If you’ve shaved minutes off your Fran time, we bet you didn’t get there by winging it. You probably had a pretty decent plan of attack. After all, when you’re tackling a workout program centered on competing against yourself, you won’t get far without a precise set of goals and a road map for how to reach them.
Problem is, CrossFit workouts are so crammed with moves we want to tackle that it’s hard to zero in on the best benchmarks for physical fitness. To help narrow down these areas for improvement, we talked to Will Lanier, a coach at CrossFit NYC, who suggested five exercises that we should be creating goals around.
1. Squat: This is strength 101. If you want to get stronger, you have to squat. Squatting is also a great way to increase mobility and overall balance.
2. Press: CrossFit movements are all about functionality, and the ability to put weight over your head is essential to life.
3. Burpee: This is 100% personal opinion here, but I feel that burpees make you better at life. I saw a great saying once that read “when life pushes you down, do a burpee.”
4. Thruster: While no exercise was invented by CrossFit, this metabolic and full-body move is by far the most hated—and quintessential—at the CrossFit box.
5. Pull-up: Again, the pull-up is a very functional movement. When running from zombies, you will be happy that you can now pull yourself up over something (or into a tree). Everyone knows zombies can’t climb trees.
Once you’ve got a list of goals, develop a precise plan of attack. For example, if you want to have 20 unbroken pull-ups under your belt, set a date for achieving that goal. Then break it down into smaller benchmark goals. To keep yourself accountable, assign dates to both short- and long-term goals. “I will have 20 unbroken pull-ups done by July 3, 2013” will yield more success than simply saying “I want to be able to do 20 unbroken pull-ups.”
Once you achieve a goal, pat yourself on the back, take a deep breath and create a more challenging goal using the same methodology so that you are constantly pushing your mental and physical thresholds.