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Train better - Part III (Process)
Train better - Part III (Process)
Jami Tikkanen avatar
Written by Jami Tikkanen
Updated over a week ago

What comes to mind when you think about “training better”?

As a coach, I’m interested in knowing what you are training for (your purpose), how you think about training (your training philosophy) and how you actually train (your process). Understanding these three (3) allows me to see where you are coming from, where you are headed and which course corrections would be of most value to you.

Since this turned out to be a rather long article, we’ve broken it down into three parts. So far in the series, we have examined your training philosophy and setting a purpose for your training. Today’s article is an overview of your process (what you do, how you do it), and [your] commitment to becoming better.

Your commitment is reflected in actions, not in words

Accomplishing your goals requires commitment. A commitment is a promise you make to do what you said you would do. By keeping this promise, you will build trust and confidence in yourself as you work to achieve your goals. 

Merely saying “I will warm up for my training sessions” is not the same as actually warming up at the beginning of each session. Unfortunately, it is easier to break than to keep the promises that you make. If you want to stay consistent and true to your commitments, you need to focus on your process.

What is your process?

When we talk about your process, we are talking about the actions you’re consistently taking to achieve your goals. Those actions might be quite haphazard, or they might be well organised into steady routines that you follow daily. Either way, they are the means by which you move towards (or away) from your goals.

For today’s purpose, let’s use an example of your daily process at the gym. Here’s an outline of what a typical session could look like:

  1. A thoughtful warm-up

  2. Intentional movement prep

  3. Deliberate practice

  4. Purposeful training

  5. An appropriate cool-down

  6. Tracking the results

  7. A constructive review and analysis of the session with notes for improvement

And here’s how it might actually look like:

  1. Some warm up

  2. Go through the motions

  3. Hit the workout

  4. Compare yourself to others

While this latter example is somewhat of a caricature, it is often much closer to reality than we would like. Comparing the two, it seems obvious that they will lead to very different outcomes; both in attaining your goal and in who you will become through the process.

Focus on refining your process

Not every day at the gym will be perfect. 

As athletes, we tend to measure ourselves by the results of our training sessions. We look at the times and the weights to decide if we were successful or not. While valuable, this can be short-sighted if it’s done at the expense of paying attention to the process that led to those results. 

What if you would measure the success (or failure) of your training sessions, not by the numbers (or comparison to others), but by your intent, your focus and your actions? How good was your process today and how can it better tomorrow?

By becoming relentless in your focus on developing, refining and sticking to your process, you are making a commitment to the long-term success of your training, and in the achievement of your goals.

“Success is nothing more than a few simple disciplines practised consistently day after day; failure is simply a few errors in judgement, repeated day after day.”
-Jim Rohn

Your turn

  1. Create an outline of your “typical” training session. You can do this in as much detail as you want, as long as you stick to “what is”, rather than “what you wish would be”. Next, write down one thing you can do better in each part of your session. You now have a list of improvements to start refining your process with.

  2. Choose one (and only one) thing from your list and commit to doing it every time you train this week. Keep a note of how well you follow through with your commitment and what difference it makes in your training.

  3. (Bonus) - In our upcoming short articles later this and next week, we will return to “parts of the typical training session” outlined in this article. Where would you like us to start?

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