Tuesday, June 19, 2012

If You Give a Mouse a Cookie...He'll Want to Be Lean and Strong!

When I was a youngster, let's say around three years of age, I believed in Santa. I bet most of you did. That Christmas Eve, my parents and I set out cookies and milk. Or as I referred to them, "tooties and murr." There's a VHS tape (If you know what that is, I know you were born before 1990) of me standing by the dining room table and just staring at the tooties. I had already had one, and it was time for bed, but I still wanted another. Behind the camera, my dad asks, "Chris, what is it?" I respond, "Tooties." "What?" "I want tooties." "It's time for bed, Santa's coming." "But I want tooties!" Needless to say, I lost that battle.

People are greedy. Especially CrossFitters. When I ask CrossFitters, whether new or old, what their goals are, they usually respond something like this: "I want to get bigger and stronger. But I also want to lean out. And I want to be a fast runner. And I want 10 muscle ups. And..." 

Wait, what? 

It's not that I don't understand where they're coming from. They realize that to get better at CrossFit, they need to be stronger and that usually includes being bigger with added muscle mass. But at the same time, they don't want to gain weight and instead want that shredded look or to be "toned." Plus, they want to get better at running, gymnastics, etc. They want more than one tootie, and as the phrase goes, if you give a mouse a cookie, he's going to want a glass of milk. 

The problem is that trying multiple strategies usually leads to a net result of zero and frustration. They may start strength training and reducing metcons, but also cut calories thereby cutting protein, fat, and carbs, thereby reducing their recovery and ultimately, their strength gains. Do you see where this is going? 

So here's my advice to you. Figure out what you REALLY want, and go for it. Can you deal with putting on some belly fat because you are upping your calories and possibly drinking dairy to get stronger? Or can you tolerate your deadlift/squat/bench numbers going down because you are in a leaning out phase? Or even worse, NOT fall prey to the sexy metcon because you know it will drive cortisol up and therefore, body fat? With any of these decisions come consequences, for good and bad. You need to decide what you TRULY want and dedicate at least three months to it. Not a week, or two weeks, or even three. Three months. And even then, some people would say it should be longer. That number is ultimately up to you and your goals, but the point is that you can't fiddle around with something short term and expect long term results. Because if you give a mouse a tootie...

always ready to eat


  1. Stephanie VincentWednesday, June 20, 2012

    Love this post :)

  2. Sooo cute!!!! Reminds me of that book "Who Moved My Cheese?" in how your relate a goal with something so cute such as your want/need for a tootie. Right now, I have only made the CrossFit goal to keep my body moving during my pregnancy but allowing my self a real tootie if I want it (which is often!) My goals will refocus after my pregnancy but this post reminds me to stay focused on what goals really should be and not be so A.D.D. about them. I think my first goal will be to get my lungs back, then focus on strength.


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