25 Sept - Why failing is good, and how to move forwards afterwards


It is impossible to live without failing at something, unless you live so cautiously that you might as well not have lived at all, in which case you have failed by default.” - J.K. Rowling

Failure is part of life.

It is an essential process for our personal growth and it gives us an opportunity to be better. When we fail, it doesn’t mean we weren’t good enough. It simply means that there is more to be learned or another direction to be taken.

In our training and particularly in CrossFit where we measure and track our progress, failure can be a regular occurrence. It is not something to avoid, but something to be embraced and even searched out. If we never fail at anything can we really say we tried our best or pushed our capabilities?

“Full effort is full victory” – Mahatma Gandhi

What is to be encouraged and sort after is effort. Effort is not dictated by skill level, experience, strength, size, or speed; instead, it’s dictated by “heart”. Effort is dependent on how much heart you have, or in other words, your mental fortitude.

Whether you are training in the gym or putting in the hours at work, our effort dictates our success, regardless of the end result. If you try your best and come up short (or “fail”), you have succeeded in opening the door to learn, improve and eventually be better. If we don’t try, if we hold back for fear of the end result, we stifle our chances of progress.

All that being said, failing is not easy to take and can often leave us feeling frustrated. This is only natural if it is related to something you care about, what’s key is how you recover.

So here are some ways you can learn to embrace failure and move forwards after set-backs.

Remember where you came from. Think back to your first few weeks of training. You were probably worn out by the warm-ups, squatted like a newborn giraffe and the thought of lifting an empty barbell terrorised you. Just look where you are now!

Take the small wins and celebrate them. As you get more and more training under your belt the 10-20kg PBs become 2-5kg PBs, and it feels like it takes months, not weeks, to make any progress.

Take time to enjoy the smallest of wins. Perhaps it’s the fact you hit the gym 3 times this week, or you didn’t get frustrated mid-workout, or maybe it was that 1kg PB. Being happy about each small step forwards will help you feel good about yourself.

Remember what’s important in your life. It’s all too easy to let our happiness and motivation get tied up in the minutiae of training life.

So what actually matters? If you ever get frustrated over something, ask yourself: “Next week/month/year, will I remember this and will it have had any impact on my life?” Nine times out of 10, the answer is no.

What you will remember in the months and years to come are the friends you made, the experiences you had training with them and spending time with them outside the gym, and the good health you continue to enjoy because you dedicate a few hours each week to looking after yourself.


A) Strength - Back squat

Every 2 minutes for 12 minutes (6 sets)
3 @ 70%
2 @ 75%
1 @ 80%
3 @ 75%
2 @ 80%
1 x AMrep @ 85%

B) Accessory
Tabata dumbbell floor press, with lockout hold
- 2 minute rest -
Tabata kettlebell front rack walking lunges, with front rack hold
- 2 minute rest -
Tabata ring row, with chest to ring hold