Are You Really Training With Purpose?

My husband, Keith and I are owners of Elite Progression CrossFit in Pawling. The advice we give our athletes is the same advice I would pass onto anyone looking to get back into the fitness world or even just working on some at home exercises. We all take the time out to make New Year’s Resolutions, but do we ever take the time out to make a plan for these resolutions?

For 2018, we challenged our athletes to come to the gym with a purpose – to set a goal each time they walked into the gym. We are all guilty of coming to the gym to just check off that box, myself included. Then we wonder why we haven’t toned up as we wanted to or why our chin just can’t quite get over that bar during pull-ups!

We also encourage our athletes to discover their weaknesses.

Understanding and acknowledging where your difficulties lie is a great thing and a huge step forward towards personal growth.

Let’s refer to a quote from Ben Bergeron (Coach of CrossFit champion and the 2015 and 2016 “Fittest Woman on Earth,” Katrin Davidsdottir):

“When Katrin and I find a weakness, we high five. I’ve never seen anybody react better to being beat in a workout than her. Because she knows that once we find a weakness, we can work on it.”

That’s what is so awesome about CrossFit and fitness in general. There is constantly something to work on and improve. There is always another goal to reach once you’ve surpassed that first goal. But you won’t reach those goals and you won’t improve without the effort, and without the passion.

Start with small goals:

  • I will make time for the gym this week.

  • I will have a plan at the gym.

  • I will not take “breaks” mid workout.

  • I will not tell myself “I can’t” during the workout.

  • I will make healthier food choices today.

Then bump it up to those bigger goals:

  • I will push myself harder today.

  • I will lift heavier weight.

  • I will fuel myself properly for today’s workout.

  • I will focus on my weaknesses.

But wait – we skipped a step. How are we going to get to those goals? This is where coming to the gym with a purpose comes in.

There are plenty of times I have walked into the gym and just went through the motions. I got a sweat on; I was breathing heavily; but I wasn’t giving it much heart.

This is not where the change will happen.

There have also been plenty of times I have asked myself, why can’t I lift this weight? Why am I so out of breath or tired?

For me it is the mental aspect of exercise; for you I am sure, it is something different. But for both of us, something needs to change. So when you find out what you need to work on, make yourself a plan. A well thought out, detailed plan. Make yourself some time. Get to the gym! Just getting thru the door is a huge accomplishment. Whether it be early morning, some time after work, or later at night.

So again, I challenge everyone this year, each time they walk into the gym to have a goal in mind. It doesn’t matter what your goal is, have a specific goal, focus on it, practice it and make it happen. Here’s one of my favorite quotes from Greg Glassman, the founder of CrossFit.

“No, it doesn’t ever get easier. You wouldn’t want it to either.” It will never “get easier” because if it did. Where is the fun in that?

You want change? Make 2018 the year you challenge yourself!

Dana Yungel is a CrossFit Level 1 Trainer (CF-L1) at Elite Progression CrossFit Pawling. Her husband, Keith Yungel, is a CrossFit Level 2 Trainer (CF-L2) and Owner of Elite Progression CrossFit Pawling and a Physical Education Teacher at Pawling High School. Email your questions to Or call (845) 319-6247; or visit online.