A good workout program has variability but also a measure of repeatability. The need to improve skill movements doesn’t just allow us to work to the prescribed ranges of motion, but also to improve our performance on every movement we complete. Endurance and strength movements have a similar requirement. Improvement on these may have an easier progression path. SO… the question becomes, how do I get better! The answer is easier to discover then most athletes realize, but there is a price for the success!

When an athlete asks the question “how do I get better at (fill in the blank)” I have one question in reply. What is your plan to improve? Reaching goals should not be an easy process. If we all agree that the hard work is what makes reaching our goal so rewarding, then we can also agree that the journey is part of the payment. The saying that “payment is due everyday” needs to become a reminder that drives us to these goals.

Step one is defining your goal. A memorable acronym to assist us in setting and achieving goals is SMART.

Specific – define the goal in a way that gives a success or failure outcome. If the goal is too vague then we will have no definitive point of performance. If our goal is to “master double unders,” we have no objective way to define success.

Measurable – success of a goal must have a measurable outcome, but benchmarks must also be measurable.

Attainable – our goal must have a level of plausibility. Based on our current skills and abilities, is our goal in our range?

Relevant – is our established goal in keeping with our higher level goal. In our case, will our time and effort toward reaching a new goal detract or propel is forward in our overall fitness?

Time Bound – the goal must have an end point, or test point. Allowing our goal to go forward unchecked and not tested increases the likelihood that our goal will fall by the wayside.

Now that we have set our SMART Goal, how do we get there?

WORK! It seems over simplified, but it is about time spent working toward achievement. At Stone Forge CrossFit we dedicate time in our “Daily Workout” to skill development and progressions. It is far too common that athletes use this time to work hard but not to view it as their progression time. As we discussed in our last few BLOGs, scaling is a necessary part of our growth. We must first MASTER the scale before we progress. If we want Double Unders, become a master of the jump rope. If you want a pull-up, become a master at the ring row. If you want pistols become a master at skater squats and elevated pistols. Scales are not an attempt to make sure everyone is “busy” during skill work, but instead they are a way that everyone is moving forward in their progression.

Lastly, ask questions and learn. Athletes that are consistently attentive during instruction and ask intelligent and actionable questions are the athletes that improve measurably. Coaches relish in the success of their athletes and feel accomplished when they can articulate improvements. Be ready to learn and stay engaged. The only thing left to do… is set and achieve goals! 3…2…1… GO!!!