlete.
CrossFit is the only workout I have ever done where I have learnt about my true capacity for work and effort. Where I have found my heart & commitment I never knew I had. I have found respect for myself in my efforts & achievements. I constantly challenge myself with new skills, heavier weights or more intensity. I now know I am always capable of one more rep, less rest. My attitude now is very much I quit when I am done.
Every session there is a purpose. The coaches program with a basic plan in mind for overall improvement, one movement or skill helps a dozen others. The met cons get the heart pounding & body firing. If you aren’t feeling completely trashed at the end compared to everyone else then you know next time you can work harder.
I thrive very much on being challenged and pushed, that’s why I do so well in 1:1 sessions. I will do whatever my coach asks of me, regardless whether I think I can do it or not. I simply step up and do my best. Every CrossFit class is like a PT session, always having someone watching, encouraging and pushing you. The rest of the group encourages and pushes each other. When you see the person next to you absolutely giving it everything then you lift a notch.
CrossFit is for everyone, however not everyone is for CrossFit. Some people come & try but find it doesn’t fit them. And that’s ok. As a community, we want it to be filled with people who want to be there, who want to embrace all that CrossFit is. Everyone has their different drivers, and I’m not suggesting that everyone has to do CrossFit. Even though it is beyond awesome and the results obtained speak for themselves. But what I am suggesting is maybe people should stop being comfortable, dialling in a workout to a number. Maybe better results would be achieved if people took ownership of their results and pushed themselves to be their best. Working to a plan that increases their ability to live their life in a functional & healthy manner. Rather than just cycling through a workout on the cross trainer until the calories click over.
Train with a purpose. Train with passion. Find something you love to do & get out there and experience it. Whether it is running, or climbing or swimming or whatever. Do what you need to do to make yourself better at it and better in life. Dare to dream and develop some big goals. Do whatever it takes to reach them. Allow yourself to feel the sweat, the burn, your heart beating in your chest. These are not things to be afraid of. If you can feel these then you are truly alive.
Find your purpose & live it.