Building Success In The Gym With The Principles Of Progress: Your Operating System!

In this follow-up, I'd like to challenge you to explore your 'system' of training. I'd like you to take an assessment of your 'Values'. In other words, what's your 'Training O.S.?' Find out more from these sample belief patterns.
Part 1 | Part 2

Article Summary:
  • All of us have habits, paradigms, and/or beliefs that govern our decision-making.
  • If you operate from accurate, productive paradigms, you'll make good results.
  • If you operate from incorrect assumptions, you'll suffer unwanted consequences.

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Building Success In The Gym - Part 2

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Last time, we examined the challenges many of us face when trying to apply the three bedrock principles (progressive overload, variability, and specificity) to your training.

In this follow-up to that article, I'd like to challenge you to explore your personal "system" of training, and more specifically, I'd like you to take an assessment of your personal "values" as it pertains to training. In other words, what's your "training O.S.?"

Before doing that however, it's important to realize that you do already have an operating system. All of us have a set of habits, paradigms, proclivities, and/or beliefs that govern our decision-making under the bar. For example, I've written volumes about a belief that many people hold, which is that pain, equals gain: the more something hurts, the better it must be.

If you happen to hold this point of view, you're likely to manage your workouts differently than someone who holds a contrasting belief (for example, that "performance equals gain"). This sequence of events can be visually summated in the following diagram.

Pain, Equals Gain: The More Something Hurts, The Better It Must Be.
Enlarge Click Image To Enlarge.
Pain, Equals Gain: The More Something
Hurts, The Better It Must Be.

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Paradigms, Decisions, Consequences
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Needless to say, if you operate from accurate, productive paradigms, you'll make good decisions that will lead to good results. If you operate from incorrect assumptions, you'll make faulty decisions and suffer unwanted consequences.

Let's examine a few common belief patterns so that you'll have a concrete understanding of this sequence of events.

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Sample Event 1:
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Paradigm:

John is (unconsciously) overly enamored by novelty. He's always looking for the newest, coolest training system, diet, or training equipment.

Decision:

Every time John becomes aware of a new system, diet, or tool, he immediately discontinues what he was previously doing in favor of the new discovery.

Consequence:

John never makes any progress because he never does anything long enough for it to work. Interestingly enough, he always has a convenient excuse - his current methods are behind the times!

You Must Give A Program Enough Time To Work Before Discontinuing Use.
Enlarge Click Image To Enlarge.
You Must Give A Program Enough Time
To Work Before Discontinuing Use.

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Sample Event 2:
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Paradigm:

"Jenna" believes she is weak and needs to be a tougher person, mentally and physically.

Decision:

Every time Jenna encounters pain during a workout, she chalks it up to personal weakness and continues despite the pain.

Consequence:

Jenna is nearly always injured, which reinforces her paradigm. She's caught in a vicious cycle, and she's completely unaware of it.

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Sample Event 3:
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Paradigm:

"Joe" is fascinated by, believes in, and has extensively studied periodization.

Decision:

Joe plans his workouts months in advance. Every exercise, set, rep, and weight is pre-planned.

Consequence:

When Joe inevitably encounters a workout that he isn't able to complete "by the book," he gets frustrated and immediately starts writing a new macrocycle, convinced me made an error on his last plan. Like John and Jenna, his faulty paradigm is self-replicating.

When Joe Inevitably Encounters A Workout That He Isn't Able To Complete By The Book, He Gets Frustrated And Starts Writing A New Macrocycle.
Enlarge Click Image To Enlarge.
When Joe Inevitably Encounters A Workout That He Isn't Able To Complete
By The Book, He Gets Frustrated And Starts Writing A New Macrocycle.

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Conclusion
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Like John, Jenna, and Joe, we all have productive paradigms and faulty ones. How then, can we reinforce the former and eradicate the latter? Simply by increasing our own self-awareness.

Recommended Articles:

Part 1 | Part 2

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