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  1. #1
    Reinhardt is offline Senior Member
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    Default focusing on the process, not on the result

    Comrades,
    in Easy Strength on page 116, Pavel writes about increasing gains by enjoying the process and not focusing on the result.

    Plus on page 117 he cites Bondarchuk regarding the body's defensive mechanisms etc.
    And there are more places in the book which orbit the same issue: How can you maximize your adaption by maximizing your body's acceptance of physical strain or training?

    In praxis, how could one incorporate those ideas in his training?
    For example, i had the idea of not writing down the poundage and reps anymore, but rather only the excercise and the percieved exertion. To uncouple my mind from the result, to enjoy the process.

    I really don't know shit, but that whole concept is very interesting, don't you think?

  2. #2
    kodo kb is offline Senior Member
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    I've actually come to the realization that I need to do something similar, as I have a terrible change-or-modify-programs-every-two-weeks habit that has been seriously hindering progress. I realized that for myself, the best way of doing this way adopting a PM of sorts where I focused on the fun of training instead of all the numbers. I'm confident I can do this rather well if I follow the major guidelines set down by Pavel and Dan, so I have been trying it out recently.

    I'm trying to do some swings (or kb juggling), goblet squats, and getups everyday with repeatable reps in mind. I also throw in snatches, bent presses, weighted carries, tumbling drills, and whatever else I feel like doing to just have fun. I feel like it's similar to the two PMs (RKC and ETK) with some Dan John intervention concepts thrown in.

    Another guy that got me thinking this way is Coach Sommer. There's a passage in the programming section of Building the Gymnastic Body about how most people do not spend enough time within the perceived under-training period, and that staying within this zone is a vital aspect of the adaptation period. It's amazing that it took me so long to realize that the over-/medium-/under-load principle he was presenting is extremely similar to the EES ideas behind the 40 Day Program and other programs that Pavel and Dan talk about.

    I really enjoy training, and the fact that I do so makes it difficult sometimes to knuckle down and do-what-I-need-to-do rather than do-what-I-want-to-do. So instead of fighting against this tendency and try to follow a set program, I decided to focus on movements and basic strength stuff with an emphasis on fun.

    So I think the solution is to find a way you can allow your body to adapt at the rate it needs to, instead of the rate you want it to. For me, that's keeping focused on the basics through aspects of training that are fun. If you are patient and have a certain attitude about progress there is no real problem, but if you are too results oriented and you don't immediately see the gains you want and try to push it or get discouraged, then you sign your own progress's death certificate.

    EDIT: A more concrete response to your question about how to "uncouple your mind from the results, and how to enjoy the process" is to find a program that "resonates" with you; you know... like doing a program that you enjoy. Maybe something like the 242 Method would work for you. (Link below.) It's kind of an ES template of lifting for those that would do better to add variety in for the sake of them sticking to the program.
    http://anthonymychal.com/wp-content/...e242Method.pdf

    It seems obvious, but any program you can stick to (and continues to challenge your strength levels) is going to be better for you than a program that would produce better results but you just can't stand. I say "seems obvious" because I have been ignoring that same advice for the past 6 months, and my training has suffered for it.

    Just my $.02 as this is a topic I've been thinking about a lot recently.

    Cheers,
    Josh
    Last edited by kodo kb; 06-28-2012 at 12:00 PM.
    "I can't imagine how it WON'T work...save you not doing it." — Dan John

    "I never went to the gym to "work out". Rather I went to LEARN. The workout was incidental." — Dr. Ed Thomas

  3. #3
    jason10mm is offline Member
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    Default

    I think you can accurately log your work-outs and still get the benefit of "focusing on progress" simply by not setting specific goals and arbitrary timelines to reach them. I'm struggling with this myself, I want to hit a new level of CC every month in each exercise, but I know that ain't gonna happen. I also "want" to progress to a heavier KB in a month, but I know I'm not ready NOW, so how can I predict that I will be in a month? Striving to reach arbitrary goals leads me to over-train or push into fatigue and risk injury.

    But having an accurate log can help with maintaining enthusiasm for a program (you can go back and see how far you have progressed) and serve to remind you of what worked and what didn't. If you don't record the exercises with weights and reps you might find yourself hitting a plateau or even regressing and not realizing it. Seeing it on paper can make progress (or lack of it) very clear.

    I'm a concrete thinker though, so I prefer direct and specific information. Some of the philosophy here infuriates me The zen part of ETK is very illuminating.

