Like most (if not all of us), when it comes to habits I used to think my habits were justifiable because I exercised regularly therefore I was only really answering to myself. But to be honest, I used to have some pretty terrible habits.
I would sit at a computer assessing work for long stints of the day, and have nothing to eat except for a protein shake.
Exercise became a chore, so I routinely skipped the sessions I knew I would struggle with in favor of sessions I knew I could blitz (often referred to as cherry picking).
I would snack on copious amounts of protein bars and the occasional piece of fruit. Then at dinner, I would destroy tons of carbs, always followed by ice cream (my favorite flavor is mint chocolate… SOOOO good).
Eventually, I got my act together, pulled up my socks, and implemented long term change to help me break the bad habits I had created, and built in new better habits that were not only achievable but I actually embraced and enjoyed doing!.
Here’s how this all applies to your fitness journey:
Let’s use for example the idea of getting better at a specific movement. There is always going to be elements of any fitness journey we know we need to improve on (we are, after all, only human).
The key is building a habit of practicing that movement consistently.
Not during your workouts – in a separate session.
That way, you can really focus on technique.
Step 1: Pick one movement to focus on.
You should work on only one movement habit at a time. Otherwise, you’re just going to spin your wheels.
If you have multiple movements you’re struggling with, think: “Which one is going to make the biggest impact on all my movements if I get it to click?”
Don’t start working on a new movements until you’ve got the first one down.
Step 2: Realize getting good will take longer than you want.
Usually, this is where people mess up. They quit after 2-3 weeks of focusing on one movement.
Here’s the thing: Our programs lay out the exact drills and workouts you need, along with expert coaching. And it STILL usually takes people about 2 months to get a movement down.
2 months. One movement.
In the best case scenario.
Don’t get greedy.
Step 3: Remind yourself daily
Here’s a task for you. On a sticky note (or any other place you can see the habit on a regular basis), write down:
If you’re serious, you’ll create your sticky note right now, take a picture and tag us @Darkhorserowing so we can all see.
Step 4: Make practice as easy as possible
If you wanna get better at a movement, you need to make progress easy.
Which means finding drills to practice, getting coaching, or both.
So, check out our YouTube playlists for drills, follow along workouts and advice on everything rowing and training related.
Then, schedule in practice time before or after your session to ask your coaches for help.
Step 5: Keep track of your progress and celebrate wins
Managed to hit the time you want or the movement you were looking for? Then, celebrate your progress!!
That could mean splurging on a massage. Or buying some cool new training swag. Or going to see a movie you’ve been dying to check out.
It could even be as simple as telling a couple friends you hit your goal. No matter how you do it…Make sure to celebrate the satisfaction that comes from facing your weaknesses and turning them into strengths.
And there you go! The Dark Horse guide to creating better habits, smashing those goals and achieving what you’ve always said you were going to achieve. Now go be a Dark Horse and show the world you can do it.
Yours in training, education and habit building.