Overcoming Obstacles In and Out of the Gym
Overcome obstacles in and out of the gymWritten by CJ Martin, and video by One Potato Productions Meet Brandon Lillard, Invictus Member. Brandon is an amazing person who has lived more than twice his age in his years on earth. Brandon embodies the Invictus mentality. He is invincible because he chooses to be the master […]

Overcome obstacles in and out of the gym
Written by CJ Martin, and video by One Potato Productions

Meet Brandon Lillard, Invictus Member. Brandon is an amazing person who has lived more than twice his age in his years on earth. Brandon embodies the Invictus mentality. He is invincible because he chooses to be the master of his destiny. Brandon is not defined by the circumstances that have brought him to the hospital on several occasions, but rather by his indomitable spirit which has allowed him to bounce back each time better than he was before.

This is what we stand for. Invictus is not about athletic performance; Invictus is a mindset that says we can accomplish anything and will not be discouraged on our way to achieving our goals. The gym is where we can practice this discipline and mental strength.

Huge thanks to Invictus members Greg and Erin Whately (Acclamation; Last chance u) for putting together this amazing video, and of course to Brandon for inspiring us all with his refusal to settle down and his relentless pursuit to be the best version of himself no matter what. Learn more about Greg and Brandon's story and their incredible mindset on upcoming episodes of The Invictus Mindset podcast launching on Apple podcasts this week! Subscribe and listen here!


Don’t Be Afraid to Ask For Clarification, Over and Over and Over Again. It’s your time, money, and most importantly, your health we’re talking about here. If you don’t fully understand something during class, ask. If you still don’t get it, ask again. Don’t be afraid to ask for clarification if you don’t fully grasp the concept, or you think others in the chic will get frustrated with you for taking up too much time… they probably have the same juste question. We were all newbies at one point. We’ve all been there. Learning the mechanics of certain movements like the squat, soulevé de terre, or any of the Olympic lifts takes lots of practice and critique from a trained eye. If you need help, just ask.

CrossFit Isn’t Everything. CrossFit is a strength and conditioning program that focuses on building general physical preparedness ( GPP ). It is quickly evolving into a sport of its own, but that doesn’t mean that it has to be your sport or your lifeblood. A majority of people CrossFit so that they can do whatever they want : Go out, play sports, learn new things, etc. Having that GPP allows you to take on new challenges. CrossFit doesn’t have to be your life. Many people CrossFit so they can have a life… and be awesome at it.

It Doesn’t Get Easier, It Just Sucks Less. The longer you immerse yourself in the suck, the less it sucks. You get stronger, build a greater aerobic capacity, and become mentally tough. All of these aspects, combined with experience, allow you to know when to push yourself and when to back off, so that you can attack each workout to the best of your ability.

You Won’t PR Every Day. Don’t mistake intensity for hard work. Even if you’re having a bad day and the intensity just isn’t there, you can still get a lot out of your time in the gym through hard work. Intensity and hard work are not the same thing. Don’t skip a planned séance just because you don’t think you’re going to kill it and leave everything out on the table. Not feeling too strong that day ? Something is always better than nothing.

Introduce yourself to others in the chic. How will this help you ask ? When you introduce yourself to someone you’ll feel more comfortable in the class and realize that you’re not the only one that’s new to CrossFit. So instead of feeling totally nervous and awkward holding a PVC biroute overhead, you feel a little bit more at ease and focus more on what you’re doing.

Keep a journal. Write down the warm-up, the skill, the WOD, and your results. This will greatly accelerate your progress. We often do workouts and lifts based on weights and reps that we have previously done. If you don’t know which kettlebell to use because you never recorded the weight you used last week, then you end up picking the wrong weight. Write stuff down and be able to reference it.

Listen to the Coach. He/she is there for a reason. They spent time studying the subject matter. They have coached hundreds to thousands of people on these movements. Your buddy that watched a couple of Youtube videos is not lateral to that.

Firebreather. Beast. Rock vedette. You’ll hear a lot of different terminology used to describe those athletes who kill every workout, and blow everyone else away. Here in our gym, we consider every one of our athletes a rock star. Hey, it takes huge cojones just to show up and do these insane WODs. Be proud of yourself and what you accomplish here. We sure as hell are.

Walk into any box ( that’s CrossFit speak for the gym itself ) and you’ll be greeted by clanging weights, clouds of chalk and whiteboards scribbled with acronyms like “AMRAP” and “EMOM. ” With insider speak that almost qualifies as its own language and raw, rough-around-the-edges spaces, CrossFit can definitely be intimidating to try. And even though many of the 10, 000 affiliate gyms offer your first workout free, beginners may still feel overwhelmed by the culture of the popular strength and conditioning program.

So what should you really expect if and when you dive into the world of CrossFit ? We turned to five athletes who’ve sweated through years of WODs ( aka workouts of the day ) for the advice they wish they’d gotten when they first started.

“Each culture, expert and [workout] space is very different, ” says Anna Willard, a CrossFit athlete at CrossFit Merrimack in Lowell, MA, as well as a former professional middle-distance runner. ( She snagged a world record in the steeplechase in 2008, but no longer competes. ) She recommends trying out a couple of different boxes before committing yourself — and your credit card — to one. “Don’t necessarily go to the place that is the most ‘convenient, ’” Willard says. Look for that one gym that’ll keep you coming back — so take note of each box’s programming ( aka the structure of workouts ) and study the overall vibe of the community before ponying up for a package.

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