It’s a great thing to have your fitness as a priority in your day and part of your daily routine.

But in that routine, it is easy to get into the habit of just ticking the box labelled “spend time around other sweaty people, grunt and make poop faces”.

Social media has given us a great opportunity to see into the lives of elite athletes and see their ripped bodies and capabilities day to day.

We see their PR lifts, their gruelling workouts and TBT to when they were an ordinary human being and think “oh all I need to do is emulate what’s on their Instagram and I’ll be champion of <insert sport>”

We then go out and EXERCISE by doing the workout we saw for no other reason than it’s what the ELITE do and then we don’t get the results they do, and our bodies don’t look anything like theirs.

The thing about those athlete’s social media posts is that we rarely see the hours these athletes are spending practising their sport.

We don’t see Lionel Messi’s hours he spent kicking the ball against the wall when he was a kid or the 10 years Katrin Davidsdottir spent in her youth as a gymnast perfecting the basic movement of her body and building the foundational strength.

Those hours consciously practising the same mundane things repeatedly is what made them skilled and strong today.

I use the example of the pull up. In gymnastics one of the first progressions is being able to hold your chin over the bar with optimal shoulder position for a significant amount of time.

This progression helps you build the strength to hold your own body weight along with over time build tendon strength for more dynamic movements ala kipping and butterfly pull ups.

However, doing that on the regular is not social media worthy and is boring, so we jump straight into kipping and then wonder why 1 year later we are still only able to do 1 – 2 kipping pull ups or getting shoulder pain.

In terms of Energy System Training aka Metcons there is plenty aspects to train other than just getting in and hammering out the reps as fast as possible to get the best time.

You can train

– Breathing control.

– Pacing a workout so that you gradually get faster throughout the workout

– Understanding how many reps of a movement you can complete before reaching your absolute fatigue and having to stop that movement.

– making each rep look perfect from the first rep to the last rep (check out Rich Froning doing Double Grace in 2015)

– maintaining the same pace on a rower, run or Air Dyne throughout the whole workout.

There are so many different variables to train because of the variety of each workout.

In terms of nutrition there is more than just eating clean or counting macros. Different bodies respond differently to foods and food groups. Is their digestion working optimally, are their micronutrients balanced, are their gut bugs happy and is absorption occurring as it should? Yes, you see those inspirational people with their massive hamburger and a beer but that’s probably their first time in weeks and they’ve more then likely spent months building the foundations for the metabolic processes to cater for those one off occasions.

So every time you walk into the gym, do it with purpose, set a specific goal for that session and you’ll be setting yourself up for a more successful, fulfilling and healthy fitness journey. Be prepared to work day in and day out on the little things before you expect to see the bigger things appear.


Amanda de Souza
Amanda de Souza

My health and fitness journey began in 2012 and although I am still a work in progress I am learning more every day and want to educate others as much as I can. Follow more great advice from Amanda on Instagram.