We are habit based animals and those habits can be incredibly hard to break regardless of the end results of such actions.
The issue lies in what we are comfortable with and how resistant we are to change both consciously and subconsciously. Part of that is because we act out of habit away from the actual awareness of what we are doing (reference).
This is evident in all areas of life, from work to relationships, from daily rituals to where you prefer to eat on the weekend, and of course in your training.
Nowhere is this more evident than when you walk into a gym and see the same guy doing the same thing month after month. If you are aware of your surroundings even a little bit, this will jump out at you and is a prime example of habits being a hindrance.
A CrossFitter who wants to be stronger but mentally is stuck on “metabolic conditioning mode” where the irrational need to feel like a workout destroyed them prevents them from truly focusing on getting stronger.
An athlete who is hurt but denying that they need to work some correctives and therapy work instead of popping Advil and playing through pain.
An older lifter who is hanging on to the idea that he can regain strength but has a hang up about taking the time to drop the weight and correct the issues that are plaguing him.
Knowing you need to lose some weight but your daily habits are so ingrained in your head it makes it hard to break the cycle of bad food choices.
These are habits that can, and most likely will, hold you back as you attempt to drive forward in your quest for athletic glory or superior results in training.
How do we fix this problem? The obvious answer is hiring a coach, but what if you don’t have the access or ability to hire one?
What may help you assess your habits bit by bit and create a path to change:
- Start to recognize where you are biased, make a note of it, and find something you can change immediately about that bias.
- Take one meal a day and make something uniquely different than what you are used to. Get back in touch with your kitchen and your food by learning what it means to prepare food over just eating.
- If you have an injury or are hurt, recognize that this will potentially cause a problem if it is not fixed or assessed. Unfortunately this is where you need to hire a professional and face the music before the song turns into a convoluted mess you hear on college radio.
- Incorporate exercises you know you need to do such as front squats, unilateral work, rotational work for shoulders, upper back work, more posterior chain work. This is especially relevant for CrossFitters who have been known to be anterior dominant.
To start to enact habit changes mean you must take steps that make you capable of breaking habits that hold you back.
If you need help with this and do not know where to start, we can help. Contact us and let’s talk about how we can either help with creating productive habits or how we can assist you with your training and nutrition to help you break that cycle of stagnation.
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