Do you want the good news or the bad news?
The bad news is: There’s no way to accelerate the process.
The good news is: There’s no way to accelerate the process.
Progression is like growing a tree: it can be guarded and watered, but further interference will not accelerate its progress.
Diligent patience is the fastest way – Ajahn Brahm
The inputs are in place, then it will take as long as it takes. Working yourself beyond your recovery capacity by killing yourself in the gym won’t make the gains come any faster. Focusing on ensuring incremental progress in the gym and bodyfat like clockwork is the key.
Having the correct inputs if of paramount importance – this sets the trajectory for the journey. If you set your bearings correctly and start the engine, you can sit back and relax, and drift towards your goal.
This is not about having bursts of transient motivation, going #beastmode or doing drop set after drop set. This is about getting the ‘big rocks’ nailed.
All aboard the Gain-Train
Once the inputs are set, you are securely aboard the gain train, and it’s just a matter of time. You are working at your maximum physiological capacity to gain muscle or lose fat, and it’s just time to strap yourself in and enjoy the journey.
A) Make sure the big rocks are in place:
– Calorie + macronutrient target for your goal – Determine yours for free using the Propane Protocol calculator
– Progressive overload – Increase number of sets, weight, reps or reduce your rest periods incrementally each week.
– Track your progress – Use objective, comparable measures: Daily morning weigh ins, weekly photos, training performance.
B) Say no to “#idiotmode”
Progress is the result of momentum from consistent behaviours that turn into habits, rather than prematurely blowing your load with a short burst of intensity.
Skipping the occasional session won’t harm your progress, but as a rule, avoid skipping two sessions in a row, or exceeding your calorie target for 2 consecutive days.
In fact, we almost advocate the opposite of beastmode:
OK not quite #slothmode. You still gotta lift those heavy ass weights. But dropping 3 scoops of preworkout and getting psyched for ‘abs and calves Thursday’ is just a first-class single ticket to burnout. Instead, you’ll always hear us banging on about Fitting your training/diet to your lifestyle, not the other way around: IIFYL.
A plan that, once in motion, can seamlessly run into the background of your life will free up your mental RAM for other, more important things. Then you wake up 10 weeks later and you’re squat is up 20kg.
““Master your instrument, master the music, then forget all that shit and just play.” – Robert Greene, Mastery.
No matter how hard he ‘destroyed biceps‘ the day before Magaluf, there’s no getting around months of progressive overload. Time is the great healer and the mighty bestower of gains.
C) Take what’s there
This is a concept introduced by Mike Tuscherer, pioneer of RPE-style training. Our performance varies from day-to-day, and the best we can do on a given day is to ‘take what’s there’. On the days you’re feeling better, push the intensity and volume. When you aren’t, reign it in a little, making the best out of the cards you’re dealt on the day, with the big picture in mind.
Whats your mental approach to training and competing like?Take what’s there. This mentality is akin to “give 100%” but you have to take the good with the bad. If you’re up, then your 100% is going to be up. If you’re down, then it will be down. But it’s always going to be 100%. If you do that, then you can’t beat yourself up about things. This has to stay fun. It’s important for your progress as well as your mental health. Think long term. Do you really think you can keep up the hyper aggressive mindset for 15 or 20 years? And if you could, would you want to? Same goes with working through nagging injuries. Do you want to deal with it for your entire career? Of course not and they tend to get worse. We make bad decisions when we focus too much on this workout or even this training cycle. Of course strive and reach for the next level, but always keep the big picture in perspective. If you want to get good at this – really good, then you have to put in decades of work. You can’t do that if you’re burned out or injured. So keep sustainability in mind. – Mike Tuscherer interview on Ambition Athletics.
To paraphrase Mike T: