Back To School: How Can I Hack My Fitness?

Looking at Quora’s list of the most common gym-related questions, we see that “how can I hack my fitness?” is a biggie.  It’s understandable.  In this day and age, we are conditioned to look for quick fixes and magic bullets.  Social media and a quickening culture have facilitated our very human tendency to window shop–every program bats 1.000 before you actually have to try it, after all.  New programs and hacks and shortcuts are dopamine hits for our hungry, seeking brains.

So, are there any quick fixes and hacks for your fitness?  No…but yes…but no.

Here’s what we mean: after doing this for ten years, we’ve found that the quickest route to progress involves what Scripture refers to as removing ye olde plank from thine eye.  (I had to…the word ‘plank’ is in there!)  Identifying and removing your biggest stumbling block–this could be something as mundane as not preparing breakfast and lunch the night before, or trying to work out at the wrong time of day–almost always results in rapid, noticeable progress.

This is pretty much never something very esoteric or hacky.  Most of the time it’s just common sense once removed–we tend towards myopia when we look at ourselves, so it can be really helpful to have an outside observer audit your routine and current situation.  As coaches, that is often our first line of engagement: during workouts our first duty is to do no harm; looking at your routine and current fitness level, our first duty is to do away with the things that are getting in your way and, in some cases, doing harm to your goals and progress.

Right now we’re working with a youth athlete, and one of our markers is his 60 yard dash time.  One simple correction to his first step and one large (but very doable) correction to his squat have resulted in a 15% reduction in his time over the last six weeks.  These weren’t quick fixes or hacks; they were removals, and they worked.

Why should it be any different for you?  We are in the business of long-term solutions at Woodshed, and often, those begin very inauspiciously–move a foot here, change this habit a tick, try doing this instead of that.

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