Bigger Better Deal
An interesting thing happens every time I write an article on the Internet. It’s not exactly criticism, but it is what we used to call “one-upmanship.” In full candor, William Shakespeare faced a different kind of criticism; his poor work led to the audience throwing vegetables at him, so I should be careful here. What happens is this: no matter the topic, no matter the point, if there is a “feedback” or “comment” box after the article, someone is going to post a BBD.
“BBD” stands for “Bigger Better Deal.” When I discuss a year long approach to losing simply one pound in 365 days (better than what 99% of us will do in a year), I will see a post that says: “I lost 16 pounds in three weeks doing the RX45!” Often, the people posting are directing you to their affiliate site so they can make a little extra cash, but I digress: absolutely, no question about it, no matter what you do, no matter how well you do it, someone is going to tell you a better way to do it.
If you want to have a fun plane ride, sit between a Vegan and a Paleodiet person. My standard joke line is this: “How do you know someone is a Vegan? You met them five minutes ago. How do you know someone is a crossfitter? You met them ten seconds ago.” Throw a world record and someone is going to give you a hint about how to toss farther. I am sure that somebody told Wilt Chamberlain that if he would have shot better than 36 for 63 he would have easily scored more than 100 points that night in 1962.
A lot of BBD is caused by the overwhelming amount of information that is available today. I was told that if you read two books a week on Amazon that discussed diet (not including cookbooks), it will take you 65 years to finish them. I can’t prove this and I will die happy not fulfilling this task.
The interesting thing is this: if you took every diet, every Way of Eating, and smashed them into a Venn Diagram, I don’t know if any single one would not agree to do the following:
- Don’t eat Frankenstein fats. (Those created in a lab)
- Don’t eat Cardboard Carbs. (Foods that are in boxes and appeal to you when stoned)
- Eat colorful vegetables.
If we put together each and every training method, you might find some argue one set of exercise versus multiple sets of exercise. Some methods ask for whole body days and others split the body into parts. Some argue that we should train the lungs and the body will follow or we should train the legs and the lungs will just have to keep up. But, if there was a secret, the happy connected area of the Venn diagram, we tend to find this:
- Move without pain, move well, and move often.
- Intelligent, repeatable workouts over years trump injuries and surgeries.
- Recovery is the time when adaption occurs, so plan it in.
Like a Paleo guy told me a few years ago, the key is to: “Live long and well, then drop dead.” It’s not bad advice about life.
So, here is the key: explore new exercises, equipment, and programs. Enjoy the process of learning which might be the Fountain of Youth. Just don’t ignore your excellent progress because somebody BBD’ed you. And, they always will.
My daughter, Lindsay, need to register her car, so I went with her to the local station. On the way, she reminded me of a story that shows what I think is the key to training.
Years ago, I taught at Judge Memorial Catholic High School. Judge is famous for a lot of things, but it is locally famous for its total lack of parking spaces. As a veteran teacher, I had a prime designated parking space, Number 27. The downside is that, as a family, we were struggling financially and I didn’t have a car to park in the spot. For the young people reading this, we were called a “One Car Family.”
I made an offer: if anyone wanted my space (which I defended, by the way, to the death; it was a bad idea to park in my space), one merely had to pick me up from my house about two miles away and make sure I got home. Soon, each morning, we would have people sitting in my living room waiting to shuttle me off to school.
This is “win-win.” Of all the tricks in my coaching and training career, “win-win” is probably the least appreciated idea. Recently, I have been writing about my approach to daily training called the Intentional Community where a group of us all agree to meet every day to train at a specific time. I provide the equipment and location and everybody else provides energy and enthusiasm.
You see, I am not always excited about training. But, when five or six people are knocking on your door to “get going,” it is pretty easy to get going. We have several rules that might help your training:
First, show up. Simple to write, simple to say and simple to follow but very few people adhere to fitness programs for the “simple” reason they fail to show up. Even if you go to the gym or walk over to your fitness equipment and just wave a few things around for thirty seconds, I think you are far better served than staying on the couch, bed or computer chair. Trust me, if you just show up, you will do more than just a few waves.
Second, finish the program. No matter what thing you say you are going to do, whether it is a two weeks to bigger biceps or six weeks to ripped abs, I want you to finish the program. Charles Staley noted years ago that “the best program is the one you are not doing.” This simply means that the diet you are going to start on Monday is miles better than what you are doing today and the groovy thing you just read online is far better than the program given to you by the world’s finest trainer.
And, that is fine, of course. Just finish the program you are doing. You might want to remind yourself that just a few weeks ago, THIS program was the greatest workout ever devised.
Third, in a community, we are a Band of Brothers. Shakespeare says it best:
From this day to the ending of the world,
But we in it shall be remembered-
We few, we happy few, we band of brothers;
For he to-day that sheds his blood with me
Shall be my brother; be he ne’er so vile,
This day shall gentle his condition;
And gentlemen in England now-a-bed
Shall think themselves accurs’d they were not here,
And hold their manhoods cheap whiles any speaks
That fought with us upon Saint Crispin’s day.
So, as we shed our blood, but I do expect a bit more: if I look stiff or slow, point it out. If you are underloading or overloading, I will point it out to you. We are a group that also keeps an eye on each other hoping to make us all a little better.
There is also a great method of training in the “win-win” mentality. Usually, we all call it “I go/You go” and it is a simple way to get in a lot of work, some coaching and appropriate rest periods. I do my set of exercises and put the load down. Immediately, “You” begin your set. This continues for as long as we need to get our full amount of reps and sets. This can also be done with more traditional cardio work providing an element of interval training into one’s usual routine.
Once you apply the concept of “win-win,” use this as a mental training trick for everything you do. It is a trick I learned from Thomas J. Stanley’s book, The Millionaire Mind. Whenever you meet someone who has successfully shed weight, finished a rough diet, or had success in fitness or sports, cheer them along. Give them honest praise and really feel some excitement. This little mental shift will make you more focus and disciplined in your program and diet adherence.
In every problem you face in fitness, health and performance, seek out a “win-win” solution first. Invite friends and family to help you solve it. When you see others succeed, gladly celebrate their success. You will be the winner long-term.