Get What You Came For

Get What You Came For.

It’s something I say often. Or position as a question. In theory, it’s simple; however, once unpacked, it urges honesty and evokes insight.

When you schedule a function—a meeting, date, lunch appointment, or a doctor visit—you typically have a set of goals, or an outcome, in mind. Training at our gym should be no different. But here’s the thing: You have to understand that you can, and should, come in here with a different set of goals from time to time.

Training at a CrossFit affiliate can have you feeling like you’re supposed to “go hard” each time you come in. Some even think that to make “progress” you need to push yourself to the absolute edge of exhaustion. Others have the harebrained notion that if you’re not laying on the ground gasping for air, then you haven’t done something worth doing.

That being said, all of these ideas could not be more inaccurate. Listen, there is nothing wrong with throwing on your crazy pants and pushing the limits on what you can handle, but it’s not the end all be all. It’s also impossible to sustain.

“Get what you came for” can be understood in some cases as a checkmark for what you need to accomplish. Some days your only goal is to make it to the gym—and that in itself marks the day as a huge success. Other days, your goal might be to partner with a new athlete in the class. Or to get to the front on the room, instead of your usual back. Maybe you have a performance goal. Or a new class goal: to come to Life Lifting, Mobility, Weightlifting, or any other class that you have been too nervous to try. There are a lot of ways to gauge performance and progress, just like there are a lot of ways to approach a day at the gym. To get what you came for, maybe start by unpacking what you need.

As you head to the gym today, think simply about your goals. Because as we know, excess doesn’t always result in success. More often than not, your goals are achievable and aligned with your inherent needs; how we approach them is what puts change in motion.

Coach David

Barbell Emotions.

In the last 24 hours I have witnessed four emotional barbell battles, and with the Thankslifting In-House Powerlifting coming up on Saturday, November 18th, I thought this would be an appropriate time to share some thoughts on how to make peace with your barbell.

Here are five ways to help overcome your mental (or emotional) barriers with lifting heavy or going for a new PR (personal record). Outside of #1, these concepts lean on the mental side of the game. I will cover technical and programming solutions that relate to this topic in a later article.


#1 Hold onto the bar for dear life. Seems easy right? But we miss this all too often. I talked about it here (insert link), but when you get nervous, don’t forget to death grip the shit out of the bar. Especially for the lifters with less experience, this will create tension for you which has a domino effect of positive lifting traits.

#2 Approach the bar with a Zen-like process. I relate this to a good basketball player shooting a free-throw. Their free-throw routine is systematic and precise. It’s something they do every time they step to the line. Approaching the bar should be like shooting a free-throw. Develop a routine that you can replicate every time you approach the bar.

#3 Treat your warm up like a 1-rep max and your 1-rep max like a warm-up. Obviously, you are not going to put the same amount of power behind the bar; but your attention to detail and respect for technique should be the same. Deliberate practice with every rep will drastically improve your technical learning curve. There is plenty to be learned when lifting at 40, 60 and 100%. Don’t take the lighter reps for granted.

#4 Have a plan. If you are gunning for a 225lb lift, then you should have all your attempts calculated post 50%. Having a plan will help prevent you from doing something silly (believe me, it happens to everyone). When I see numbers scribbled down on a markerboard I will typically see the following:
125 x5, 145 x5, 165 x3, 185 x1, 200 x1 (so far so good)

And then I will see:
205 x1, 210 x1, 215 x1, 220 x1, 225 for a failed rep.

What I should have seen was:
215 x1, 225 x1 (PR)

When you get nervous and start second-guessing the big weights, you will most likely start making small weight jumps and wasting extra energy trying to get to your goal weight. You need to have a plan of attack for when you start venturing off course with your weight and rep selection.

NOTE: 17 +/- total reps post 50 – 55% is a good rule of thumb for a solid progression to your 1 Rep Max attempt. 50% and under you just need to make sure you are warmed up and ready to go.

#5 Practice. Maybe the most boring answer but quite possibly the best solution to learning how to overcome the nerves associated with lifting heavy. You just need to put in the reps. Spend time under the bar. Find out what works for you.

Lessons in life and lifting.
Being strong should never be a weakness.

Coach David

PS – Thank you for asking me to write something about this Jorge. I appreciate your strong vibes, my friend.

Sunday, March 9th, 2015

Athletes, spectators, friends and all CFD athletes please come to CFD Lincoln Square on Sunday from 1p – 3p to knock out CrossFit Games WOD 15.2; come support, count reps or do the workout with all your fellow CFD Teammates.


Lakeview Training
9a – KB WOD
10a – KB WOD
11a to 1p – Open Gym

Lincoln Square Training
8a – CrossFit Endurance
9a – KB WOD
10:30a – Whole 30 & Paleo FAQ Session

KB Programming:

Mental Toughness Day

Max KB Swings 70/55

Max Box Jump Overs 24/20

Max KB Snatch 55/35

Max Wall Balls 20/14

KB Push Presses 55/35

Max Burpees