Over the next 3 months, I will be posting one general theme from something we have been working on regarding mindset. This month we are briefly discussing the idea of “Foundation before expectation”. Following this first post will be the breakdown for training this month of March.
Foundation before expectation.
Unrealistic dreaming of perfect performance leads to self-sabotaging goal obsession.
“A large body of psychological research has demonstrated that the more time people spend fantasizing about desired outcomes, everything from passing school exams to losing weight, the less effort they put into pursuing them, and the less likely they are to achieve them. Distinct from mental rehearsal or practicing a sport mentally at rest, which is proven to enhance performance, fantasizing about desired outcomes is a maladaptive coping skill, that may be associated with a lack of confidence in one's ability to make these outcomes happen through one's own efforts.” Matt Fitzgerald
When energy is redirected from dreaming into doing, and challenges that seem too great, are met stoically and with repetition, former dreams are turned from intangible expectations, into evidence-based beliefs, and a foundation upon which performance can thrive.
Talk without action is cheap, and dreaming in perfection is a form of paralysis. Focus on tasks that are slightly outside your comfort zone. These are different for everyone and vary more on the extremities than in the margin. Journeys are different for everyone, but the concept of challenges to be fought, is not so much different, only the perception and scope. But in general, are all ways to move the marker forward. And over time, chasing competence through practice, rather than dreaming in perfection, moves the marker way farther than any previous expectation would expect.
What does this mean? In a nutshell, that we do not deserve the right to be jealous of others who have what we envy when we have not sacrificed anything to deserve it. We do not deserve the right to be angry at ourselves for not living up to our own misplaced expectations when we have not put in the effort to deserve a different outcome in the first place. And maybe the work was done and years of sacrifice have gone into something that did not happen the way we wanted…But usually, when that happens, we realize with hindsight, that it was never the destination that we truly sought anyways, but what was learned along the way. If you get what you want without any effort, do you truly value it? How long are you content? How long until the next shiny object attracts your eye? It is an unfulfilling way to live.
1. Foundation before expectation
2. Journey before destination
3. Courage before fragility
Build: Back to some original style workouts for this cycle, strength work followed by a pretty traditional conditioning session. We are going to be focusing much more on unilateral work this cycle as we did quite a bit of barbell and bilateral work over the last block. Always striving to keep balance through the body, and keep our training as novel as possible, without wasting anyone’s time. Upper, lower, push and pull patterns along with some movements that get us out of the sagittal plane. Rotational core work is often overlooked, not here, we work all facets of the core. Extension, flexion, rotation, and stabilization. Front, back, and sides, from shoulders down to mid-thigh. Our core is much more than the six-pack abs hiding under a couple of bad choices…it connects decisions to actions, speeds up reactions, and slows them down. The weaker the core, the longer the lag time and the more power that bleeds out during transmission.
Build + Charge: We are using a time-domain this time around to get in some heavy lifting followed quickly by some heavy breathing. Use the indicated time wisely, when we build up in weight, we always start with an empty bar, even if you have a double bodyweight squat, we still start with an empty bar, and do high-QUALITY reps. All warm-up reps should look like they are heavy reps. Crap in, crap out. Warm-up like you actually want to move correctly. After the empty bar starts moving well, then add some weight, how much you add, will depend on how much you can lift…the more you can lift the bigger the jumps will be, the less you can lift, the smaller the jumps will be. These days are not meant to be a personal record every time. But a chance to get to a heavy set for where ever you are that day. Yes, how much you can lift on daily basis changes all the time. Nutrition, sleep, stress, and many other factors play into daily fluctuations in how the body and mind are primed for performance. And it's all ok, the tides of performance ebb and flow, but the most important part is to never stop pursuing the path that leads to the GAINS that change lives. For the Charge work, we are hitting short and fast AMRAP’s, the movements will change every week but the intent stays the same. Get out of your comfort zone and push that red line a little bit and see if you can't flirt with it longer than usual before it shuts you down and says enough is enough.
Grind: Quite a bit of Grind work this cycle, high-end aerobic work. One day is an EMOM interval, we are looking for repeatable efforts within each interval. There is also a tempo built-in, so make sure to adhere to the rep cadence, you will have plenty of rest, this is not a sprint-to-rest effort, but very much quality over quantity. The other sessions are back to a more traditional format, rounds for time. One has rest after each round, so you can go harder, knowing that you can recover some before the next one, but each round should be the same time to finish. On the rounds for time with no rest, we still want each round to be repeatable, so that means not going like a bat out of hell, then falling off, but starting with a reasonable goal pace in mind, one that you can maintain on the last round.
Sustain: One Sustain session this cycle, and we will be dialing it back a little bit on the physical intensity side and notching it up on the mental side with nasal breathing! 30-40min of nose breathing and contralateral movements to maximize blood flow throughout the body, and give ample time for the body to improve on its utilization and distribution of oxygen and carbon dioxide.
Cool Downs: A bunch of core work that will all but guarantee (***), shredded, six to eight pack abs depending on genetics.
***you also must: Eat below your daily caloric burn rate, sleep 8+ hours every night, limit alcohol consumption and up your weekly long slow distance cardio, and attend 5 classes per week to help maximize lean muscle mass and metabolic flexibility***