Thanks for another great week – I’m pretty confident everyone is 100% over the mini-sleds…but good news, they can go away for a few weeks now! It was also a lot of fun to run our first ‘class-long, team relay’ for a little over a month last Monday. I really do love those sort of sessions – the camaraderie and sense of team really help with the ‘work hard to the end’ type training that gets the best results.
Over in the strength gym, we have FINALLY finished our strength block – with testing for both Front Squats and Push Jerks happening this week. So good to see so many people achieving new PR’s for both lifts – consistency (more on that in a second) usually carries the day! That said, sometimes you arrive at testing day and for whatever reason just aren’t quite ‘feeling it’…and then the results don’t ‘go’ the way you want, and it’s super frustrating and…well, I get it. Remember, you aren’t alone. For every Olympic champ there is a story about someone who – if ONLY they had performed ‘at their best’, COULD have won the gold medal. It doesn’t mean they choked – it just might not have been their day…and they plan their preparation (sleep, food, recovery processes etc) down to the MOMENT to ensure they are ‘right’. And it STILL doesn’t always happen…All you can do is be nice to yourself, refocus on the ‘little wins’ along the way and jump back on the train!
I mentioned ‘consistency’ in the last paragraph and it’s because the image below caught my eye during the week.
Now – I sort of understood what the image was trying to say. That taking a lot of little steps is easier than taking few big steps when it comes to making ‘progress’ (if the journey up the ladder is representative of ‘progress’)…but I also thought a couple of other things.
First off, BOTH of the ladders are ‘consistent’. One has a series of widely spaced rungs – the other ladder has rungs that are closer together – but both ladders are ‘CONSISTENT’ in the way they are laid out. I tried to think of it (as I do everything) in gym terms and I thought of the small steps as someone doing 3-4 sessions per week and the big steps as someone doing 1-session per week…no doubt the 3-4 session person would be making faster progress and find each ‘step’ along the way a little easier, I sort of think the person doing ONE session per week – even though progress would be TOUGH – would over time establish a bit of resilience and become accustomed to climbing that ‘big’ step every week! I also thought of the little steps as someone who had their meal prep organised for Breakfast and Lunch and a clear plan for dinner each day – and the BIG steps as someone who prepped breakfast but left lunch up to chance and then sorta ‘let everything hang out’ each weekend…again, it is a consistent approach, but would mean progress is SUPER slow…
See – to me the HARDEST way to do something would be (to stick with the same example) on a TRULY inconsistent ladder. I had to draw one of those myself!
Now – my ladder represents (to me) the WORST sort of ‘plan’ for improvement. We do a few sessions (or eat a few healthy meals), then we fall off the wagon for a bit, then come back, then fall away, then get back on the ‘consistency train’ for a week or so then fall off again…and so the story goes. I guess it is why I am so fixated on recommending people come to the gym on a 3×52 basis – each week, every week of the year you do 3x sessions. If I was to talk about meal prep and diet management, each day you have a clear plan for breakfast, lunch and dinner and manage the ‘exceptions’ as exactly that – party Saturday night = no meal prep. Family birthday breakfast = no meal prep. Etc. But outside of those times you have a ‘consistent’ plan that you understand and is EASY to follow.
I guess the hard part is that whilst all of us (obviously) ASPIRE for the consistent model, so often life gets in the way and knocks us off course – and our habits aren’t strong enough to sustain us when that happens. I guess my only answer to this is to say if this stuff was ‘easy’ then everyone would do it. Anyway, here’s my three (3) x step cheat sheet making your ‘progress ladder’ a little more consistent.
Step 1: Select 3x sessions from the Round 1 Class timetable to attend EACH week. Make a commitment to yourself that no matter what, you attend those sessions. Make a DOUBLE commitment to yourself that NO MATTER WHAT, you don’t miss TWO IN A ROW.
Step 2: Select 1x meal per day to ‘prep’ for – breakfast or lunch. Do it SIX (6) days per week. Make the prep work EASY (overnight oats with protein powder for breakfast is a great starting point).
Step 3: Select 1x RECOVERY/Activity goal – 12000 steps per day or morning Yoga/Stretching routine that you are going to do EVERY DAY.
That’s it. Every day hit a baseline of recovery or activity. Every day have ONE meal prepped and ready to go. Three times per week attend a structured fitness session. Do ALL of that for one month. Once you have put those habits in place, that’s when you start to ‘stack’ them – recovery and activity, meal prep for 2x meals per day etc etc. And that’s how you REALLY start to fly along. You can’t rush this stuff though…first you need to ‘bed down’ the first set of habits. THEN you add the ‘next’ layer and so on and so forth.
One other thing. There are going to be times when you get ‘blown of course’ – sickness, big project at work, whatever. Whenever that happens, you need to remind yourself of a couple of things. Firstly, there is always time for things that are important – so you WILL still be able to maintain a solid baseline of activity if it is important to you. SECOND, there is no problem with ‘dropping back a level’ for a period of time – you know, instead of prepping 2x meals per day, you drop back to one for a while and rebuild from there when things ‘return’ to normal. Though if anyone knows what normal is in 2022 I’d sure as hell love to hear about it!
That’s it – see you in the gym,
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