Workout: Back Squat: 5-5-5-5-5
Accessory: 4×25 Banded Pull-Through’s
Own The Weight: Moving Beyond PR-Dominated Thought
Aristotle once said, “We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.” One could argue that Aristotle was the philosopher’s equivalent of a CrossFit athlete, writing authoritatively on physics, biology, logic, ethics, aesthetics, and the like. His generalist approach is echoed in that statement: true excellence is the sum total of constantly and consistently repeated actions, not a one-time outlier (or ‘PR’).
While a big snatch PR is certainly cause for celebration, it is not the most important or descriptive indicator of your lifting prowess or overall fitness. What can your snatch reliably, every time? What can you snatch when you’re tired, sore, or haven’t eaten enough? What number would you guarantee you can snatch with your life savings on the line? This thinking of course applies to Benchmark/Hero WOD’s as well.
Instead, try to focus less on your PR’s and more on numbers that you can “own” — a weight, time or score that you can hit nine out of ten times, regardless of circumstance. This type of thinking is psychologically helpful in that it is directly relatable to the way we should be training — valuing steady, long-term, and (relatively) permanent progress moreover quickly achieved and discarded goals, while simultaneously allowing us to take it easy on ourselves (for not always PRing) AND understand that consistency in training is the goal.
In sum, try recommitting to enjoying not only the successes and bright moments during your training, but the training itself. Savor the small sacrifices, the little breakthroughs, and the slow build towards mastery and consistency. PR’s are only the top of the pyramid, built on a wide and strong base of consistent training over time. So go forth and own it, like Max did a few mornings ago — he ‘owned’ 92% of his 1RM front squat for a staggering ten sets of three reps. He only failed on the third rep of his ninth set. Needless to say, it was cause for one helluva screaming celebration!