In case you haven’t noticed from my inconsistent posting last week, Coach Stevo has been a little busy. No this post isn’t going to be a pity party. I know that all my readers and clients are very busy, too this time of year. So rather than complaining, I thought I’d set a good example and tell you about a way that I keep my training progress moving forward when the days get shorter and the crazy ramps up.
Pick a Goal that Will Keep You Sane
Between now and January 2nd, there is very little chance you will be able to do everything that is expected of you and everything that you want to do. But you can still make progress as long as you remember that willpower is finite. If you prioritize what is important for you, you can spend your willpower resources on the things that are going to help you the most. Don’t worry about what you aren’t gonna get done: just stay focused on one thing that is going to help you the most. But think broadly. Willpower is finite and you should be spending it on the goal that is going keep you sane and make you a better person for 6 weeks. As Dan John says in Intervention, “Let’s be honest, it’s great having a 400lb bench; but no one cares.”
When I take a look at my own life, I know I need to move. Movement matters to me more than training. I can skip training sessions and get other work done. I not swing a bell for a few days and I won't lose my temper. In fact, if I miss a few sprint sessions my 10m time might actually improve. But I need to walk at least an hour a day or my quality of life, and even the quality of my character will be negatively impacted. If I do not walk for a few days but go to the gym, I will lift less. So what do I do? A little trick I learned from all the retired Chinese people that live in my neighborhood: I go for training walks!
Coach Stevo’s Training Walks
Let’s say you’ve been sitting too long. You can’t stay focused; your back hurts; your hips are stiff; you’re cranky; you’re sleepy. It’s time to put on some minimal footwear like Chuck Taylors or New Balance Minimus, grab a hoodie, your iPhone and your headphones. Put on your favorite album or podcast and start walking. No, it doesn’t matter where. Just start walking. But here’s the catch: every time the mood strikes you, do a bodyweight exercise. Not too many, you aren’t looking to work up too much of a sweat. Not too few, you’re wanna get a little training effect here. Just do less than too much, but more than not enough. Here’s a list of what I did on my last walk.
- Handstands on a wall.
- Inverted rows in a railing.
- Step ups on a low wall.
- Squat-stretches at stoplights.
- Assisted pistols on handrails.
- One-handed push-ups on a low wall.
- Cross-Crawls at stoplights.
The retired Chinese people in my neighborhood walk around doing Tai Chi. I bang out handstands. You can do high-knee step ups and cartwheels. It really doesn’t matter. What matters is that you come back by the time that album or podcast is over and feel better than when you set out on your walk. You have a lifetime to get that 400lb bench, and these crazy days will be over in January. I have just as many fitness goals as the next guy, but I’m not sweating the next few weeks. I go for training walks once or twice a day and am a better person for it.