Workout of the Day

Small Victories Are Big Victories

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In the constant pursuit of progress, it’s easy to get swept up in the overzealous pursuit of big victories. It becomes a matter of satiety (or a lack thereof) and of perspective. We commonly see this in the fitness world manifest in the pursuit of PRs -- personal records. People sometimes get caught up in the “bigger is better” mentality, and begin to lose sight of the value of small victories, looking out only for the big one. Adding 80lbs to your back squat, shaving 90 seconds off of your mile time, losing 40lbs of body fat.

Let’s not mince words here: a 80lb back squat PR is better than a 10lb back squat PR -- no argument there. But the reality is that the supply of 80lb PRs is going to run dry pretty quickly (if it’s ever there to begin with). At best, a new trainee can hope to see some of these massive jumps in capacity in their first year of training. In reality, progress is made up of more numerous, smaller jumps in capacity. A 10lb PR, taking 15 seconds off of your mile time, losing 5lbs of body fat. While these victories are, numerically, smaller than those listed above, they merit as much pride and enthusiasm.

Consider this: if you were to PR your back squat by 5lbs every 2 weeks, you would be squatting 130lbs more after 1 year. Plug in any variable -- small victories repeated over extended time become big victories. The point here isn’t to point out the obvious math of linear progression, but to direct your attention to the pursuit that will ultimately direct your lifetime progress in your pursuits of betterment. The “little things,” so to speak, add up. It’s hard to see one month, one year, or five years down the road. But if we set ourselves to the task of slow and steady progress, we begin to see the value in all of the little victories, and find new ways to make these victories happen.

When we set our sights on the big victories and ignore the small, we set ourselves up for disappointment and missed opportunity. The hunter-gatherer who ignores the rabbits and small birds that cross his path because he’s set on catching himself a large stag eventually starves to death; but the hunter-gatherer who sees the value in the catch, both big and small, finds himself well-fed.

- PS


4/7/17

  • 5 rounds x 10m shuttle run (4x10m)

  • 8x, :30 on, :30 off

    • Row for distance