“The journey of one thousand miles begins with a single step.” – Lao Tzu
Contrary to what many people preach, taking your first step is more important than the goal of traveling 1,000 miles.
Last night, for example, I looked at the clock when my workout was finished, and ’twas a surprise to see that I had been training for 95 minutes.
Was it my goal to train for this long? No.
Well then, what was my goal? It was to “get started.”
There’s a saying that rings true: “Beginning is half-done.”
If you will just get started, this will lead to doing more than taking your first step. It may lead to thousands of steps. When you ignore the clock, and place your focus on one simple movement and the breathing that goes with it, applying no pressure to yourself in terms of time, this one movement leads to a second and a third.
So many people are slaves to the clock when they train. Everything is timed. The buzzer tells you when to begin, when to end and when to rest. There’s no sense of feel or getting into a groove. To me, this makes for an unenjoyable, mechanical training experience.
The clock doesn’t tell me what to do. And if it does, I am using an approach that is almost robotic.
A much more natural approach to training is to get yourself going and then see where it leads. There’s no pushing or prodding, there’s no force. This leads to the minimization of resistance to doing the things that will make you better.
I realize there are those who believe they have “the math” figured out when it comes to exercise, but the truth is that all the math is made up. Regardless of what “math” you use, you will get results if you are consistent.
You can do 5 sets of 5. You can do three sets of 10. Or two sets of 20.
All three approaches will work, if you do.
So will the the one-rep approach. Historically, people have gotten mighty strong, doing sets of one repetition.
Some time ago, one of my teachers taught me a grueling exercise that I could previously not do. He gave me the secret to doing it and a minute later, when I successfully did this exercise for the first time, I was exhausted.
Then he gave me the following advice: “If you do just one repetition of this movement every day, you will eventually be able to do it easily.”
One repetition per day?
Not five sets of five or three sets of 10?
What the hell?
Turns out my teacher was spot on with his “math.” From that day forward I made sure I did this exercise once each day. And guess what happened? Within a week I was doing five repetitions per day. A month later I was doing 10.
Now, if he had told me to do 10 repetitions per day, or three sets of 10, what are the chances I would find a reason not to train it?
Look at your own resistance to training and you’ll find the answer.
Having trouble getting started? Having trouble with consistency? Then heed my directions and your resistance and lack of consistency will become a thing of the past.
Take that first step everyday. Focus on that one step – and be surprised and shocked at where it leads.
You’ll see how true these words are when you follow the protocol in my Power Postures program. It kicks azz and takes names.
Here endeth the lesson.