Training, specifically strength training and conditioning and all of its related subsets, is AWESOME. The whole endeavor of striving to make one’s self strong is fascinating, supremely challenging, and even addicting. One of the many great things about it is that it’s a results oriented process. One either makes gains or one does not, it’s all quite black and white. And I’m a black and white kind of guy – I know that comes as a big shock to everyone – living in a very, “shades of gray”, world. You can all imagine the deep sense of satisfaction I feel every time I see someone improve. Every smashed PR, each achieved goal, and every mastered movement it is a thumb in the eye of those that say the world isn’t black and white. My world is black and white, and so is yours when you are training. You are either making gains, or you are not.
As we have talked about in the past there is a big difference between exercise and training. Training is planned and the plan is driven by the pursuit of a specific goal. Exercise is not planned; it is simply moving to get all hot and sweaty. Sometimes it’s fun to exercise. You know, to just go out and thrash your self only for the sake of doing it. While exercise alone will bring modest health benefits, I don’t think anyone is under the illusion that it will result in achieving one’s goals. That takes training.
In addition to training, however, one must continually monitor, evaluate, and interpret the results that are being achieved, use those results to assess the effectiveness of the training, and make adjustments where needed. The fact is hard work alone just doesn’t cut it. When engaging in a results oriented process it doesn’t matter how hard one works if the kind being done isn’t bringing the results desired. The beauty of what we have going on at Athletes Unleashed is everyone understands this. You guys get it. We don’t confuse efforts with results.
Unfortunately the rest of the world doesn’t and it is killing this country, literally. When I was in charge of my recruiting district it became sickeningly clear just how bad things were getting – and it continues to get worse in nearly all corners of our nation.
It starts in elementary school where children are sold a bill of goods. Again and again they are told they are equally talented, equally bright, and equally capable. Everyone gets a part in the play, everyone is gets on base, everyone wins and no one looses, and everyone is a superstar. The nonsense continues through middle and high school. Every teen is phenomenally athletic in an x-box football game; hell they’re Joe Namath incarnate. Facebook has every young person (and some not so young) convinced they are the wittiest, most creative, most well liked creature to habitat this planet. Simultaneously, an environment has been created where no kid can have their feelings hurt, or get picked on, or made fun of without a full blown intervention being initiated and a wave of counselors brought in to salvage the destroyed ego of the trampled youth.
The result is an ill prepared, weakly constituted, idealistic pushover that, when reality pays a visit, crumbles quicker than the French defenses in WWII. Reality doesn’t come with a “play again” option or a like button. Reality tells no tails, spins no stories untrue, and is merciless.
Reality is being interviewed for a job and for the first time in one’s life having to actually justify one’s worth. Reality is, for the first time ever, getting punched right in the kisser. Reality is coworkers not liking you, and not everyone thinking you are funny. Reality is not being the best player on the field. Reality is having to rebuild one’s back squat. I’m sure it happens at different times for everyone, but as sure as I am writing thiseveryone will come face to face with reality.
At this point I’m sure your all reminding yourselves of the reason you enjoy training at Athletes Unleashed – for my vanilla, subdued, and un-opinionated blog and training philosophy. What does this have to do with training, confusing efforts with results, and saving the United States of America?
Let me tell you.
• If you are not getting the results you want we must determine the reason and make adjustments.
• Be prepared to receive unadulterated, advice that cuts straight to the heart of the matter.
• Remember our three pillars of fitness:
• Intensity (how hard one is working).
• Consistency (the frequency pattern of one’s attendance).
• Nutrition (putting the right fuel in the body in the right quantities and at the right times).
• If you are deficient in any of the three pillars your results are going to reflect your deficiencies.
Confusing efforts with results:
• Remember that hard work alone doesn’t count for anything. It is the result that matters when you are training.
• Establish habits that bring you the results you seek.
• Match your expectations to your adherence to the three pillars of fitness.
• Adaptation occurs only when a stimulus is repeatedly applied.
• You can expect an improvement in your Back Squat commensurate with the
constancy and intensity with which you hit your squat fix sessions.
• If you have your diet on lock down you should expect body composition changes. If your diet is not on lock down then you cannot expect body composition changes.
Saving the USA:
• While society at large refuses to hold individuals, especially kids, to any kind of reasonably high standard, you are choosing, day after day, to hold yourselves to an incredibly high standard every time you walk through our doors.
• You recognize your weaknesses and confront them. Shunning avoidance and refusing all excuses while staring them square in the eyes, you work hard on self-improvement and turning weaknesses into strengths.
• This sets an incredibly high standard for your children. I hope this doesn’t come across as condescending as I mean it, sincerely. I think you deserve to hear it once in a while. The world doesn’t expect much from kids these days; your actions, however, demand otherwise and it sets a great example. My little ones tell me, weekly, how amazing you all are. They are so impressed with how hard you work, the weight you move, and the camaraderie you display. Every time they come and watch you crank through a WOD they are inspired. You are having the same effect on your kids. Let society lower standards and expectations. We wont.
Thanks so much for choosing to train with us. We appreciate your hard work and dedication.