Move Better is the intention I am setting for 2020, for my own actions as an individual and leader, for our dedicated Cypher coaches, and for our committed Cypher members.
You have no doubt heard the expression “more isn’t better, better is”, or it’s opposite and related form “less is more.” In more precise form, I want to ask the question: How can we manifest a higher quality in our actions and intentions on important levels throughout our lives?
Here are some key areas where this intention can make a big impact:
1) Quality of Movement – This is the obvious and direct translation of this intention. It is a simple concept: focus on your technique, even if it means you need to slow down a bit in workouts, put less weight on the bar, or go back to a more basic step in the progression. CrossFit founder Greg Glassman’s famous words (from 2005 and 2007) age well: “Stick to the basics, and when you feel you’ve mastered them it’s time to start all over again, begin anew—again with the basics—this time paying closer attention.” I promise that over the long-term, this is what enables you to achieve higher levels.
But as leaders and coaches, we won’t just set this as the standard without owning our part of it. So starting in 2020, each week we are going to program a dedicated Skill & Mobility Day on Wednesdays and/or Thursdays, and empower our coaches with training and tools to deliver on this objective.
We want to create an environment where Move Better is clearly the focus, and there isn’t anything to distract or detract from it (such as anticipating a 20-minute AMRAP that awaits). Don’t worry, you’ll still get plenty of chances to throw down with our always diverse and appropriately challenging workouts, but you will now have a weekly practice and reinforcement of your technique through which to navigate and apply to these intensive bouts. Experiencing qualitative progress is also very rewarding, and it feels good to have a long-term plan that spans the months and years, rather than just the day to day.
2) Prep for Success – If movement is also an analogy instead of only a literal meaning, we can extend Move Better to many other aspects of our lives. Prepping for Success means doing your homework; spending those few critical minutes at the start of each day, week, and month setting an intention and coming up with a strategy to focus your efforts, anticipate obstacles, and envision a way around or through them. There are so many ways this can be applied, but here are a few:
- Workout Calendar: Write down your planned workout times on a calendar a full week or more in advance. Use our Member App to reserve your class times. This makes the decision to come to class preset, instead of a daily choice to wrestle with depending on circumstances. Take control by spending a few minutes thinking ahead and setting your intentions. You can then focus on how to optimize playing the game, instead of waffling over whether or not to engage.
- Daily 5-minute Gratitudes Journal: Some of you already do this! There’s even an app for it now :). Seeing the bright side of life is a muscle you have to train like anything else. It won’t happen automatically, and circumstances will always vary, so take control by having a daily practice around mindfulness, and experience the benefits and good feels you can carry with you throughout the day.
- Anticipate Obstacles: Think about the upcoming week, and jot down the “sticking points,” or roadblocks you anticipate. You don’t even have to think of a solution. By simply naming them in advance, you give your brain a head start on subconsciously working the problem, and it will feel familiar when you actually encounter it, rather than a surprise you feel pressure to react to.
- Name Your Limiting Beliefs: Talking about obstacles: what is something you believe strongly that may be a key part of an obstacle you listed. Do you believe you are: too busy, unmotivated, too old, too tall, too short, too broken, too afraid? Let your subconscious work on that too. You might come to realize that these beliefs are not as absolute as they feel. Short people can row well. Tall people can squat well. Anxious people can find moments of courage. You are a complete human being, and don’t belong in a box.
3) Coach The Whole Person – This is our Cypher team’s part of it, but I want to make sure everyone knows too: we are looking at our systems holistically, and finding key ways to improve our communication and awareness of each member’s background, goals and entire trajectory as members at Cypher. We want the full story, and to coach you to success by having a full picture of where you came from, what your lifestyle is now, and where you want to go next. We want to Move Better as coaches too, and that means seeing the big picture, rather than just the 60-90 minutes we are together each day, and guiding you in an appropriate ways that reflect that. Not everyone needs to hear “knees out!” again in this moment. Sometimes it’s more important to hear “good job,” or “I’m glad that you’re here.”
4) Keep It Real – Share your thoughts and concerns with your coaches, at Goal Reviews or whenever the moment presents itself. Don’t conceal them because you’re scared they won’t understand. Case in point: share your obstacles and limiting beliefs. As coaches, it’s our job to listen without judgement and, if we can’t find a way to help you right away, to talk to other experts who can help us help you. It takes a village. But we’re not afraid of hearing about your challenges, and we can best help you when we know the full story. This will enable us to Move Better with our coaching, because we’re actually able to address the root causes, rather than a proxy or symptom. Keep it real, we won’t judge!
5) Dare Greatly – This is my challenge question for myself and everyone in 2020: can you raise the bar for yourself without judgement on the outcome? I see everyone working hard in the gym and think to myself: everyone here has the drive and work ethic to be successful, but to achieve real goals (and not just spin our wheels) we need to make sure that we’re working smart too.
That Muscle-Up may suddenly show up on its own one day, but realistically, probably not without smart work. We need to take control of the process and daily practice with a commitment to doing what’s necessary rather than what feels comfortable. It is my mission to ensure that in 2020 we Move Better by setting the bar where it needs to be for success, rather than just doing what feels good but isn’t necessarily sufficient to achieve your goals. If you want to Squat or Deadlift a big number, we’re going to be honest about what it takes to achieve that, and not shine you on. If you have a big weight loss, fat loss, or muscle gain goal, same thing. You need to dial in your sleep and nutrition to achieve a lot of these, a system that holds you accountable, and a team of coaches that you trust to be honest with you, with an open heart and open hand.
What other ways can you think of to Move Better? I’m excited to do my best to apply this mantra with you all!