So – It’s just gone 12pm Sunday as I have started to type…and the news that we are back into lock-down again has just hit. Now – I guess the first thought that crossed my mind was of the ‘OH NO’ nature…but then I discovered that it is a more ‘limited’ lockdown with life pretty much proceeding ‘as normal’ but with the addition of some masks…I mean, it’s a pain in the arse but it’s ‘FINE’. I’ve got through this before. We’ve gotten through this before!
Advice from people who have managed the ‘training in a mask’ thing? First off, you need to concentrate on a ‘steady’ approach rather than forcing yourself into ‘sprint’ efforts by starting slow and falling behind…stay on top of things from the start and whilst it might initially ‘feel’ bad it ends up WAAAAAAAY Better. Second, think about your choice of mask. Most people who have done this in the past tell me that the ‘disposable’ masks are 1000 times easier to train in than the re-usable ones. So wear one mask to the gym – change it for a disposable mask before your session…then change it back post class.
It is what it is I guess team. We can’t control this and we certainly can’t control what’s happening with COVID or the governments response. The only other thing I can tell you is that – just like complaining about the temperature on a hot day doesn’t make it any cooler, complaining about the masks doesn’t make them go away. So we may as well all just embrace the challenge and get on with it!
Back to our ‘regular programming’ and I just wanted to talk a little bit about the battle for consistency and how having a routine really does impact your outcomes. And as always I have the tale of a football player to share…
Once upon a time I had a player trying out for our squad who was reasonably skilful but quite small AND not overly blessed with speed. He was also a very ‘NICE’ young man – which is an admirable quality in many parts of life but not quite so great when you are involved in competitive sport. Long story short, he trained for a few months but ultimately missed selection – he was thrown a life-raft of sorts with the opportunity to effectively ‘repeat’ the program he participated in the previous year as an ‘overage’ player…now the rules permit this but of the four (4) players offered this ‘second chance’ he was the only one to take it up – for the others it was just too hard/too whatever to go back and play with the ‘little kids’ for another year.
Now – together with the life raft came a few caveats…and those caveats were related to ‘EXTRA’ stuff he would also have to do. EXTRA gym sessions. EXTRA skill sessions. EXTRA sprint sessions. It all added up to a lot of extras…much to my surprise he not only did the extras – he really EMBRACED them. And within 12-months or so (a long time when you are 17!) his game had really transformed to the point where he was a positive week-to-week contributor.
So there you go. Person gets feedback. Does extra work. The world becomes a happy place. And we all live happily ever after. Except that isn’t how this stuff works.
Now – whilst I have said 12-months is a long-time in the life of a 17-year-old, the reality is that it isn’t really a ‘LONG’ time. And – as in everyone’s life – our young player began to go through some changes. He finished school and started work. He moved house. He did the dumbest thing ever and got himself a girlfriend. And somehow – this is where I laugh a little, ‘SOMEHOW’ – all of these little changes added up to a big amount of change. And all of the ‘extra’ stuff he had been doing, kind of fell-away. I mean, was he still a hard working player? Well…sure. But was he sticking to his routine? Were his day-to-day actions matching the plan he had laid out for himself, the plan that had worked so well for him?
Well – not exactly. And with every missed weights session, every not quite finished running session and every fumble ignored during his skills extras…well, all of the foundations he had built his game on started to wash away. At first by a little bit. Then by a bit more…then by a LOT. And suddenly, the team was selected and once again he wasn’t in it.
At this stage the story does have a bit of a happy ending because anything undone can be re-done. Anything half finished can be finished off and the results will (100% I promise) start to turn back around. But before we get to that, I wanted to make the point that if you want to be ‘GREAT’ at something, you should choose to be great at being consistent. If you want to get stronger, be sure to CONSISTENTLY choose the heavier weights – not just on the days when you ‘THINK’ about it or ‘FEEL GOOD’. If you want to lose a couple of kegs, it’s 3x per week (EVERY WEEK) in the gym and a positive eating plan 6.5 days a week. When things start to go missing ‘around the edges’ of your training/eating/healthy life, well – at first it wont matter much at all. Then it will matter a little bit. Then all of a sudden it will matter ‘A LOT’. And whilst you want have to ‘start again’ – you already have a heap of great habits, they just need to be ‘re-activated!’ – you will have to really grit your teeth and reboot the process!
I feel this message (being consistent is the key) is my message every second week (and I don’t mean it to be) but if you want to achieve the best outcomes, you really do need to frame the work you do in the gym and the extras you do outside of it as part of ‘who you are’ – as a part of what makes you ‘YOU’. That way, when life changes and things get in the way, those events become blips on the road…sure you get knocked off course for a while, but because you ‘KNOW’ what works for you (because it is part of you) you will soon enough be back on the horse, back making progress and back performing at/looking like your best.
That’s it – See you in the gym!
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