When talking to my friends/family about CrossFit lately, I’ve been repeating, “It’s a brain game,” as part of my description. I think that’s one of CrossFit’s secrets of success – tricking the mind.
There are two ways I’ve noticed this:
First, there’s my own personal transition in my thinking. Seven weeks ago, I’d look at the workout for the day and think, “I won’t be able to do that. There’s no way…” Then class started, and I’d do it. Sure with some modifications, but everyone there is working to their ability, so that becomes a mute point. At the end of each segment, I’d realize I did it. After seven weeks, I don’t worry about what the workout is going to be, I know that I’ll do it, to the best of my ability, and succeed. The workouts appear daunting, but they are all do-able.
My second observation is the real mind trick. CrossFit is a totally different set up from a regular gym. One difference is often there are far fewer reps, but more sets. For example, do three strict presses, five times, with a 60-90 second rest between sets. Well, the mindset is completely different, “I only have to do three?” Fewer reps make it way easier to have a can-do attitude and work that much harder. The extended rest between sets, gives the body time to feel ready to go again.
Cardio works on the same idea. For example, I used a rowing machine at a recent class, we did multiple rounds of row for 40 seconds, rest for 20 seconds; row for 30 seconds, rest for 30 seconds; row for 20 seconds, rest for 40 seconds. My mindset going in was, “I only need 40 seconds.” Accomplishing workouts in small bites helps me work harder.
Breaking any task down to small steps makes it easier. CrossFit mastered that concept and came up with a success formula for getting healthier, fitter, faster.