MON: Practical vs. Optimal
I think that many people limit their understanding of their own progress because they often view it through the lens of optimal versus practical. Every one of us wants optimal results. We want to get the most progress out of efforts, we want to be the leanest, strongest, healthiest version of ourselves.
I’m not suggesting that our pursuits should be anything less than that, however, I am suggesting that we change out our optimal lenses for practical, and re-calibrate what that version of ourselves practically looks like.
An optimal situation means that it’s the absolute best possible outcome. Applied to fitness, this would mean that we position ourselves for peak results and to facilitate that, we’d need to make a few simple life adjustments.
First, we’d figure out when our best physiological time of day to train would be because we’d definitely want our nervous system operating “optimally” and we’d base our gym time around that clock.
Next, we’d definitely want to quit our jobs because the added stress would mess with our hormones and recovery, and scheduling nightmare would take away valuable gym time.
Next, we’d probably want to get new friends who wouldn’t distract us from our goal. We can’t have stuff like Friday night wine or beers with friends take away from our nutrition progress.
Finally, we’d sit down with our family and let them know that meal time around the house is going to be different. You’ll need to eat separate food than your family because you need your nutrition fueling your workouts in the most efficient and effective manner.
That sounds pretty reasonable to me, yeah? After all, we want an optimal outcome in the gym, right?
How about another proposed alternative? Instead, how about practical? How about you don’t do all of those things I just listed above, you just make some sensible changes to your lifestyle? Instead of holding yourself accountable to the peak end of your potential, how about you chase the best outcome in a practical sense of your life and what you enjoy?
Each person is too unique to try and paint an outcome scenario of what I mean, but the main message I’d like you to consider is that we are all busy with work, relationships, stresses, pursuits, and passions. Fitness should be used as a tool to enhance those things, not drain your time away from them. If you ever find yourself frustrated that you’re only down 20 pounds instead of 30, that you’re only squatting 375# instead of 400#, that you’re only at 15% body fat and not 12%, consider how far you’ve come, what you are responsible for in your real world life, and what fitness has done to help facilitate your success and further enjoyment of those things in your life rather than eliminate them.
When you look at it through that lens, turns out practical can be much more desirable than optimal.
For 8 Rounds. For Quality.
8 OH Grip Sumo Deadlifts
8 RDL Power Jumps
8 Sandbag Squats
8 MB Slams
80m Row Sprint
Max Plate Flutter Kicks + 15” MB Adductor Squeeze