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.