Checklist for maximizing your results - Reposted article


Here are 4 “levels” of commitment that are briefly described. Choose one that you strive towards and see if you set yourself up for success or failure. The hour you spend in the gym is very valuable and so is the time before and after your workout. There are many things you can do to optimize the return of the workout that you do. This checklist will give you a few tips on what to do and maybe what not to do. This article is written to help you and to highlight some areas that might help you in your fitness journey.


Level 0 - “I’d like no progress and maybe even some regression. I lack motivation and I have not made any progress in a while. My lack of progress is someone else’s fault”

Level 1 - “Yay CrossFit! I wanna get healthier.”

Level 2 - “It’s time to make some steady and gradual progress to attain a better physique and fitness level. I’m committed to taking care of myself. I acknowledge that it is hard work and I’m ready for it.”

Level 3 - “I’m an athlete. My goal is to optimize physical and mental performance. My health and performance are highly prioritized. I will achieve a high level of capacity. I enjoy putting in the extra effort in the details because I realize that it’s imperative to my training and results”.

Level 1

  • Sleep is consistently less than 5 hours

  • My diet consists of mostly processed foods and very little vegetables and fruit

  • My water intake is low to nonexistent

  • I show up right before the class starts and I’m often late

  • I leave the gym as soon as I’m done

  • Before coming into the gym I’m completely unaware of what the skill and workout is, what equipment is needed, what my percentages are, and what movements I’m expected to perform.

  • I spend most of the day being sedentary not doing anything that requires any mobility or effort

  • If the coach says 10 air squats I will do 5

Level 2

  • Sleep is consistently around 5-7 hours per night

  • Vegetables, fruit, protein, and water is consumed on a fairly regular basis

  • Water is the main liquid that I consume

  • I show up before class starts and all the gear I need is with me

  • I’m aware of what movements I’m expected to perform and if i don’t know what they are I check the googles or youtubes.

  • Walking and stretching is hard to find time for but I try to do some extra work throughout the day

Level 3

  • Sleep is consistently around 7 hours

  • I have acknowledged that nutrition is the foundation of my results and I follow CrossFit's dietary prescription on a regular basis (Eat meat and vegetables, nuts and seeds, some fruit, little starch, and no sugar. Keep intake levels to support exercise but not body fat).

  • My eating routine is developed through careful trial and error

  • I actively choose the days that will challenge my weaknesses the most because that is how I will get better

  • My ego is checked at the door

  • My coach has my best interest in mind so I follow their instruction

  • I do my best to keep my activity level high throughout the day because being sedentary will negate the effects of an hour of exercise

  • Mobility and general warm-up is done before the workout because that will allow for higher consistency and better performance

  • Mobilizing and cooling down is done after each session because it makes me more prepared for the next session

  • I listen to my body and understand when it’s time to rest/recover and when it’s time to push my limits

Level 4

  • Sleep is consistently 7+ hours

  • Quantity, quality, and timing of food is carefully planned and executed

  • I’m consistently hydrating throughout the day with water

  • Supplemental work is performed on top of taking a group class

  • Personal training sessions are performed to fix mobility and technique issues

  • I arrive with plenty of time to warm-up the body, inhibit tight tissues, and activate underactive muscles.

  • Cooling-down and working on mobility is done after each session

  • All times, weights, reps, movements, and etc are carefully logged to track performance

  • Factors such as sleep, motivation, stress, and etc are also logged

  • Activity is constant throughout the day as well as general mobility work

  • Recovery modalities are used on a consistent basis (mobility, meditation, cold water immersion, walking, jogging, etc)

  • Virtuosity of movement is a constant pursuit in the gym because that will make keep me CrossFitting for a very long time

  • I acknowledge that mental strength is a skill that constantly needs to be worked on inside and outside the gym

This article is a re-run and was initially posted a few years back.

Oscar Isacsson, M.S, CFL3