I’ve been looking for ways to make the process of exercising daily easier for me.

I struggle with working out regularly.

Since I started working, I’ve had a problem staying consistent at exercising.

I have been on and off.

I subscribe to a gym membership for a period of a few weeks to a maximum of six months.

When my contract is over I stay away from the gym for six months to a few years.

The longest time I kept a gym membership was one year.

During times that I have a gym membership, I am still on and off.

Sprinting excites me but kills my long term progress.

I’m pretty sure that my attitude is the problem here.

I’ve been reflecting on my past problems working out and noticed that whenever I am competing, I tend to sprint.

I go all out, run out of gas and as a consequence, lose my ability to continue moving.

I’m often too exhausted to workout for the next two days and eventually miss working out for a week or two whenever I sprint.

My worst effort yielded the best results.

When I was a beginner at CrossFit, I could only perform a limited amount of reps so I am able to go to the gym, workout and come back tomorrow.

I repeat the process for a year and consistently clocked in three up to five sessions a week without any issues.

My performance is nothing to brag about but I am proud that was able to build a lot of strength compared to when I started.

All I had to do is attend the workout area and survive for an hour.

My best effort yielded the worst results.

After I’ve developed my strength and my skills, I have noticed that I also developed the bad habit of trying to match the performance of stronger athletes.

I try to match or at the very least, catch up to what they can do.

I give my 100% on the daily workouts, burn out and disappear for more sessions than I’d like.

I was heroic instead of consistent.

Since my interest in CrossFit, I’ve been listening to interviews of top athletes and performance coaches from different sports and disciplines.

I’ve heard this advice many times from different top athletes and instructors:

A coach’s job is to make sure the athlete never performs 100% in the gym.

The athlete’s job is to exceed his 100% only during competition.

I was wrong.

I let my ego get in the way of my progress.

I’m trying to fix that.

Small steps, done consistently add up over time.

I also discovered what I did right.

I’m meditating on how I failed and what has worked for me so far so I’ll be able to move forward in the right direction that’s best for me.

The Kevin who couldn’t do a pull-up was able to do fifteen unbroken pull-ups after a few years by going to the gym and doing a few pull-ups a week.

I was able to do a 5x5 weightlifting protocol without any problems.

Following the slow 5x5 weightlifting protocol in 2015, my numbers were:

  • Strict Press: 45 lbs.
  • Back Squat 65 lbs.
  • Deadlift: 130 lbs.

2020, at the time of this writing, my numbers are:

  • Strict Press: 135 lbs.
  • Back Squat 235 lbs.
  • Deadlift: 365 lbs.

All I did was follow the 5x5 protocol for a few years.

I’m teaching myself to slow down but continue moving forward.

Taking one step or even a half-step is way better than zero steps.

I tell myself.

I failed doing CrossFit workouts on my own…

I’ve copied WODs from my personal CrossFit notes, friends, coaches and my gym’s published.

Sometimes I feel great.

Other days, the workout is too hard.

Sometimes a CrossFit workout requires a lot of motivation.

When I’m struggling with a personal issue or distracted by a complex work problem, I either perform poorly or skip the workout.

So I have a difficult time copying CrossFit WODs verbatim on my own.

Don’t get me wrong, I do enjoy several CrossFit workouts for fun.

I like doing Karen, Fran, 18.0 and bear complex workouts for fun.

The problem is, on my own, whenever I get excited, I sprint or do way more than I reasonably can and I’m unable to continue.

Simplify using AMARAP or EMOM

I was looking for a way to keep the workouts easier or simpler.

I tried to do AMRAP (As Many Rounds as Possible within a specified time period) or EMOM (Every Minute on the minute) for one movement for 5 or 10 minutes.

It all sounds like a good idea but whenever I’m about to start, I cringe at the thought of doing lots of burpees or squats compressed in a five or ten minute period.

I feel down whenever I back out from working out and this becomes a vicious cycle of inactivity and depression.

I’m trying to break the cycle.

I’m poking around different methods so I can find a protocol that can get me moving regularly again.

Because of Covid-19 I don’t have access to a gym at the moment.

I’ve had good results with Tabata

I decided to scale down to Tabata workouts.

Tabata workouts consists of eight rounds.

Each round is twenty seconds.

At the end of each round, you will rest for ten seconds.

Total of three and a half minutes.

Tabata only made sense when I acknowledged my weakness.

I did this for a week and little by little something began to click inside me.

Whenever I did well in a long workout like Karen, I’d give 70-80% effort and rest for ten seconds and I was able to throw the twenty pound wall ball ten feet up in the air for 150 reps.

So I figure this practice helps me put in the reps without feeling intimidated.

I know my weakness.

Sometimes I have the mental toughness to power through challenging CrossFit WODs.

But I’m not like that every day.

I feel horrible for missing workouts and that turns into weeks of no workouts.

So I have a new strategy.

I do a Tabata workout for each movement.

I start with jump ropes then I add movements.

I do about six to eight movements.

I do a couple of rounds of shadow boxing if I feel like doing more work.

Here’s my Tabata workout.

Tabata Workout 1

Movement 1: Jump Ropes

Movement 2: Scap Pulls

Movement 3: Air Squats

Movement 4: Pull Ups

Movement 5: Walking Lunges/Jump Squats

Movement 6: Hanging Knee Raise

Tabata Workout 2

Movement 1: Jump Ropes

Movement 2: Scap Push Ups

Movement 3: Air Squats

Movement 4: Bear Crawls

Movement 5: Inch Worms

Movement 6: Pike Push Ups

Tabata Workout 3

Movement 1: Jump Ropes

Movement 2: Scap Pulls

Movement 3: Air Squats

Movement 4: Burpees

Movement 5: Inch Worms

Movement 6: Hanging Knee Raise

Tabata Workout Numbers

Here are the number of reps that I try to maintain per round.

Compared to EMOM, Tabata numbers are small and there is a cue for me to rest for ten seconds.

The interval between movement and rest enables me to put in a little more reps than what I can do during EMOM.

These numbers go higher or lower depending on how I feel that day.

If I feel weak, I put in the lowest number I can maintain.

Two to five reps is still 16 to 40 reps per movement.

If I feel I wanted to workout some more, I just repeat another round and maintain the same or lower number of reps.

Air Squats: I try to maintain 7 reps. I do five or six if I feel weaker.

Scap Pulls: I try to maintain 7 reps. I do five if I feel weaker.

Pull Ups: I try to maintain 1 rep. I do two reps if I feel stronger.

Push Ups: I try to maintain 7 reps. I do five or six reps if I feel weaker.

Burpees: I try to maintain 4 reps. I do two reps if I feel weaker.

Hanging Knee Raise: I try to maintain 6 reps . I do five reps if I feel weaker.


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