8/8/16 - Getting 1% Better Each Day is a Lie

Chances are you’ve heard the corny call to action to get “one percent better each day.” I love where this comes from and, coaches, for sure keep instilling this in your athletes. I’ve got to jump in here to give my two cents, however.

The facts behind getting one percent better start to fall apart really quickly if we look at the numbers for most people. It’s a figure of speech that seeks to provide perspective to athletes that are wide-eyed and bushy tailed for big results fast. The saying does a great job of instilling the concept of the long road and to reframe our minds towards incremental progress. If you ask me, these are all great insights.

Since I admittedly like the idea of getting one percent better each day, excuse me while I smash the concept to bits. For someone with any real training experience, getting just one percent better each day is nearly impossible. Not only is it an improbable feat, the seemingly small one percent improvement is, in reality, actually a massive exaggeration.

When we take a look at the numbers getting one percent better each day means being 365% better at the end of the year, right? You might say, “Well, I don’t train everyday so..” Ok, fine. If you train twice a week, the expectation is that our modest effort to get just one percent better would make you 110% better at the end of the year, essentially doubling up on your capacity. For anyone other than a bare bones beginner you start to realize that even getting one percent better is unrealistic. If it was, a two hundred pound squatter would be a world record holder training just twice a week in less than three years.

Why do I bring this up? Well, if the call to action to relax, trust the process, and only worry about getting one percent better is a massive exaggeration, then the real call to action is even more modest than we tend to ever lead on to. For a semi-trained individual, getting a fraction of one percent better each day is a massive victory and a humbling reality.

When I type those words, I hear two things: 1) stressing about the minuscule details of today’s training day seems more silly than ever, and 2) I need to keep showing up because with these numbers consistency is my only ticket to real progress.

 

Logan Gelbrich

@functionalcoach

8/8/16 WOD

Find Max Distance Broad Jump (Make at least 5 attempts)

 

Complete 4 rounds for reps of:

AMRAP :90

5 Power Cleans (185/135)

3 Box Jumps (AHAP)

-Rest 3 Min-