Even Smarter

By Jon Gilson

[Editor's Note: This article was originally published on August 2, 2006.]

Here are a few more things I've learned in my training. Hopefully, they'll inspire you to engage in some reflection and maybe even some writing. I'd love to hear your contributions to the list.

1.) Keep a training log. Write down times, loads, recovery levels, and general observations. This will allow you to measure your progress and improve your training regimen. To know when you're going, you've got to know where you've been.

2.) Active recovery is ten times as beneficial as sitting on the couch. Take fish oil, use protein supplements, ice sore muscles, and do basic joint mobility exercises. Give your body the things it needs to grow, repair, and change. A Lamborghini without fuel is just a pretty hunk of metal.

3.) Read constantly. Learn something new about training every day. There are countless resources available via the internet, and some of the best advice you ever receive will be absolutely free. Just look around.

4.) Seek out the experts. Someone always knows more than you, and more often than not, they're willing to share their knowledge. When you contact someone, be polite and demonstrate that you've put some effort into finding an answer on your own. You'll get the answer you need, or you'll be pointed in the right direction.

5.) Develop mobility. Assuming that mobility will come without dedicated practice is a sure way to remain stiff. Obtaining a full range of motion in your joints and connective tissue will increase your training potential tremendously, and make everyday movement more graceful.

6.) Measure your progress against the best in the field. Human potential is absolutely staggering, and knowing what has been achieved by premier athletes will allow you to set your sights high. Do not accept mediocrity. 

7.) Every once in a while, put yourself through a very trying physical experience. Climb a mountain, jump out of a plane, sprint until you can barely stand up. You'll always know more about yourself and your limits after you've pushed the envelope, and you'll be that much more mature for the experience.

8.) Acknowledge your weaknesses. If you don't face your shortcomings head-on, they will remain your shortcomings. There is very little wisdom in pride.

9.) Publicly declare your goals. If everyone knows what you're trying to achieve, they will be in a better position to help you, and you'll be more committed to the effort.

10.) Go faster!

Jon Gilson is the founder of Again Faster and former member of CrossFit’s Level I Seminar staff. Photograph of Russell Berger courtesy of Evan Saint Clair at the JournalMENU.