Workout of the Day
Take 15-20 minutes to build to a heavy clean;
Three rounds for time of:
Power Clean x 5 reps
Front Squat x 10 reps
400 Meter Run
Choose a weight that is challenging, but will still allow you to complete the workout in under 12-15 minutes.
Optional Finisher – Accumulate 3-4 minutes in a Front Leaning Rest on Rings.
Written by George Economou
When I first transitioned from the military to the world of strength and conditioning, people would ask what I was doing, and I would reply, “I’m in the business of making people stronger.” After a while I came to think that making clients stronger was only part of something bigger, so then when they’d ask me what I did, I’d reply, “I’m in the business of making people healthier.” Nowadays I’m thinking it’s even broader than that.
Our members who have been consistent in their approach to training and nutrition are seeing benefits that extend beyond 1RMs and body composition. Sure, their blood panels are looking good, but they’ve also got an air of confidence that maybe wasn’t there before. So now they’re walking taller (the foam rolling and trap-3 raises may be helping with that), and they’re trying things never attempted, or at least not in the past 10 years. These folks aren’t just stronger and healthier…they’re better, and this is why: They consistently aligned their behaviors with their goals.
So what does it mean to align goals with behavior? A good place to start is to clearly define goals.
It’s not enough to set a goal of, “I want to be fitter.” How do you know when you’ve achieved “fitter” or when you’ve “lost some weight?” Instead, try thinking in terms of how you would measure the desired end state: “I want a sub-8-minute Helen” or “I want to do the 5-minute work capacity test with the prescribed weight” or “I want to go from 26% body fat to under 22%” or “I want to climb Mt. Whitney.” Having a clearly defined goal means you have something concrete to achieve, but your journey is not done there. You need to set some kind of reasonable timeline.
Setting reasonable timelines can get a little tricky. Those people who are proactive enough to set goals are generally also very eager to achieve them. For example:
- Joe Invictus: “Hey George, I read your blog post on goals and behaviors and it was really awesome. You’re really awesome.”
- George: “Thanks Joe, you’re awesome too.”
- Joe Invictus: “Yeah, I am, thanks. So, I set a new goal for myself. I want to deadlift 405lbs for 1RM by the end of September.”
- George: “Cool. What’s your current 1RM or 3RM?”
- Joe Invictus: “I think I got either 215 or 225 for 2 or 3 a few months ago.”
- George: “Cool. You got a few minutes? It would be great if we could sit down and plan out your goal a little more.”
Don’t get me wrong. Timelines can, and often should, be aggressive; but they also need to be reasonable.
The next step in goal setting is “charting the course.” Just like driving from point A to point B, having directions is so much more effective than just using the force. “Charting the course” involves identifying a series of action steps that you should complete on your way to achieving your goal. Take Joe Invictus as an example; his action steps (after adjusting his timeline a little) would involve deadlifting 3RMs and 1RMs along a timeline that would fit into his goal’s deadline, and maybe even some weekly mobility action items. This step is so much easier completed with the assistance of a friend, training partner, or…coach!
Clearly defined…check. Reasonable timeline…check. Chart the course…check. Here comes the tough part…modifying behaviors.
Behaviors are your day-to-day actions: going to bed early/late, waking up early/late, drinking 8 cups of coffee a day, sneaking candies from the receptionist’s desk every time you walk by, flossing twice daily, falling asleep to the TV, etc…
Bottom line up front:
GOALS AND BEHAVIORS NEED TO BE ALIGNED. IF THEY ARE NOT, YOU EITHER NEED TO MODIFY YOUR BEHAVIORS OR MODIFY YOUR GOAL.
Here are a few examples of misaligned goals and behaviors:
- Goal – Win the 2011-2012 Office Fantasy Football League.
- Behavioral issue – You don’t watch football.
- Result – “How am I losing right now? I thought Peyton Manning was awesome.”
- Goal – Win the 2012 CrossFit Games
- Behavioral issue – You work 50 hours a week, and that doesn’t include taking care of three kids. Because of balancing your work requirements, family life, and your bi-weekly bridge club, you can only train 4 hours a week at best.
- Result – Trying to cram in 13 hours of training into your 4 hours results in catastrophic injury.
- Goal – Body composition change – lose 4% body fat in 8 weeks
- Behavioral issue – At the end of the day, all you really want to do is have a teency weency bar of chocolate and a couple glasses of wine.
- Result …
You get the picture.
Setting and achieving goals is an incredibly rewarding experience. It’s something we probably don’t do enough of, especially since the value of it extends far beyond the individual achievement of that goal. With that said, goal setting may also require that you modify your behaviors, some of which you may be very attached to. Lucky for you, you’ve got this great community of athletes and coaches to help you. It’s always inspiring to see this kind of support in action, like when everyone in the gym focuses their attention on someone attempting a 1RM Back Squat in the Performance Development Clinic…so cool. If you do have a goal in mind, and could use some help clearly defining it, or “charting a course,” please talk to one of the coaches and we’d be thrilled to help however we can.