Habits of Successful CrossFit Athletes

Often many CrossFitters wonder what it takes to get to the level of the world’s best athletes. You push yourself day in and day out and yet you can’t come close to what they’re achieving on a daily basis. So what separates us from them? Habits do! Here’s the habits of successful CrossFit athletes – use them to take better charge of your training and lifestyle to get closer to your max potential.

Habits of Successful CrossFit Athletes


Top athletes know what their plan is for the next few months; week for week and day for day. A proper training plan and schedule allows you to plan how you will progress through rep, set and percentage schemes and across all modular domains of your strength and conditioning. This is true for all forms of sport, even the “constantly varied” approach of CrossFit. Most top coaches program this concept through their training cycles and periodization.


The best athletes stay constant. We’ve covered this on its own, here – to be a top athlete and to reach your maximum potential, you need to be consistent in your training. Being able to stick to your schedule, without fail or excuse, will make you better than almost any other point in this list. What consistency does is build your overall capacity over time and it builds your capacity per training session as you progress.


The best athletes understand the importance of rest and recovery. Putting your body under constant stress during training and not including rest as part of your training schedule does not give you an opportunity for your body to recover and then perform optimally when you need it to. Understand the difference between rest and active recovery and used it wisely. This is especially important for those people who find it hard to stay away from training.


Have you ever met a top athlete who was unsure of what they could achieve, or the fact that they’re certain they can win an event? More often than not you’ll find an athlete that enters a competition seeded as 10th, but is certain he’ll finish number one. Confidence is a powerful thing. Know your potential, not just your current performance state, and see just what your mind can do for your performance. Practice mindfulness and it will take you far.


A top athlete knows what they are capable of, has confidence in their training program and identifies opportunity when they see it. Know your limits and show restraint! Don’t get caught up in hype and stick to what your training program has scheduled for you. However, if you’re having a great day and you can feel you’ll PB on snatch, for example, when you’re working on a 3-rep max, then take the opportunity to go for it, but don’t risk injury when you’re not ready for it.


One of the top reasons you’ll see even the best athletes around the world fail is due to injury. Think of a rugby player with an ACL injury and how long it takes them to return to the game, if ever. Staying injury free is important and therefore proper warm-up and cool-down as well as working mobility is important for dodging avoidable injuries. However, if you do sustain an injury it’s vital to attack the problem immediately! Take care of small niggles before they manifest into major problems.

Goal Setting and Tracking

Every top athlete has a goal and knows where they’re at, at any given time. Setting a goal and tracking your progress in every single training session will give you perspective and it allows you to make changes when things aren’t working in your training program. Self-regulation is a process whereby you use planned thoughts, feelings and actions to get to your goals. By tracking your performances you can also better establish new goals and set reasonable dates to achieve them by.


This might come off as cheesy, but a top athlete’s hips don’t lie. Note how effortlessly a top CrossFitter snatches a heavy weight or blasts through handstand push-ups. In almost all forms of functional fitness, especially in CrossFit, your hips form the base of power transfer. From a kipping pull-up to the snatch, powerful and functional hips will give you exceptional power. Improve your hip power and functionality and you’ll improve your overall performance!

They Do More ‘Less Fun’

You’ll see that top athletes will spend more time doing the things most of us just don’t want to do; be it mobility, sleeping earlier to get in proper rest, eating according to a strict diet or regularly going to the physio. Top athletes do what they need to do to ensure they are covering every small part that makes them greater as a whole. Start including everything, incrementally if needs be, to make sure you also start doing more of everything that will make you better.

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