I’m sure by now many of you have heard someone in your life refer to Crossfit as being a cult. Personally I’ve always hated that reference but I also hate artificial cinnamon flavoring so who am I to judge. To each their own. I did however see an article on the Barbell Shrugged website that made perfect sense to me and which also applies to all forms of fitness/lifting. It refers to our community not as a cult but as a Tribe. Now that I can get on board with because it is exactly how I view our Factory Square community . . . . as our Factory Tribe. Here’s a quick read for you to see if you agree. . .
The Importance and Power of Community in Weightlifting
IT’S IN OUR NATURE AS HUMANS TO FIND COMMUNITY BUT IT’S ALSO CRITICAL FOR SUCCESS.
As a weightlifter or any athlete for that matter, it’s important not only to be coached and on a great program, but it’s critical and in our nature to find a tribe and thrive in it.
Just think of all the best athletes for a second. Most of them seek out a community with other equal or even better athletes to train with. People travel from all over the country to train at Westside Barbell. Our Olympic Weightlifting hopefuls uproot themselves from their homes, jobs, family to train at the Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs. CrossFit athletes from all over travel to Cookeville, Tennessee just to train with Rich and experience the community of Team Mayhem.
There are a number of reasons why community is so important . . .
You can train with people who will push you.
When training alone, it’s so easy to just quit whenever things get hard or just aren’t going your way. Having people around you to motivate you to keep going or engage in a some competition will definitely help propel you further than you would alone.
You can have access to many people to learn from and new ideas.
You don’t know everything and there’s always something new to learn. However, when we’re by ourselves, we can often fall into a comfort zone where our ideas aren’t challenged because we aren’t seeing different viewpoints or getting new ideas. Settling in with a group of people who have more experience than is a wealth of wisdom and new ideas that can absolutely help you perform. It’s part of the reason many rising athletes from all over travel to train with elite athletes and coaches if given the chance.
Support for when things get rough
Sh** happens and there will be times in life that just make you want to give up on your goals. But when life gets rough, it’s easier to get through the bad times and refocus on your goals when you have good people to seek out who genuinely care about you and believe in you.
This is the big one everyone wants. The truth is no one can hold you accountable but yourself. What you’re really asking for is consequences for not doing what you said you’re going to do. It always sucks to know you’ve let someone down because they were banking on you to come through. So having others around that depend or rely on you will help keep you focused, on track and crushing.
Find a person or a group of people who will push you and get you out of your comfort zone.
Maybe it just starts as one person who wants to lift with you. Push them too, they will push back. As you grow, your tribe will grow with you. People who want you to grow are going to push you to do so. These same people are the ones you’ll want to stick with. If someone you are training with is okay with half-assing multiple days a month, speaking negatively too often, or just never pushing you-this is someone you need to run from.
Remember that your tribe should only build you up, and it’s okay if someone just isn’t compatible.
If you let that person in, more people like that show up-it’s like a law of the universe. When finding your tribe, ask yourself- what is it that YOU need to bring to the table? Consider life like net fishing. EVERYTHING you do is a net you cast; and the kind of net determines what you catch. Radios on the same frequency communicate with each other. Remember that always. If you are low energy, that is exactly what you will attract and who you will be compatible with. Always be the best you can be in any given moment in training.