Creating habits versus the chase for something ‘MORE’

Hi and welcome to another week,

Appreciate all the support at the gym last week – sessions were pretty crazy (Friday morning, OMG) and it is great to see so many people kicking the year off in ‘style’!

I know in this new world order this blog is supposed to be all about the ‘blog’ and not about “what’s going on at Round 1” (that stuff is for the Thursday newsletter), but before I start just wanted to remind anyone/everyone who might be interested that the latest iteration of our DAP (Developing Athletes Program) starts THIS WEEK (Tuesday).

In case you aren’t aware, this a 6-week, 3x per week program designed for 13-17 year olds who want to get stronger/faster/more agile to aid their sporting performance.  It has been put together specifically for ‘field sports’ (football, hockey, soccer, netball, basketball etc) and we had a fair bit of success in terms of outcomes when it ran back in November/December 2017…this time around – with the main winter sports just on the horizon – it is certainly worth thinking about it if you have any ‘developing athletes’ in your life!  At the end of the program they will walk away with an ongoing training plan AND the capability to participate fully in classes such as Body Work and TANKS at Round 1 with no issues – enabling them to continue their athletic development further…the first 3x weeks of the program are really all about teaching – techniques and systems – and the last 3x weeks we run a linear progression across each of the major lifts…more info is here:
https://tms.ezfacility.com/OnlineRegistratio…/Register.aspx…

Right – enough of that (the DAP stuff was important though ‘cos it starts TUESDAY!).  I wanted to talk a bit this week about planning, chasing perfection (even just the chase for ‘more’) and trying to keep everything in perspective.

The overall principle I want to try and get across here is that you shouldn’t give up on a ‘GOOD’ plan to chase after a ‘PERFECT’ one.  And it is OK to aspire to be ‘better’ at something but before you start chasing after chickens you might want to have a bit of a think about what you are chasing them for.

What do I mean?  Well, if you want to get started on a strength program to go along with your boxing classes and come over to have a chat to me about it – well, my first thought is probably going to be ‘That is an awesome idea.’  There are a lot of benefits and not too many drawbacks from getting a big stronger – and not only that, it is a (relatively) tangible goal (yep, you need to make it a bit more specific than “get stronger” but you can still keep it pretty simple”.)

My second thought might be a bit different though.  My second thought (note:  thought, not statement!) might be a bit more reserved…it might in fact be along the lines of “I don’t know – why don’t you just STICK WITH WHAT YOU ARE DOING”.  That thought probably isn’t very ‘Strength and Conditioning’ compliant because I am supposed to be about encouraging you to constantly do more, lift heavier, run faster and be ‘better’…but to me (more and more as I get older) the key to success in your training is not doing ‘more’ than yesterday – the key is being compliant to a plan and showing up consistently week after week and month after month.  And when I see someone getting to the gym 3-4-5 times per week, pushing pretty hard and obviously looking after their diet, I wonder if really they need to worry about doing much more than that…because that persons plan is 100% W-O-R-K-I-N-G.

Here’s my next controversial statement.  A good plan is a plan you CAN and WILL stick too.  A GREAT plan is one that you have shown the ability to stick to for a long period of time.  If Monday and Wednesday nights at 6pm and Saturday morning at 8:15am is your ‘plan’ and you hit those sessions religiously week after week…well, that is pretty darn good.  Would it be great to add in a weights session or PT session or Body Work class or whatever in order to ‘Get Stronger’ (based on the above example).  The short answer is “YEP, of course” but when ‘real life’ is applied to the situation that answer quickly turns to ‘MAYBE’.  Because whilst what has just been proposed is just different to something that you KNOW works.  And if the new plan doesn’t ‘work’ (for whatever reason), then all of a sudden you are at ‘RISK’.

What do I mean the new plan “doesn’t work”?  Well, what if – as an example – you find doing the extra strength program creates a bit of a time issue at home, well, all of a sudden conversations around time spent at the gym vs family time that NEVER USED TO HAPPEN are now being had…and those conversations impact ALL of your gym sessions, not just the ‘new’ one.  Or what if doing the weights stuff on your own is a bit far out of your comfort zone and makes you feel uncomfortable about coming to the gym?  That feeling will – again – impact you every time you come to the gym, not just on those times you are supposed to be doing the ‘new’ program.  So now all of a sudden, your newly negative mindset starts impacting on those Saturday morning sessions that you used to love…

If your plan works – don’t mess with it unless you NEED to!  That doesn’t sound right, does it?  What I should have said is if your plan works, don’t mess with it unless you have a REALLY GOOD REASON.  If you are have job or life changes than mean you NEED to change your training plan/style etc, well, you have to do what you have to do – work HARD on your new plan and work hard at implementing it for at least 3x weeks to allow it to ‘bed in’.  If you WANT to change your training in order to focus on something specific – be it completing an ironman or doing a single strict pull-up – then you need to do so with the understanding that the change could have far wider ranging implications than you initially think…simply swapping out a Sunday morning boxing class for a Sunday morning run is rarely as simple in practice as it sounds in theory!

If all of this sounds like I am trying to tell you not to change and never to try to improve, well, it isn’t supposed to.  It is intended to say that if you have developed a good ‘rhythm’ in your training routine, changing that routine to ‘chase’ something new could see you lose what you already have and doesn’t guarantee success with what you are chasing…When it comes to training, COMPLIANCE (that willingness to just religiously stick to the plan) is K-I-N-G.  For sure, change it up, go after a new ‘goal’ – but understand that we are all creatures of habit and once those established routines have been ‘compromised’ re-establishing them might be harder than you think!

Let me know if any of this sounds good (or not) with an email to Michael@round1fitness.com.au

See you in the gym,

Michael.