I read a Nerd Fitness article and there is good stuff.
A guy named Roger Bannister in 1964, Oxford, England, did something impossible. He ran 1.6km (1 mile) in 3 minutes and 59 seconds. While 9 years, the world record was 4 minutes and 01 secondes. 3 years after Roger Bannister’s record, 13 persons ran 1.6km (1 mile) in less than 4 minutes.
How is possible than suddenly abilities improves ? It’s because of equipment or we impose ourselves limits ?
Brain VS muscle
The truth is that you’re physically able to go beyond the limites that your brain tells you.
Look, in 2012, a group of trained cyclists did a 4k timed trial as fast as possible. Their guideline was « Use all efforts ».
They did this trial again with a virtual avatar who had the same speed than them at the first trial. The average speed of all cyclists was 1 % better than the first trial. Remember at the first trial, cyclists were in mode « Use all efforts ».
They did this trial a third time with a virtual avatar again. Cyclists didn’t know that the virtual avatar was a little bit faster than them. Again, cyclists beat the virtual avatar by increasing their performance of 1.7 %.
It’s like to play to Mario Kart and do a race against the ghost of your last performance. You know exactly how to increase the speed and you have a visual cue.
For more information, read the Mark McClusky’s « Faster, Higher, Stronger » about limitations, fatigue, emotions and what our bodies are capable of doing.
Tim Noakes, South Africa professor of exercices and sport science at the University of Cape Town, make the hypothesis that it’s not our body that slow down but our brain who control WHY and HOW our body slow down.
« Fatigue is an emotion, a construct in the mind that helps ensure that exercise is performed within the body’s ability. That emotion is affected by many factors, such as motivation, anger, fear, memories of past performance, self-belief, and what the body is telling the brain….our physical performance is regulated by the brain, not limited by our hearts, lungs, or muscles ».
We’re able to do more than we think. Cyclists always beat the virtual avatar who was faster than them.
Read a funny quote on Imgur :
« Better to cultivate discipline than to rely on motivation. force yourself to do things. force yourself to get up out of bed and practice. Force yourself to work. Motivation is fleeting and it’s easy to rely on because it requires no concentrated effort to get. Motivation comes to you, and you don’t have to chase after it.
Discipline is reliable, motivation is fleeting. The question isn’t how to keep yourself motivated. It’s how to train yourself to work without it ».
If you want to be motivated to train, stop it and stop crying. It’s better to build a system that isn’t relied on motivation. Create a system like the cyclists virtual avatar, create an avatar of your last week performances. Don’t be relied on inspiration but build a system for success, a system that improve your abilities each week.
Sometimes, we need people to push us, challenge us to do things we don’t want to do to go to the next level.
Surround yourself with people better than you in your activites. More you do activities with people who have more experience than you, more you become better.
And sometimes, you need a technological assistance to buid these habits :
Self-Control to block time-wasting website on our computer
Rescue time to track our efficiency
Alarm clocks across the room
Did you see ? No ones of these exemples are relied on a motivation, will or be better than someone else. It’s external forces that we use to exceed our limits.
Imagine what you can accomplish if failure isn’t an option. McClusky make a theory in his book « the winner is the athlete for whom defeat is the least acceptable rationalization ». So people who want to do everything to achieve their goals almost always accomplish theirs goals.
« The only thing that I see that is distinctly different about me is I’m not afraid to die on a treadmill. I will not be out-worked, period. You might have more talent than me, you might be smarter than me, you might be sexier than me, you might be all of those things you got it on me in nine categories.
But if we get on the treadmill together, there’s two things: You’re getting off first, or I’m going to die. It’s really that simple, right ? »
This is why Will Smith is one of the most successful actors.
Of times in our quest when we don’t make sacrifice to succeed, we fall into the belief that accomplishing our goal isn’t possible.
In fact, this rationalisation may appear to several people event before trying !
Instead of rebuking yourself when you aren’t motivated to do exercice or that you struggle to eat healthy, take a step back and look it with a different angle :
- « how can you build a habit of success and be focus on rather than seeking a motivation to realize it ? »
It’s easy to become ensnared (to chase motivation and fail) or to rationalize inaction and never try. We all fell into the trap.
What is you plan to avoid this trap ?
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