It happens to the best of us, probably more occasionally than we would like. You walk into the gym feelin’ pretty good. You’ve got a game plan for the WOD and you’re planning to push yourself pretty hard to achieve a score you’ll be happy with. The class is ready to begin the workout of the day and you’re feeling confident as the clock counts down “3..2..1..beep!”. You start working through the motions and the next movement you need to complete is chest to bar pull ups. They’re definitely not a strength of yours, but you’ve been working hard on them lately. The total number of reps you need to complete each round is 8, so your plan is to string together 4 and 4. Will it be challenging? Yes, but it’s something you think you can definitely handle. You chalk up and jump on the rig to complete your first rep. You kip and pull yourself up, instantly you’re thinking “What the hell? That did not feel good!”. You drop from the rig, chalk up even more (because that may be the solution, of course) and try it again. Nope, they are still feeling rather shitty. You start to panic… How are you possibly going to complete the workout now that your plan is ruined?!
This is a good time to take a step back and reevaluate your game plan – which is totally an OK thing to do! One of the most important things to be able to do during a workout (other than being able to do the movements safely and correctly) is being able to go with the flow. Creating a game plan is never a bad idea, but it is crucial to know that there is no guarantee your game plan will always work out perfectly. There’s no way you can tell how you will feel during the WOD that day. You may come into it feeling great, but surprise – your muscles are actually wrecked from a couple of days ago and are now saying “nope” to unbroken muscle ups. Or on the other side of the spectrum, you may walk into the gym feeling completely destroyed, and end up surprising yourself by hitting a PR of unbroken double unders to start off a workout.
The best thing you can do when things go south is to stay relaxed. When you get worked up, it can be hard to think on your toes. When you’re relaxed, you can easily keep working through the WOD and adjust as needed. When you start a workout, be aware of how your body feels with each movement. You may be able to start a WOD with going unbroken in the first two rounds, but end up needing to drop the bar a couple of times to finish it off. Don’t let this discourage you to create a game plan, talk to your coach before the workout, ask them their thoughts on how you should tackle what’s ahead. But always remember – when something doesn’t workout the way you hoped, accept that it isn’t going to happen the way you planned, stay positive and give yourself a quick pep talk, and continue through the workout, going with the flow and performing it in a way that is doable for you that day, truly every day will be different!