Several years ago I was fortunate enough to be invited to one of Greg Amundson’s original Positive Self-Talk Seminars at CrossFit West in Santa Cruz. If you haven’t heard of him, he’s known as the Original Firebreather, one of the first guys to really crush CrossFit workouts. He’s big on having a strong mental approach and a lot of his principles have really stuck with me over the years. When I decided to make a goal to improve my pull ups at the beginning of the year, I thought, what better way to accomplish a goal than to do it while sharing an approach I learned from a proven Firebreather?
Now, if you’re going to be setting a goal for yourself, the first thing you need to do is find something that is truly meaningful to you. Do you care about it enough to work extremely hard and make sacrifices to achieve it? Perfect, that’s it. Now you have to clearly define it.
Use clear language and describe what you want as precisely as possible. When you achieve your goal you want to know it. Don’t leave room for doubt with wordings like, “I want to get better at my CrossFit.” Say “I will finish Fran as Rx under 3:00!” Then go do Fran and find out where you’re at.
Once you know where you’re starting and where you need to go, you can make a realistic assessment of your goal. If your Fran is at 3:12 your goal will be short term. If you’re closer to 6:00 you’ll need to break your goal into some intermediate stages.
Improving Fran by 3:00 will require very different improvements for different athletes. An extremely strong athlete with poor pull ups will be focused on the gymnastic aspect of the workout, whereas a small or weak athlete will have to work on building the strength and power to better handle the workout. If all that is needed is better kipping technique, this can be accomplished in hours or days and applied. Smoother technique can cause significant drops in time and will significantly shorten the time this goal will take to achieve. If strength is the issue, there will be a much longer strength building process that must take place for any improvements to be realistic.
After establishing your goal and finding out where you stand in relation to it, you must determine if your goal is going to be short term or long term. Can you just keep doing more of what you're doing to achieve it? Or do you need to create a focused effort specifically to accomplish your dream?
Word your goal powerfully, write it down in the places you spend the largest amount of time and share it. Saying your goal with confidence drives you and lets yourself and others know you mean business. Having your goal visually represented will serve as a constant reminder. And Sharing your goal will keep you accountable. If you know someone is going to be asking about your progress you’re going to be damn sure to have some progress to tell them about.
So here’s my goal: I will achieve 25 consecutive, strict, full open arm pit pull ups with a shoulder width grip!
And my test:
Looks like 19 reps for me. 6 reps will be a significant improvement, but if I achieve just 1 more per month I can be there in 6 months. If I’m going to be on track to make it I’ll need to have at least 22 consecutive reps by the half way point.
I really want to achieve this goal, so I’m going to share this post with anyone who will read it. If you see me, ask me how my pull ups are coming. I’ll be excited to tell you about them and I’ll be encouraged to see my goal through to completion. Share yours with me at Amity as well and we can help to hold he each other accountable.