While watching an interview of Gred Amundson on crossfit.com this morning, I was reminded of a great philosophy that has worked really well for me for a long time. I have gotten away from it recently, as my goals for fitness are different while pregnant, but I was glad to be reminded of this advice just in the nick of time for Baby B to be born and for Momma B to be getting back in shape.
Greg said, “Remove from your mind trying to get your body to look a certain way, instead chase performance.” If you want your abs to be flat or your butt to be firm that’s great, but don’t chase body composition, work on your overall fitness and nutrition and those things will come. I’ve heard Coach Glassman, the founder of Crossfit, say that when people (usually women) tell him they want to work on certain parts of their body he just smiles and says, yeah, I can do that. He then proceeds to carry on with functional fitness that targets the entire body without focussing on any one part of the anatomy because he knows it will all come.
Chasing a certain body image is exactly why people don’t ever get there. The way your body works is much more important than how it looks, if you focus on your performance (intensity, strength, endurance) your body will have no choice but to start reflecting those improvements. I understand that many people aren’t fortunate enough to have a Crossfit/functional fitness facility or coach to go to for the instruction they need for these functional movements and the motivation they need to get a good level of intensity. Don’t let this stop you, many people have done this at home for a very long time and will continue to do so. It may be hard to start, but if you want something badly enough you will make it happen.
Whether you workout at a Crossfit gym, a YMCA, or 24 Hour fitness, you can start working toward performance instead of image. Set a goal and work toward it vigorously.
If your goal is to do pull-ups spend 5 minutes working on pull-ups each day, the same for knees to elbows or other movements. If you’d like to get faster, whether that be during a workout or a run, start increasing the intensity on ALL of your workouts. Start chasing your performance goal and leave your body image goal in the dust, it will only hold you back. Go to the gym and give it everything you’ve got and the rest will come.