And a lovely, weightless day to you, my good sir/madam,
I mentioned in the last post on Ballistic Weight Training within the Weightlessness method, a critical shift in mindset and approach is required to properly implement high level (awareness based) skills. Or rather, to maximize performance readiness over and above the “Do More” approach.
For those who missed the last email, you can catch it here:
It has some core insights into the domain of peak performance.
Every level of training has unique challenges for the trainee to overcome. And as we progress, one of the most counterintuitive challenges for those sporting leaner, tougher physiques, is the need for reduction in workload, or volume.
Many make the mistake of assuming strength and conditioning (or more broadly – fitness), is a linear, uphill battle, where more of the same equates to better results. When results plateau, they wrongly chase fatigue or soreness as meaningful indicators of an effective workout.
But that isn’t how we’re built. Or rather, it’s not how we trigger adaptation with greatest efficiency and minimal risk.
This is how that false assumption of volume (of training) might look if plotted on a graph:
This, to be clear, is a fine way to chart individual strength metrics, where the only variable is load (weight lifted). But it fails miserably when we’re looking at the whole person, and attempting to program holistic growth and performance over time.
Effective training – after one has a foundation in mind-body training – is a process of learning to do more with less.
That process, plotted on a graph, would look more like this:
That arc – The Warrior Training Arc – looks like a normal distribution. In statistics, that mound in the middle would represent statistically relevant data. And those troughs at the beginning and the end of the arc, those would represent data points that are less relevant. Outliers.
I don’t explain that to steer this toward a discussion of statistics, but to highlight that last word.
Those who get beyond the basics and learn to train effectively, ought not to train the way the vast majority, the mean, do… unless of course they're after average results.
And I don’t just present this as abstract theory. The photo of me in the video thumbnail above (not the original background for it) was taken after a few months of focused prep. I trained less the 3 hours PER WEEK and adhered to a relatively strict Phase 2 Weightlessness diet, with planned deviations.
The reason I managed that was not because of any supplement (didn’t take any… except a coffee in the morning) or good genetics (I’d say mine are average). It was because I prioritized performance (in this case – strength and power, both of which can be measured and programmed) over appearance. I did not monitor my calorie intake. I took no bodyfat measurements. I don’t even know what I weighed.
BUT... I could have told you what I lifted, in what fashion, for how many reps (not many), and in what unit of time. As I could for every client I’ve supported to similar goals over the years.
The novice seeks soreness and fatigue in training.
The master seeks minimal, measurable stimulus that improves readiness OUTSIDE of training.
The Warrior Training Arc embodies this method and psychology of performance. And if you don’t yet approach your training in a similar fashion, here are two reasons you might consider it:
- The game that matters isn’t one of sets and reps and body weight. The real game is life, and I gotta be ready for that – the stressors, the volatility, and even those weightless moments I'd rather not miss. If I’m sore all the time, it impedes readiness. If I’m tired all the time, it impedes readiness. Nothing is more useless than a warrior who’s too tired or sore to fight.
- There’s an inverse relationship between intensity and recovery (and intensity and duration of training). The greater the intensity, the shorter the workout must be. And the greater the need for recovery… unless one knows how to periodize body parts and distribute that stress across the whole system (programming). By doing less - quality, intensity, and effort on the work that remains skyrockets.
Meditation, oddly enough, has an inverse arc to this… something more akin to linear progression. Perhaps an arc for another day.
The Weightlessness Spectrum - the framework that underlies Weightlessness Training and every prescription I write for trainees (expounded in The Essence of Lightness) - organizes these pillars thusly over time:
You can see, as mentioned above, that total volume of strength and conditioning declines sharply over time (as intensity increases), making space for higher levels of meditation in training, and readiness outside of training.
One must not only ‘get’ the idea of warrior psychology but must practice it in real terms. It must be woven into the fabric of individual efforts and internalized, so that performance and readiness are effortless byproducts, and not the stuff of disparate, unrelated domains.
And so I leave you with a point of personal reflection:
- Where can you better optimize for readiness? Not just as a priority, but in practice...
- Where can you better optimize for performance? Where can less effective, subjective metrics (soreness, fatigue) be traded for concrete, measurable ones (load, volume, time)?
- And along similar lines, where can less effective techniques and exercises be traded (or discarded altogether) for a select few, robust 'sledgehammers' that move the needle every damn week?!!
On the path to weightlessness there are many potential pitfalls. Don't sacrifice the goal (weightless moments / optimal performance) for the approach. It's got to be the other way around!