The factor that dictates what intensity we ultimately aim to work out at is a direct representation of our goal for that day.  Are we increasing the weight on the barbell because we’ve been focusing on strength building or because we want to have the heaviest load in our class?  When we choose to do toes to bar instead of hanging knee raises, is it because we need to work on the skill or because we want the Rx next to our name on the whiteboard?  The first step to starting to train is deciding to train, yet the first step to committing to train is to know why you decided to start training at all.  Setting an intention behind our workouts provides us with a reason not only to keep coming back, but also to push a little more purposefully each time that we do.  Here are some ways to do so:

  • Identify your goal, what you hope to achieve most.  Example: do one unassisted strict pull-up
  • Create the steps that will lead you to accomplishing your objective.  Example: practice progressions for ten minutes after class two days a week
  • Find a friend with a goal of their own.  It is always easier to stick with the process when you aren’t doing it alone.  Even if the objectives are different, seek out a fellow athlete who is also trying to achieve something and use each other as motivation and a source of accountability.  You can work on your weaknesses together.  Maybe, if you’re lucky, you will realize they’re the swolemate you’ve spent your whole life searching for.
  • If you have certain aspirations but are still unsure about how to accomplish them, ask a coach!  They are there to help you. They can provide you with the direction you might need to get going and stay going.

No matter what your goal is, remind yourself that the baseline reason for showing up and throwing down is to be healthy.  Don’t let the results on the whiteboard paint the picture you see of yourself, and don’t let the wrong reasons be the ones that dictate how you work out.  Make your choices knowing that they are the best plan of action for you at the point you are at in your health and wellness path.  If that means modifying for the sake of nursing an injury or practicing a new skill, then do so.  This is your fitness story, so take charge and grab the pen to write it in the best way, and the most “you” way, possible.

Written by Hannah Stevens