Are You Playing Full Out?

Earlier this year, an acquaintance invited me to attend a conference in San Francisco.  My travel schedule conflicted with the conference dates, and I was unable to attend but in the email forwarded me about the conference there was a link to an article I found interesting.

The conference organizers requested that if you were going to go to all the trouble to attend their conference, you as an attendee had better show up ready to “Play Full Out.” Perhaps this phrase is familiar to some of you, but it was new to me and while I found the idea to interesting I didn’t give it much thought.  Over the rest of this year, I’ve noticed this “Play Full Out” phrase in a few blogs I follow and even in an article on Forbes’ website.

For whatever reason, this phrase remained in the recesses of my mind and a week ago I revisited the original article.  Upon my second reading, I began to think that the idea of Playing Full Out applies to more than being social at a conference.

Could Playing Full Out apply to what we all come to do at the gym each week?  I believe that it can, and I’m going to take Mr. Hyatt’s points regarding playing full out and put my spin on them.

1. “Be fully present, undistracted by anything else.”
Our workouts typically consist of a workout part 1 (the warmup), then coaches and class covering a specific skill together, and lastly workout part 2 (the one that leaves you laying on the floor gasping for breath).  I like to  consider the class format as a funnel of focus.

During the warmup, we chat with our friends or the coaches, perhaps mobilize a specific tight area of the body, or lately just get some meters on the rower (those in the rowing challenge).

As we move into the section where we all grab a barbell and practice a lift together, or cover a gymnastic movement, the class gets a little quieter and people become more focused.  We want to respect the coaches and other members so we listen attentively to the instruction and perhaps ask a serious question or two.

When the clock starts counting down from 10, it’s time to put your game face on and get down to business.  This is where we forget what we were just talking to our friends about or the tightness in our shoulder and exert our energy to complete the workout.

No matter which phase of class we are in, strive to be fully present and ready to dedicate your attention to the task at hand.

2. “Stretch yourself, even if it makes you feel awkward or uncomfortable.”
This one needs little explanation.  If there are any of us that haven’t felt uncomfortable during a workout……..seriously what’s going on there?  The people who command the greatest results are the ones I see consistently doing this.

I am not running’s biggest fan.  During a 5 round workout that includes a 400 or 800 meter run, I’ll be miserably uncomfortable on round 2.  When I lived in CA, I’d always mutter under my breath “beach body” whilst running to remind myself why I’m pushing myself.

Not a lot of progress is made inside the comfort zone.  I’m not saying overdo this, but work to push yourselves outside of the comfort zone and you’ll be thankful.

3. “Give your best effort, even when you are tired and want to quit.”
We probably can’t count the number of workouts we’ve wanted to quit on about half way through.  So how is it then that somehow we finish that last set even when our mind is telling us there’s no way we can?  I suggest that our bodies are capable of much more than we think they are or to put it another way, our minds give up long before our body will.

So when we’re breathing hard, our muscles are exhausted, we’re feeling lightheaded and dizzy, and our mind is telling us we can’t possibly do any more work don’t give up.  It’s possible to complete the task at hand, and finishing a tough workout is more satisfying than throwing in the towel.

So that’s it friends.  When you come in here, come ready to Play Full Out.  We love it, others will love it, and it’s hard to imagine that if you’re Playing Full Out you won’t have a better experience.  As a personal aside, this reasoning applies to far more than exercise.

Think about where else you might not be Playing Full Out, change it, and see what happens.

The O-Board Says…

“Santa Gone Bad”
3 Rounds of: 1 min at each station:
1. Barbell Jump Squats
2. Barbell Push Press
3. Weighted Situps
4. cone to cone sprint

Post by Stets.