Tuesday, 20 October 2009

Build A Badass Inner Circle.

What did each of your three best friends have for dinner tonight? Did they go out for pizza and beer?  Or did they sit down for a meal of chicken breast, almonds, and broccoli? 

 If you are trying to get fitter and healthier, you’d better hope the answer is closer to the latter than the former.

 Feel defensive?  What do your friends’ habits have to do with you?  You’ve read all about Zone proportions and Paleo food quality.  You train pretty hard five times a week, and you just PR’d your deadlift and Fight gone bad score.  Pretty good, right?

 If your inner circle isn’t training hard and eating well, then you’re not making the progress that you could be.  You’re literally throwing PR’s away. 

 Sure, those carboholic sluggards are your friends.  And if they want to poison themselves with sugar and alcohol, that’s their prerogative.  But their attitudes and habits are inevitably going to harm your training and nutrition.  If you would prefer to keep your current friends, you’ll be fine. You’re probably already doing most things right.  I don’t see diabetes or obesity in your future.

 Judging by the fact that you’re reading this blog, I doubt you’re satisfied with mediocrity. Haven’t you seen performances that made you re-evaluate your self-esteem?  9 minutes doesn’t seem so great on Helen when other guys are hitting 6:45.  A muscle-up doesn’t seem as impressive of an accomplishment when some athletes are hitting them with one arm and then pressing into a handstand.  What the hell are those guys doing? 

It’s exactly what you don’t want to hear.  Near always, the true animals are working harder than you are and eating better.  And a large part of that, is the environment they put themselves in.

Ask the guys at OPT or CrossFit Central or from the old Crossfit HQ.  They’ll tell you, that competing against and hanging out with some of the fittest and most disciplined athletes in the world is indescribably beneficial for their performance. 

On the other hand, when I see CrossFitters put themselves in toxic environments, I always see that no amount of personal discipline or motivation is going to make up for roommates that keep them up until 4 AM or friends that insist they drink beer every week end. 

 No matter who you are, your friends are going to affect your performance.  If you want to perform at an elite level, you need to make sure that your friends' effect on you is positive.  Start building your badass inner circle now.


Jay Ashman said...

exactamundo... I found myself surrounding myself with more CrossFitters or turning my friends INTO CrossFitters even since I immersed myself.

Dead on balls correct

Anonymous said...

although im guilty of the occasional alcoholic endulgence, for the most part my diet is pretty tight--and it helps tremendously that my S.O. is as into eating healthy/CF as i am. it's pretty much a built-in support system.

over the past year i've definitely broken off from my old group of friends who still get trashed all weekend, every weekend, who arent active at all. we just don't have much in common anymore.

it's definitely important to have some kind of support systemwith this stuff--and friends who share similar values. finally meeting other CF people has helped me a lot..now im not the weirdo because i'd rather eat a piece of fruit than a slice of chocolate cake, or because i place working out so high on the priority list.

you set a much better example though. haha.
good post, keep em coming. :)

RDCP said...

This is true, but it's important to remember that it's not all or nothing.

When I spent a week with Russ and Jacob I was PRing like it was my job. I will not, however, move out to Monterey, nor ditch my other friends, whom I have picked carefully but not necessarily for reasons of fitness. Training is important for me, but not the most or only important thing.

I will not hang out with people who will not let me sleep, stay sober, or eat well, at least without good reason. Training is high enough on my list of priorities that I will not sabotage it for these people. At the same time, it's not really an issue- people who care so little about what matters to me really don't end up being my friends for long.

CrossFit Cape Fear said...

OUCH!! Thanks for that reminder!

Russ said...


Your point about turning your friends into Crossfitters is key. My experience is that useful people, the kind that you'd want to hang out with, understand the deep personal benefits of hard work.

Neverthless, I think it's important to rememberthat your badass inner circle doesn't have to just be Crossfitters. Rock Climbers, triathletes, olympic lifters, and mixed martial artists tend to be familiar with the sacrifices necessary for performance as well as the joy of consistent improvement.


There is absolutely nothing wrong with drinking once in a while. The problem is making a habit of excessive drinking. You should be proud of breaking away from those unhelpful friends. Much fitness awaits you.

Russ said...


Thanks for adding an example of the practical application of these ideas. It is important to remember the crucial importance of your inner circle regardless of what you're trying to accomplish. You have your own priorities, and thus you have chosen your friends according to those priorities. This is all I am talking about.

Nancy McAllister said...

I agree with Jay. I made a decision to eat clean, and actually started a nutritional cleansing program that helped my endurance, and stamina, but also helped build lean muscle mass, and lose fat. I found that most of my friends were interested in joining me on my journey and I help them adopt a healthier lifestyle.
It's so much more fun, when you can do it with your friends.

Russ said...


I just checked out your blog. You've gotten some badass results yourself.

Your post brought up the issue of how do we know if all our effort is worth it. Given how hard we're all working, this is a huge question. It is effective to measure yourself by improvement in body composition, as you've done.

I have seen more success though, with people measuring themselves by improvements in performance. If you improve your tabata squat score, max clean and jerk, mile run, and get your first muscleup, then your efforts are certainly paying off.

As you get fitter, your weight and fat loss will slow down, but your performance improvements don't have to, at least not as much.

Good luck with your training.