Cherry Picking

By: Josh Dempsey

“Last time I checked no one cares if the workout isn’t in your wheelhouse. Get to work.” – Chris Spealler 

There’s two schools of thought when it comes to checking the blog prior to coming to the gym to workout. Some people avoid looking at the upcoming workout entirely as it may give them anxiety knowing what they’ve got coming, or they may use it as an excuse to skip the gym that day because a workout looks too hard / too easy / isn’t something they enjoy or are good at. On the other hand are people that have to check the blog because knowing the workout and having time to process that information is way less stressful than being unprepared. 

Neither of these approaches are right or wrong as we all have our preferences. However, the issue that arises is when advanced knowledge of a workout affects our behavior and decision whether or not to come to class. The primary deterrent to your attendance on any given day should be external schedule conflicts and things generally out of your control, not your feelings towards a particular WOD. 

If our goal is to truly get fitter and more well rounded as athletes, we can’t simply show up on heavy, barbell strength oriented days and be conspicuously absent on interval rowing or longer, bodyweight and running intensive days. You’re doing yourself a disservice both mentally and physically by avoiding putting ourselves in situations where we are going to struggle and be challenged. To think of it another way – how can you possibly hope to improve at a particular movement or type of workout if you never allow yourself the time to practice at it? It’s okay to have things you enjoy and things you don’t, but having preferences is very different than having limitations and gaps in your abilities. 

Lastly, I’ll remind you that some of the best, most strenuous workouts are deceptively “simple” on paper. It’s easy to misjudge or dismiss a workout before you do it when it might be exactly what you needed that day. Be sure to also avoid the trap of “I could do that at home, so I’ll skip today” in reference to an interval running or bodyweight intensive workout, for example. From my experience, I’ll almost guarantee you won’t workout at home, and if you do, it certainly won’t be to the same standard or intensity level you can achieve here at the gym. If you want to adopt a growth mindset, tell yourself the following and stick with it: I’ll do whatever is thrown my way to the best of my ability, no complaints, because that’s what it takes to continue to improve over the long haul.