Saturday, October 26, 2013

Just show up

I suppose this is something of an appendix to the post I had the other day - A few things I've learned recently (mainly from Dan John).

We hear a lot about setting targets and goals in our training.  Sometimes we see strength standards posted:  e.g. you should be able to do 50 pushups, 15 bodyweight rows, bench 1.5 bodyweight, do a 5k in 20 minutes or whatever.  All decent goals.  But sometimes goals can be distracting.

Here is a good goal:  Just show up.

Workout by workout, do the work.  You do not need to set records, you do not need to progress.  Simply do the workout.  Warmup, workout and go home.  But do the work.  Consistent hard work will pay off in the long run.

I was talking to my pal Colin Gordon this morning as he treated my back (he is an excellent massage therapist).  He made the point that sometimes the more you focus on a goal, the further away it seems.  If you simply  focus on consistently showing up and doing the work you might just find yourself hitting your goals almost by accident.

Goals can introduce so much stress that we do not really need.  Life is chaotic; all sorts of things are going on.  No matter how hard you try, things will conspire such that you find your performances being equally chaotic.  If your preoccupation is on hitting certain numbers then you may often fail.  If your goal is simply to turn up and do some exercises then you will get some benefit  -   even if it is just to chill out and relax for half an hour.

If you've had a tough day at work and you turn up at the gym, you might find yourself psyched to get a great session in........or you might decide to spend some time stretching, rolling, and doing some easy pushups...and that is ok.  Feel refreshed and come back another day for the hard work.

But just keep going.


Matthew @ Lasik said...

Nice info.

Stuart Gilbert said...

Another great post Chris,
Too often people forget that the enjoyment in a health and fitness lifestyle comes from the journey itself and not from reaching the destination. The overwhelming feeling reported by many sporting champions, is often not one of elation and satisfaction from the achievement, but instead one of, "what now?" This serves to highlight the fact that nothing ever worth having comes easily. In one sense it might always be a good thing to have a goal that is just out of reach, never serves to motivate for a lifetime....

Unknown said...

I am pretty psyched before HIT workout. I feel nervous, like I need to perform well. The workout may last 25 minutes but if I count mental preparation, preworkout nutrition, postworkout nutrition...its more like 90 minutes.
Maybe it would be better to workout bodyweight 5 times a week with various exercises intentionally avoiding forced progress and achieve things through volume. Practice, not performance. Actually, I was pretty surprised by positive changes I observed after a week of skiing for about 6 hours a day. Obviously never approached failure but the amount of work was high.

Stephanie said...

Great article and so true. I've always been told that motivation follows action.