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What to Want from Your WOD’s: 4 tips for setting crossfit goals

Just like paleo is more of a lifestyle overhaul than a diet, crossfit is more of a reinvention of your fitness standards just a type of workout to help you look good. That being recognized, setting goals for crossfit can be difficult because improving is more than just losing a certain number of pounds or gaining a particular percentage of muscle.

Here are some ways to change your fitness goals to better fit the crossfit life. (The examples are using numbers somewhat conducive to my own strength goals… mainly because I don’t do a very good job converting to similar guy goals. Sorry.)

No: I want a six-pack by summertime.
Yes: I want to have a 180 lb. back squat and be able to do 20 unbroken toes-to-bar by summertime.
Why? Because goals like a new PR for a power lift or an improved Fran time are going to get you a lot further in your crossfit journey than goals based on how you look. You can’t necessarily guarantee exactly how your body is going to change over a certain amount of time, so setting goals based on appearance might only serve to discourage you if you can’t obtain exactly what you want by your goal time. Besides, if you’re training properly and eating right, your body will get in line. Just give it time.

No: I’m going to get a 300-lb. deadlift by the end of the month.
Yes: I’m going to get a 300-lb. deadlift by the end of the year.
Why? It’s awesome to set big goals for yourself – but be realistic. If you’re at a 200 lb. deadlift today, you’re probably not going to make those kinds of gains in such a short amount of time. Set interim goals to make sure you’re working toward your big goal – 225 by three months, 250 by six, etc. Work hard, but be realistic about your gains and don’t injure yourself trying to get there too quickly.

No: I’m going to run a marathon, get a 300 lb. deadlift, and a 200-lb. back squat.
Yes: Uh… well, one or other, really.
Why? You should really set goals that are mutually agreeable. If your goals differ so greatly between the strength and endurance aspects, you probably won’t achieve any of them to the extent that you want. If running is important to you, maybe instead settle for a good 1-mile time while you are do your hard strength training. That way you won’t be upset that you’re not making the gains you want in both areas.

No: I’m really good at double-unders, so I’ll just do those every time I have free time at the box.
Yes: I really suck at handstand pushups, so I’m going to do those with my free time at the box.
Why? Don’t you hate those people who know they’re really good and something at the gym and that’s all they do? Like, that one bro who comes in and always does a million reps on the bench press, wipes his forehead, and leaves? Don’t be that guy. Spend a little time with the things you like and are good at – but devote extra time to your weak areas. Otherwise, you’ll end up cherry picking your workouts and only coming when the WOD has stuff you’re good at.

I hope this helps put into perspective the kinds of goals you should be setting for crossfit. If you have any additional advice, examples of goals that you’ve set and achieved, questions, concerns, or anything in between, please feel free to leave some comment love!