Workout of the Day

The One Performance Enhancer All Athletes Should Be Using

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I stumbled upon an amusing article the other day with a similarly click-baity title as the one used above (we’ll get to that in a minute). Though clicks-driven in nature and pretty much exactly what you’d expect in content, the article did make a few good points. I’ll go ahead and cut right to the chase and spare you any suspense⏤the proposed performance enhancer isn’t something you can buy at GNC or Ye Olde Vitamin Shoppe. It’s belief.
Disappointed? Well, hang on, because if you clicked on my intentionally click-baity title in the hopes of finding the next great super-secret-supplement that’ll get you the results you’ve been dreaming of, this may be just the thing you need to read.

I’m sure we’ve all heard the whole “believe in yourself and it’ll happen” spiel plenty of times. “The Little Engine that Could,” “The Secret,” self-help talks, etc. It’s not an uncommon concept. There’s considerable merit to this idea that belief is a powerful performance tool, but I’d like to dig a bit deeper and look beyond the simple belief=success model.

We are generally told that if we believe in ourselves and get rid of the self-doubt, things will simply go better for us. Public speaking, athletic performances, business, ventures, whatever. Just think to yourself, “I can do this,” and then you can. It’s so simple!
While there is certainly value to this kind of positive self-talk, it alone won’t to take you far. It’s a step in the right direction, yes, but sole reliance on self-belief as the path to accomplishment is an exercise in fooling ourselves out of hard work. It’s not much better than running to your local supplement shop to drop money on the next great powder or pill to make up for your lack of initiative and hard work.

However, belief in what you’re doing, belief in a process, in your effort, is something that I think we could all benefit from. It might just be the performance enhancing “supplement” that can take you to the next level. I often joke that this fitness stuff is kind of like magic. Sometimes we forget about results for a moment, continue to put in the work, and we’re caught off guard when suddenly we’re stronger, leaner, faster, feel better. Magic.

The idea I’m getting at here is twofold. First, it’s imperative to trust and believe in the process. We all know that this fitness stuff works. Move often, move heavy things, move quickly, breath hard, eat well, sleep well, play and enjoy, commune, manage stress. That’s enough fitness “magic” to buy you a lifetime of self-improvement right there. We’ve seen and heard hundreds of stories of it working for others, we’ve likely seen it work in ourselves, and we continually see new research further affirming that it works. Believe in the process and engage in the process, and it will work. But sometimes we forget to believe in the process. Sometimes, we let doubt, or laziness, or impatience, or whatever else get the best of us, and we stop putting stock in the process that we know works. Many of us have a belief that is so fragile and tenuous that a week of bad performance, a slump in energy, a minor tweak or injury is all that it takes to shatter that belief. And it’s my experience that belief and effort go hand in hand. Wishy-washy belief in the process leads to half-ass effort and poor results.

The second piece of the puzzle, and certainly the most necessary piece, is to actually do it. We need to actually engage in the process if we want the results. This seems like an obvious thing to say, but sometimes we get so caught up in focusing on the trappings and frills that we forget about the basics. We have this process that we know works, and yet we still continually search for “things” to get our results (see the enormity of the supplement and “quick-fix-fitness” industry for evidence). We spend $60 on a tub of magic blueberry-flavored powder but we only sleep an average of 5 hours per night and we eat like garbage. We strap and wrap and tie ourselves up in $300 worth of the newest gear for every workout but we let ourselves get away with poor quality movement and we’re lazy about our efforts in anything that doesn’t tickle our fancy on any given day. Believe all you want, but if you’re not covering the absolute basics, you won’t go far.

It may seem like I’m downplaying the importance of belief, but that’s not the point. The point is that belief is a powerful tool, but it requires an object of substance to be truly effective.
The simple stuff works. Do it, and believe in it.

- Preston Sprimont


10/31/16

  • Axle bar deadlift - 3,3,3,3,3

  • Complete the following for time:

    • 40 DBL KB thrusters (106/70)

    • 60 DBL KB swings (106/70)

    • 80 DBL KB sumo deadlifts (106/70)