A year on and a lot has changed, for not only myself, but for all of you in the gym. Now I know what you're thinking… who’s that good looking, muscular chap in that photo and why was he so bloated and fat in the other one?!? That's what I thought.
These two photos were taken exactly a year apart at the same competition, with the same weight and about the same time in the event. As you can see… there is a big difference in the two. I know you think it, but, I am not a superhuman athlete that is 100% dialled in all of the time, trains 5 days a week, sleeps 8 hours and eats a bad meal one in every 100 meals! I'm sorry to disappoint you but it's just not true! I am lucky enough to have 2 businesses that are going well and need a lot of attention, a fiancee, hobbies and somewhere in there I try and fit in a life! Now I'm not complaining, I love it and wouldn't have it any other way. But, we all have busy times and training focus lacks, nutrition goes out the window and the inevitable happens... we get a little rough round the edges!!
So why am I putting semi naked photos that I’m not so proud of for you all to see? Self perception and self reflection is so important in all parts of life, but do we take time to do it?
I, like many others, do not have the highest opinion of myself, maybe on the outside I do but deep down I’m still the fat kid I see in my school uniform. But then I see a photo of myself and think… Wow, look where I am now.
Over the last few months I have had many questions such as, why can’t I do this yet? Why haven’t I lost body fat yet? why haven’t I? shouldn’t I be? I want to have this but why don’t I? Which lead me to think. Do we sit back and reflect enough… if ever?
Each person's training life will be different. What normally happens is, we start training, adaptation is high and we see fast paced achievements, large strength gains, mobility improves quickly, we feel better, stronger faster and fitter. 6 months down the line and these changes still happen but at half the pace, another 6 months and they slow down do a snails pace. What used to be 20kg jumps are now 1kg steps, 2 minute pb’s on a WOD are now 10 second improvements. Technique works gets harder as the focus is so small rather than a whole movement. Sound familiar?!?! Thought so.
When this happens you have 2 options. Get frustrated or get motivated. The most common is being frustrated. It happens all the time. But why? We haven’t taken time, reflected and sat back to remember where we came from and what we have really achieved in what is a short space of time.
Self Perception is so important to grow confidence and gain consistent improvement in training, work, life, relationships etc. We want to feel motivated, proud, confident and indestructible as much as possible. Self worth is so so powerful so why not try and improve it.
Here are a few tips to help take the time to reflect.
1 - Log your training - taking note of your training not only helps to work numbers out, but acts as a great tool to see, on paper, how much you have improved and in what time frame. If you haven't improved then your training diary will tell you why. Every month or two sit and look at what you have achieved. if it’s empty, kick your ass and get back in the gym.
2 - Find time for yourself - Once a month (at a minimum), take 30 mins to sit and think about the month, what you did well, what you improved upon from last month and set new short term goals for the month ahead. Write these down so you can see and read what you have accomplished.
3 - Ask questions - Ask your coaches what they feel you have done well. If you don’t believe yourself then ask someone else if they think your doing well. A good and honest coach will give you a straight answer.
4 - Reward yourself - A new t shirt, pair of trainers, protein, fish oils etc are all small, affordable and worth while things to get yourself for achieving you goals. Self reward is huge. Feel a sense of worth and achievement for being amazing.
5 - Leave the gym feeling better - If you leave the gym annoyed at yourself you will have a bad feeling about your training. I know it's hard but leave it at the gym. Before you leave make sure you think about what you did and find one thing you did well. Take that with you for the day as I guarantee you… no gym session is all bad. Hey… you turned up, did the work, therefore you are better, fitter stronger than you were when you walked in! What's that? Every time I come to the gym and do a session I leave a better person…. if that's not enough motivation then what is?!?!?
I know that these two photos show a huge improvement, not just in physique but focus on consistency training and nutrition, in a year, which in the grand scheme of my long life ahead, is a very small time frame! HG3 has only been open 4 years… no one is yet perfect, no athlete, person or human is ever perfect. They are mouldable, adaptable and always have room for improvement. Just make sure you reflect back on what you have achieved, overcome and learnt in the time you have been training, I think you will be pleasantly surprised at what you find!
Our good friends at Dragon Crossfit put it well with this sign above the door!