More effort, better results. The end!

Just kidding, but it is true, the more effort you put into something, the better the finished product or even the work in progress is going to be or become.

It largely depends on how you respond to criticism, as with work if you were underperforming and your miserable boss gave you a kick up the a*se you’d respond with a chunter, pull up your socks and do better the next time. If there was an element of a particular process you were trying to finesse or perfect, you’d put more effort in to facilitate that. As soon as you mention the notion of losing a bit of weight, or taking up a new hobby or sport to friends and family you’re almost instantly shot down like an inexperienced dogfighter from the land that time forgot.

So why is the view on training to improve your wellbeing any different? Going back to your miserable gaffer chewing you a new one, an excuse or reason might keep the situation at bay once or twice, but if the same problem continues to occur, other steps will surely be taken yet, making excuses within our training is perfectly acceptable as a matter of routine and otherwise alright. Effort is a universal currency in this industry, the goal doesn’t care about you, what you’ve done in the past or what you plan to do next. Its just there, dangling, and wanting to be claimed by someone willing to put in the effort required!

People in contention to be a champion all deserve the chance, and they’ve earned that by expending effort, at any point necessary and by any means along the way. Sport at the upper levels is often won on marginal gains these days. If an athlete can be better rested by 1% the following day, as a result of a 1% better sleep, allowing them to do 1% more on that following day they’re 3% in front of their nearest rival. If we were boxing over a 1 pound coin I can see why you’d dispel the 3%, but when you’re training to improve your existence like the majority of people I know are, we ought to be taking marginal gains more seriously and going toe to toe with our barriers a little more often, and trying to defeat them for good along the way.

A good proportion of the time in most cases, other people think what you’re doing is stupid, because they wouldn’t do it themselves. They casually dismiss what may be an effort to someone, based on how they are themselves especially if what you’re giving up, or taking on comes easy to them. If you’re taking on a new intervention, because you think it’ll be good for you, then great. Keep it up. You put that effort in, its gotta be better than;

You’re going for a run at 4am? Yes, because I need the volume and I’m working late.

You’re going to train three times a week at 6.15? Yes because I’m time crunched, don’t feel the best about myself and I need more exercise in my life.

You’re stopping drinking? Yes, its a habit that’s doing my body composition and performance no good.

The bottom line is, in fitness, and our journeys to take up a more healthy and active lifestyle is as equally difficult for any one of us, its just the things within that regime or cycle that we find a struggle and some find somethings a bigger struggle than others. The things we find difficult we should be allowing some slack, but not to the point the rest of the plan becomes useless. Everyone, in every situation can do a little more to help their cause. Whether its one less drink on an evening, or a smaller portion for one of their staple meals it can definitely be done.

Countless times we’re always told of the one example that’s done really well, or gone above and beyond anyones expectations. Hamilton with his 7 world titles, Redgrave with his 5 gold medals or Wiggo with his Tour de France title are all sterling efforts by anyones reckoning, whether they like the person or not, but the effort required to achieve such is brushed over quite rapidly. The thing we should be focusing on is where they started. Admittedly, some people are born into more fortunate circumstances but there’s always an underdog story albeit in the more extreme circumstances, but the things we want in the day to day like, to be a little healthier, or happier, or not need an iron lung up every staircase or not needing to cry ourselves to sleep at night because the bus stop we’ve never used has been moved 500 yards are there dangling, to be collected by those willing to put the effort in.

Why should you stand by and watch people achieve the results you want to achieve when you could achieve the same?

We all start from the same place in this game, and that’s wanting to better ourselves, by our own standards, for our own reasons. But it won’t come off the back of the same effort thats got you stuck in the rut!