You’ve probably seen the drawing of the pyramid of fitness on the whiteboard at our box. There are several layers that make up this pyramid. The bottom and biggest, most important layer is nutrition, the food you eat to provide your body the nutrients it needs to function, be healthy, perform well and not store excess body fat. On top of that layer is metabolic conditioning, your body’s ability to move for short, medium or long periods of time. Another layer on top of that is gymnastics, AKA your bodyweight control and flexibility/range of motion. The next smaller layer on top of that is weightlifting, which represents your ability to produce power and control the weight of another object. The very top and smallest layer is sport, which represents mastery of all of the layers below it and ability to perform at a high level with speed in a competitive setting.
There are many other components of fitness that could be included in this chart, but this about covers the general importance of various qualities of a CrossFit athlete as defined by Greg Glassman, creator of the CrossFit methodology.
So, on this topic, I’d like to talk about one major thing that can be added to this diagram, and that is the cement holding the pyramid together, called consistency.
How many times have you done a trendy 30-day strict and restricted diet where 5 different food groups are removed and you only drink cayenne pepper water and you lose 10 pounds, only to regain 12 pounds the next month once you binge on all of the foods you’ve been craving for the last month? How many times have you watched Gladiator and gotten so fired up that you went to the gym and maxed out 10 days in a row only to crash and burn and not go back into the gym for 2 weeks? How many times have you hopped from program to program because you don’t see results overnight and then had to keep starting at square one with your fitness and body composition goals?
These are dramatic examples, but there is a point to this. In order to reach the top of the pyramid, you have to be consistent in each layer of the pyramid. This consistent, balanced effort will produce health and fitness that is maintainable long-term.
Nutrition with a balanced approach means most of your daily meals are comprised of nutrient dense real foods, but still enjoying and not feeling guilty about a little birthday cake. Instead of hitting the gym 6 days one week and then “burning out” or “losing motivation” and missing the next 10 days, commit to 4-5 hours of exercise each week.
Stay consistent with these foundational levels on the pyramid and then you’ll be able to progress to the higher-level skills, added load, and more speed.
Consistency will take you to the top of the pyramid!