Workout of the Day

Starting Out? Here’s One Of The Biggest Mistakes You Can Make

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One of the most common mistakes I see when people venture to make lifestyle changes, be they related to diet, exercise, mindfulness, productivity, mindset, or anything else, is attempting to make the first step far too big. Rather than taking on a manageable change, something bite-sized and sustainable, people attempt to make their first step a leap and bound. The idea is great -- why make a tiny positive change when you can make a huge positive change? -- but the implementation and outcome of this idea tends not to be as favorable.

For one, people tend to suffer from the “eyes bigger than their stomach” syndrome and get hungry for a bit more than they’re actually ready to handle. And while I always encourage a relentless growth mindset and belief in your ability to change, you can’t simply will yourself out of the fact that change takes time and practice. It’s egotistical to think that these changes can be made at the snap of a finger. If you’ve spent the last 30 years of your life living sedentary, eating the same unhealthy foods, having the same unhealthy lifestyle practices, and operating from the same fixed mindset, it’s a pretty tall order to ask yourself, starting tomorrow, to completely change your activity, diet, lifestyle practices, and mindset.

In addition to being something of an affront to how we as humans operate, this inclination to make massive change from step one can create an unhealthy relationship with the lifestyle practice. When you attempt to make an overnight change from minimal physical activity to intense hour-long training 6 days per week, the change tends to quickly become a burden rather than an enriching and sustainable practice. People tend to look at me funny when I suggest that the best thing they can do starting out is to start with less than they think they can do, but this is essential for creating a sustainable practice. For example, when starting an exercise practice, though you can start out training four days per week, you might end up benefiting more, in the end, from starting with three days. While four days may be within your capacity, it can quickly become a chore. On the other hand, three days may be just enough to provide you with the challenge and opportunity for growth, but to keep you excited every time you get to train. While four days may seem to offer bigger rewards at the start, the idea is that starting with less than you are capable of doing will eventually get you into a long-lasting and sustainable practice that will take you further.

The real question is not how much you can do right now, but how much you should do right now to allow yourself to continue progressing for years to come. Don’t make the mistake of trying to make an overnight 180 degree turnaround in your diet, exercise, and sleep, and find yourself right back where you started in a few months. We’re in this for the long haul, and the first step should be one you’re ready and able to take.

- PS


5/2/17

  • Sled sprint - 3x100’ (3 plates/2 plates)

  • 3 rounds for time:

    • 400m run

    • 16 pull-ups

    • 400m run

    • 16 renegade rows (30/20)