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Not long ago, I popped into the gym while one of our CrossFit group classes was performing the bench-mark workout Fran. The class also had the option to perform a more grueling version called ‘Friendly’ Fran. 

For those of you who have been around functional fitness for some time understand that ‘Fran’ is not a ‘Friendly’ benchmark workout and the ‘Friendly’ version is quite the opposite of that. 

As I was hanging out at the front desk, a client asked if I would be performing the harder version of Fran later. I dodged the question, explaining that I’m usually a couple days behind in the programming and I may or may not complete the workout later in the weekend. 

You see, I used to be a highly competitive athlete in the CrossFit Games realm. Now as a father, with my competitive goals on the back-burner, my real fear was that I could not perform Fran at an elite level any more, let alone a harder, more grueling version of it. 

What I realized that night was that my goals have changed. The priorities in my life are a lot different than they were when I was a competitive athlete. I should not expect to set a personal record on Fran when my focus has changed. 

So what did I do? 

Because my fitness goals have changed from performing at an elite level to staying healthy, fit, and active for my family, I changed my goals for Fran. 

First, I knew that because my workout routine hasn’t been as consistent, that I’d likely not be able to meet the conditioning stimulus that is intended for ‘Friendly’ Fran. I decided on attacking regular Fran as a new fatherhood benchmark. 

Second, I understood that setting a new personal record was likely not in the cards for me, so I needed to set a new goal to keep the intensity of the workout high. I decided on attempting to complete the thrusters and pullups unbroken on each round, even if it meant more rest time than normal between sets. 

As assumed, I did not set a new personal record, however, I did accomplish my new goal for the workout and left the gym feeling upbeat and excited about the work I had finished. 

I think at some point in our lives, we’ve all been there. We get married, have kids, start new careers, move to new places, etc. 

All these changes likely also change your fitness goals. If you’re like me, you’ll need to evaluate your new goals. 

Here’s what you can do:

  • Check your ego. It doesn’t matter if you were once a pro athlete or coming to the gym for the first time, goals change, which means you sometimes aren’t able to do what you once did. Just because you could once bench 300#, doesn’t mean you should attempt it now. It’s okay to take a step back and re-evaluate your goals. 
  • Identify your ‘Why’? Compliance with continuing to pursue goals is highly dependent on why you want to accomplish this goal. In my example, competing at the CrossFit Games was an important goal for me because I wanted to prove to myself that I could work hard and accomplish anything I set my mind to. Now, as a father, I want to be present, intentional, healthy and able to play sports with my kids as they grow up. My ‘why’ has changed and so have my goals.
  • Set action steps and small goals to accomplish long term goals. A goal without a plan is just a wish. Write down your goals and your ‘why’. Set action steps to accomplish those goals. My new action steps are to perform a minimum of four conditioning workouts per week. Within the action steps are small goals like performing Fran unbroken without focusing on the time domain. 
  • Find someone to hold you accountable. A coach, a mentor or people you trust are great to help hold you accountable. Sit down with them, write down your goals, and create action steps. Writing down goals and telling someone about your goals is the missing key to accomplishing them. 

One of our core values is connection, making your goals our goals and relentlessly helping you achieve them. With your membership you receive quarterly goal setting sessions and weekly goal check-ins. 

Our personal trainers and group coaches value lifting weights, and using multi-jointed, functional exercises performed at high intensity. You don’t have to guess what to do! 

To find the perfect routine for you, schedule a free consultation with one of our coaches here! →  I’M READY TO MEET WITH A COACH!

COACH PHIL KNIEP – Owner & CEO of Lincoln Nutrition & Fitness

Precision Nutrition L1 Coach

CrossFit Level 3 Trainer

Endurance Certified

Mobility Certified

Scaling Certified

3x CrossFit Games Qualifier


If you want to check out my ‘Fatherhood Fran’ watch the video below! LITTLE Big Brother is hanging out in the background!