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Last week we talked about finding something you look forward to and that you can envision yourself doing for years to come. If you missed it read here first. For this to work you need to be doing something that is sustainable.

High intensity programs have been all the craze in the last few years. Some of you have been doing them even longer. Many people don’t like CrossFit or at least like to talk bad about it but CrossFit has changed the fitness landscape and you can see it in every gym. Classes are being offered labeled as CrossFit lite, boot camp, X-Fit, and more. All of these classes are taking the concepts from CrossFit and just slapping a different name on it. They are doing this because CrossFit works.

But isn’t CrossFit dangerous, aren’t you going to get hurt doing CrossFit? You can and many have. With that said there isn’t a fitness program out there that people haven’t injured themselves doing. It isn’t the programs that are hurting people, it is the decisions people are making that are hurting them. Usually trying to do something they are not ready to do. CrossFit does often promote movements that can be riskier. Coaches and trainers often avoid teaching these movements because they are afraid of hurting people. I think they are making a good choice, if you are afraid you are going to hurt someone with a movement or you don't know how to properly teach it then don’t do it.

If you can get good coaching, not only technique, but proper scaling when it comes to the movement and volume then injury shouldn’t be a concern. Considering experience, evaluating movement, and listening to how people feel on that particular day are what a good coach will use to assist in teaching.

Now let’s go back to mindset, how should you feel after every workout? We live in a culture and are often encouraged to do more. Do more work, go faster, work harder. These things have value but not every day at the gym and not if you are just getting into your exercise program. The idea of being crushed after every workout, laying flat on the ground trying to catch your breath, and even pushing yourself to the point of vomiting are not necessary and definitely not sustainable. This is not what we need to be chasing. Pushing ourselves to these extremes day in and day out will lead to burnout, plateauing in your results and make your body much more vulnerable for injury.

I suggest instead of trying to crush yourself every workout have the long-term picture in mind before you start. What is going to make me better today, tomorrow, and twenty years from now? Moving intentionally well, showing up consistently, and listening to your body each day will keep any program sustainable. Everyday is not a go all out day or a set a new personal record day. If you think CrossFit is about going all out every day then you either haven’t done CrossFit or you went to a bad gym.

Health, exercise, fitness, wellness, you name it, it is about finding something that is sustainable. My wife and I own a gym where the average member age is 43 years old (yet I talk to 40 year olds all the time that tell me they are too old for CrossFit). We have many that are in their 50’s, 60’s and even 70’s doing CrossFit. It would not be possible if we didn’t approach our fitness without sustainability in mind. Move the needle just a little at a time, small steps and small improvements are the goal.

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