Body Performance - Part Two
Using A Seasonal Focus
In Part One I laid out my philosophy of Body Performance:
Know Your Goal
Trust Your Body To Find Its Way
The Importance of Emotional Stability
Despite being a physical wreck in my mid-20s, I managed to:
…but not at the same time.
A few years back, I did a life consult with a buddy.
He arrived with ten items he wanted to achieve.
Each item had 3-6 nested bullets.
In all, 45 things to remember.
Then, and now, I recommend you pick one.
Learn To Do
Action comes before protocol.
Stability precedes change.
Worth highlighting these points.
In our search for the perfect plan, the ideal guru… we get it backwards.
Before we worry about what-to-do, make a simple habit of doing.
Before we can change anything, we need to create space and stability.
Positive change is a lifelong journey.
Create A Simple Week
Do this for a minimum of 13 weeks.
The ability to repeat-the-week is the foundation upon which positive change rests.
Invert: Perhaps we struggle with change is because we are always changing.
Compounding is what it takes to achieve our goals.
Over a long time horizon, we can achieve multiple goals.
Optimize Process, Not Protocol
Don’t Fight Mother Nature
There is a natural cycle to our world.
It takes a lot of mojo to override our environment. Mojo better spent on working towards our goals.
For most of us:
Gain Muscle (Winter, Energy Positive)
Lose Fat (Spring, Base Endurance)
Perform Athletically (Summer, Competitive Season)
Fall => rejuvenation & non-training projects
Start By Saving Yourself
A favorite response when someone temps me with drama:
You’re right but I’ve got my hands full with myself.
Your Endurance Journey is requires consistent focus over time.
Sustained focus implies:
Opting Out Of Drama
If you want a body that can perform then create a life that is different.
Optimize process, not protocol:
A Simple Week, Repeated
A Weekly Schedule, Simplified
Life Stress, Reduced
Mistakes Made Visible, Then Removed
At this point, you’re ready to manipulate your week. You’re ready because you have something to work with.
The “something” being a consistent protocol that fits your life.
For each stressor we add, we need to remove something equivalent.
This is why we need to remove, and simplify, before seeking change.
The variables we have to work with:
I recommend you prioritize as I laid out.
Sleep => improve your sleep quality and you’ll get more out of your current week.
Stress => lower your total stress => you’ll sleep better, think more clearly and get more out of your current week.
Energy Balance => well rested, thinking clearly with stable stress => a combination that makes nutrition easier.
When you get to this point, you may discover that, perhaps, the compulsion towards adding stress was a result of being stressed out.
You’ll also discover:
Loading is the easy part.
A balanced life requires less stress to progress.
A calm mind finds it easier to see positive long-term progression.
This is where Body Composition goals are best addressed. Before you seek to push load.
Training Load => As you add stress for performance, Body Composition will go into a holding pattern. Ideally, this holding pattern will be at your strongest training weight.
Body Performance Goals
I urge you to write your goals down.
Make Them Real
Notice When They Work Against Each Other
Let’s consider common, and opposing goals:
Lose Fat & Gain Muscle
Increase Mileage & Add Intensity
If you try to do either of these simultaneously then, at best, you’ll underperform. Many athletes try to do all four at the same time.
From your stable week:
Pick One Thing
Twice A Week => Generate Fatigue That Moves Your One Thing Forward
Keep Everything Else The Same, or Less
No more than three weeks of this process.
Re-establish A Positive Trend
Iterate Based On Experience
Repeat The Process
I like 13-week blocks.
It fits within a calendar season.
It enables four cycles:
gradual ramp (1x)
focus block (2x)
transition, or race freshen (1x)
Testing every 4-6 weeks should show progress
Think about what I’ve laid out for you.
Start by adjusting your schedule and environment
Your Basic Week stays largely the same
Your seasonal focus shifts across the year
The seasonal focus drives key workouts
To sustain 1-2-3-4, you’ll find you need to consistently prune and simplify your life.
The Illusion of Protocol
We can’t help but develop a belief in the power of our “key workouts.”
However, pause and consider the life we can create:
Rational Control of Our Energy Balance
Our performance is driven by the background structure of our lives. The key workouts will make a difference, but only at the margin.
…and only if we get the big things right.
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I recommend “one strike you’re out” for social media. Not just for others. I had to fire myself from two platforms (Facebook & Instagram).
Nearly everyone, myself included, pays too much attention to intensity. Far better to think in terms of load. Most importantly, the load we absorb over long time horizons.
Article: How To Tell If Your Plan Is Working
Strongest Training Weight: no hunger stress, fast recovery, no cravings, no binges, glycogen stores topped up, well hydrated each morning, skin heals quickly, eyes clear, absence of chronic soreness and stable sleep pattern. Setting your plan 5% too high, or having your weight 3% too low, can disrupt this entire list.