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Tips from the Trainers: Asuka

This week we catch up with Coach Asuka, as she shares her knowledge on goal setting and mindset towards this.

How do you know if you’re getting stronger, faster and fitter? What do you do in your training sessions to get you there?

At the beginning of every year I buy myself a diary. It’s a habit I’ve had since I first started CrossFit.

In the diary I have a section for key movements and the variations of each that I want to track e.g. full Snatch vs power Snatch, 1RM, 3RM, 5RM, pull ups (strict, Kipping, butterfly – max UB), handstand walk max metres etc. Various hero WOD's and open workouts are also in there with previous times and Rx vs scaling written in.

Every training session I record the WOD, my time and whether I did it Rx or a variation. If I’m weight lifting, I’ll use my book to make sure I’m doing the right percentages based off my current 1RM, and write the weights I did that day. If I PB, I cross the old number out and write in the new – makes me see I am making progress.

I know sometimes it’s hard to know if you’re getting better, stronger, faster or fitter. I’ve found by using my diary it keeps things in perspective and occasionally I surprise myself when I check my numbers! E.g. 3 years ago my max SN was 60, now it’s 68.5. Max pull ups were 18, now 30. Yes I have kept the diaries and checked!

It’s not that I go back and look back on the daily tracking, but the act itself keeps me accountable, to be consistent with my training.

Another page I have is my “goats” page – the stuff I need to work on. Yes folks I write it all down in a list – muscle ups, wall balls, rowing, AD, handstands, rope climbs, cleans… the list goes on! So if I have extra time before or after a WOD, I’ll check my book and try to work on them, OR focus on them if they are in the programmed workout. Small gains through consistent practice. 

And finally I do have a page on goals. Key lifts and movements and where I want to be with each one at the end of the year. The important thing is to make these SMART goals ( specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and timely). E.g. I want to go from 1 ring muscle up to 3 unbroken muscle ups by Dec 2019.

It’s a bit old school, and I could move it to digital, but something about being able to do a lifting session, open my book and see I PB’d the lift and to write my new max down gives me a sense of personal achievement. You might have a system yourself, or you can log your scores in Wodify. Wodify didn’t exist when I started and I’ve just carried on my book system as it works for me.

In terms of daily training – having goals, consistency, focus and patience are key things, so here are some things I’ve learnt, which you might be able to apply to your training:

  1. You vs you. It’s not about coming first in the class or beating the person next to you. Its about pushing yourself, staying focused in your lane and what You’re doing, not what anyone else’s doing.

  2. Being efficient with good technique, by focusing on good technique you can end up going faster than if you just focused on trying to go fast.

  3. Resting in workouts. From the time you drop the bar start counting in your head 3, 2, 1 GO. ( if I’m tired then I start at 5 ha ha). At the point of GO make sure you’re set up ready to pick up the bar again.

  4. Plan the rep scheme based on weight, WOD length, and how you’re feeling that day. Fail to plan, plan to fail as they say – so if you decide on 5-5-5, stick to it. Or if one of your “goats” are in the WOD set a mini goal e.g. “ok so try pull xx on the rower each round”.

  5. Lifting heavy. If you’re going for a max have a mental game plan eg you could tell yourself “same weight, same weight”, so after each successful lift, add a bit of weight on, don’t think about what the new weight is, tell yourself it’s the same as before and go for the lift. I use this to try trick myself occasionally to get that PB!

  6. Breathe. Easy to take this for granted, but use it as a factor you can control that helps you move through the workout efficiently, e.g during transition, getting back in control during row etc.

  7. Have fun! At the end of the day it’s about doing something we love surrounded by a bunch of awesome people. So thank you to everyone at Kia Maia for making it such a great community, nowhere else I’d rather lift heavy and get sweaty at than with all you guys!

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