    EDIT- It may also help to not "pre-determine" a workout. I have a terrible propensity to fill out my work-out log ahead of time with weights and reps and then try to match it instead of letting my body tell me if I have more or less energy that day. Short term goals can be helpful ('cause exercise is effort after all) but training to a number is potentially self-limiting.
    Last edited by jason10mm; 06-28-2012 at 12:25 PM.

  4. #4
    schnieder is offline Senior Member
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    I can't believe this is being discussed. I've been thinking about this constantly lately and have written a book/program which I believe fills this in. I've made tons of PRs lately based on it and would have a lot more if I wasn't battling IT band syndrome.

  5. #5
    Al_Kavadlo is offline Senior Member
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    Focusing on the process and not the results is the theme of my first book, We're Working Out! A Zen Approach to Everyday Fitness.

  6. #6
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    Yeah, Al's first book has a very good take on this topic. Sifu Yan Ming and Sifu Yan Lei also talk about similar ideas.

    On a personal note, focusing on the process instead of the result has completely transformed my life. In less than a year, I went from barely being able to do one pull up to doing 20.From doing 12 pushups, to 3 inclined one-armed pushups on each arm. From no pistols, to 12 on each leg. Etc. Paradoxically, I don't think I could have ever made such gains if I were constantly focusing on results. It's natural to focus on results, but to combat that inclination, I gave myself 2 years to get to 20 pullups, and, as mentioned, I made it in less than a year. I work out 4-5 times a week and I never get bored or discouraged. Each milestone I hit comes as a surprise and so I feel as if I'm reaching milestones quicker than expect.

    In short, I feel that if we can teach ourselves to enjoy working out for the sake of working out, we reap many benefits.

  7. #7
    Jeff is offline Senior Member
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by senorchupacabra View Post
    Yeah, Al's first book has a very good take on this topic. Sifu Yan Ming and Sifu Yan Lei also talk about similar ideas.

    On a personal note, focusing on the process instead of the result has completely transformed my life. In less than a year, I went from barely being able to do one pull up to doing 20.From doing 12 pushups, to 3 inclined one-armed pushups on each arm. From no pistols, to 12 on each leg. Etc. Paradoxically, I don't think I could have ever made such gains if I were constantly focusing on results. It's natural to focus on results, but to combat that inclination, I gave myself 2 years to get to 20 pullups, and, as mentioned, I made it in less than a year. I work out 4-5 times a week and I never get bored or discouraged. Each milestone I hit comes as a surprise and so I feel as if I'm reaching milestones quicker than expect.

    In short, I feel that if we can teach ourselves to enjoy working out for the sake of working out, we reap many benefits.
    Could you describe how you went about implementing this approach to you training?

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jeff View Post
    Could you describe how you went about implementing this approach to you training?
    I don't know. I doubt it, but I'll try.

    It's more of a mental thing, something that takes place in your head. I don't perform any exercise with a goal in mind. I simply do each rep, each set and each workout for it's own sake. And I really focus on each rep and try to perfect each rep. I work out because I can and because I enjoy it, not because I'm trying to get anything out of it. Paradoxically, by not trying to get anything out of it, I get a whole lot out of it. Sure, I set some goals for myself, but it's just to give me a specific road to travel. But it's the traveling I focus on, not the destination.

    It's like playing hide-and-seek as a child. You play without any goal in mind. You do it because you can and because it's fun.

    I wish I could give you more concrete examples, but it's changing one's mind-set more than anything else. I used to be real results-oriented in my younger days (when I was in pretty decent shape the first time), and I was the type that couldn't stay on a program for longer than a few weeks. I was always looking for something better, something more effective. But the problem wasn't my workout routines, it was me and my mindset.

  9. #9
    Jeff is offline Senior Member
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    Default

    Do you count your reps?

  10. #10
    JCcpt is offline Senior Member
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    I have noticed that in running my studio I get over stressed and have no inclination for making workouts for myself. I have found that the best workouts for me for the past several months is to just make a circuit of 3-5 exercises and just doing them for 20-30 minutes. No counting reps, rest as long as I need to feel fresh, keeping my head clear.

    It has done wonders for my strength. The 40kg feels great when I press it. Stacked 24kgs, are completely confident. My weighted pull ups have gone up fast. And the best part is that with out focusing on reps and sets, I have finally allowed myself to be fully in the moment with every rep and focused on my technique, positioning and tension.

    I fully recommend spending a few months at a time in a program like this. I am sure I will go to a more aggressive program in the future, but will often come back to this to give myself the mental and physical break.

    I hope that helps.
    Justin Cox
    ACSM CPT, HKC
    [URL="http://www.elitefitnessbemidji.com"]www.elitefitnessbemidji.com[/URL]

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