Pyramid to athletic success
So, I haven’t posted in a short while, so this may be a lengthy post. I have recently been going over my training philosophy and trying to find a good way to express it. With the help from my mate over in Germany, he was able to translate my thoughts into illustrations.
My whole training philosophy is broken down into 4 main categories;mindset, fuel, recovery, and movement. Let me be clear that the pyramid is not ranked on importance, but more so on time. Let me elaborate…
Mindset; This is the base of the pyramid. Your mindset is something that does not switch off. It is a 24/7 process. Whether it is positive or negative, your mindset will set the whole base for your actions. I break down mindset into sub-categories;
Self Belief: This refers to one’s belief to accomplish what they set out to do. For instance, if you don’t believe you are able to do complete a task, then you simply won’t do it. You’ve already sold yourself short before even trying because you have directed your mindset in a negative manner. If you watch an infant (or young child), their self-belief is at a peak. An infant will see a puddle or some sort of obstacle and attempt to jump over it. Why? because a child will not have the negative consequences circulating through their mind. But as you get older, these negative thoughts are developed and will hold you back from completing tasks. For example, “I can’t do that” or “If I try that, I will fall over”.
Motivation: Motivation is a touchy subject for me. Everyone is motivated in their own way, whether it be by internal or external factors. My take on motivation is that people tend to use it as an excuse or barrier to not attempt tasks. I have seen it a thousand times, but people will tend not to get up early in the morning to train because they aren’t “motivated” in the morning. My interpretation of that is, you are simply finding an excuse to get out of being uncomfortable for a short period of time.
Goal setting: Now this is incredibly important! Without setting goals, it makes it easier for one to find excuses. If you have a goal, write it down, and look at it daily. Why? if you are constantly reminded of why you are striving to be better on a daily basis, you WILL become better. (I will elaborate more on how to goal set in a new blog).
There are obviously many more sub-categories that can be applied, but these are the main ones in regards to mindset. A perfect example of a guy who has all of these attributes is Conor Mcgregor. While many think he is arrogant and cocky, I believe this man holds every characteristic of a powerful mindset. He believes in himself, he has no excuses, and he makes the uncomfortable comfortable. That’s why he is where he is.
Fuel: This is the nutrition portion. I have chose to label is ‘fuel’ instead of nutrition. Nutrition seems to be associated with diets and fads too often. I use the word ‘fuel’ simply because that’s exactly what it is. I live by the motto “garbage in, garbage out”. If you decide to eat poor choices of food, you will perform poorly. It’s a simple as that! Don’t get me wrong, taste is obviously important, but if you don’t find a way to view food as a fuel source, you will not perform at your absolute best.
Recovery: This refers to looking after your mind and body. I break recovery into 2 sub-categories as well;
Active: Active recovery is utilising your body to aid in recovery. If you are sore from workouts, it is important to actively recover. Now, that doesn’t mean sitting on the couch because you don’t want to move. It means getting up and going for a walk or stretch to help recover your muscles – or yoga is a great option! This ALSO applies to the psychological side of things. If you are getting tired from repeating the same thing on a daily basis, change it up. Do something that challenges your mind in an unfamiliar way. This could be something as simple as going from heavy weight training to going on a long bike ride.
Passive: In simple terms, this is sleep! Sleep is the best way to recover your body and regenerate your nervous systems. Never underestimate the power of sleep!!!
Movement: Moving your body on a daily basis seems obvious, but it’s your choice of movement that counts. Everyone has their own training style, which is understandable. As long as it programmed well and makes sense, it will be effective. The body MUST go through all planes of motion as well as ranges of motion. This is essential to ensure alignment and joint health.
NOW, I can explain the reason why I chose a pyramid! As mentioned earlier, your mindset is 24/7. That means all your choices are all based around your state of mind. This is the base. Fuel is next up because you are (or should be) constantly eating throughout the day. You need to make 5-7 good choices of meals throughout the day to ensure your body is fuelled for greatness! Recovery is generally a small portion of your day, whether that be a efficient cool down or a quick nap. The other portion of recovery is sleep. Last (but not least) is movement. Generally, you are in the gym for 1 hour per day. On a regular training program, you are in the gym 4 days per week. Now do that math. 168 hours in a week. You are in the gym training 4 hours per week. That is 2.3% of your week. Let that sink in. Less than 3% of the time you are training. This is why the rest of the day is incredibly important (the other 97%).
Look back at the picture… See the lines along the sides of the pyramid?! These 4 aspects ALL WORK TOGETHER! You cannot have good movement if you haven’t slept well (recovered). You cannot perform (movement) effectively if you haven’t fuelled your body. You cannot push yourself in the gym (movement), or even make right nutrition (fuel) choices if you are making excuses for yourself (mindset). Overall, it all comes down to your approach. Your mindset will set the pace for you hourly, daily, weekly, even monthly choices in your success.
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