The Complex “Change-Cycle”
Ever noticed how a new job or gym programme is divided into phases? Generally, you’ll begin with tremendous positivity and excitement. As days turn into weeks, weeks into months, and the end of your new, grand programme is nigh with despondency. Have you realised how as time passes you don’t achieve the results you’d hoped for and old (maybe, bad) habits are banging on the back door?
It’s normal to have higher expectations for
yourself than the realistic possibilities.
There’s nothing wrong with change or trying new things. You shouldn’t be criticized for it. Change is a part of the “experience-driven” world we live in. The chances of you finding out new, interesting phenomena and even personal behaviours (good and bad) when engaging in these phases are far greater than otherwise. At worst, you’ll learn what you don’t like; at best, you’ll transform your boat into a ship. However, we like to ask the question: “How does this change affect your performance at work, at home, and in life?”
After a couple of weeks, the excitement of something new! wears-off. Nonetheless, you stick some of the simpler samples to your soul and eradicate the elusive elements. 8 Weeks down-the-line, you are a slightly different person as before and the cycle begins again (if you’ve found something new to try). The next question begs: “Have you made progress?”
How much progress can actually be made in 8 weeks? How do we recognize progress in the right direction? How do we select our next change-element for the next block of our life? Perhaps it is a group fitness programme or focused nutrition strategy? Maybe, you want to go on a hike every Sunday and explore nature…? (You’ve got friends that do that, right?)
Progress is best when you have something measurable.
Whether you’re a numbers or a words person.
Measurability is key!
When it comes to fitness programmes, especially when goal-oriented, these “blocks” are known as “periodization-cycles”. For example, sport-specific athletes have particular periods including “in-season”, “off-season”, and “pre-season”; in each of these periods, there are particular training blocks such as “strength and conditioning”, “cardiorespiratory”, or “plyometrics”. Setting this up is a complex process, which is why coaches and trainers are on hand to facilitate and generate the programmes.
Ultimately, they are strategically setup so we can enhance performance. Usually it will begin with a baseline evaluation (where am I at?), goal-setting (where do I want to be?), and foundation programme design (how I am going to get there). Using this strategy we achieved the below results with our MoveMax Group participating in a structured training programme 2-3 times per week (ages 7-17).
*See below for interpretation.
Since we, Actualise, are alternative in nature and look at the bigger picture, we believe this methodology can be applied to any challenge or programme we integrate into our life. Whether it is mindfulness, nutrition, fitness, financial, or even educational – realistic adaptations (a cool word for changes) are achieved through thoroughly planning the best route according to your environment.
What was clear from these results is that we don’t even need it to happen every day. Just 2-3 times per week of focused and progressive programmes will provide the results. Limit the over-thinking and allow the over-achieving to happen naturally.
Best in Wellness,
Holistic Wellness Coaching Professionals
*An interpretation of the above results:
- Dark blue = Baseline Fitness Assessments; Light blue = Re-assessments
- Increases in mass & height are normal, if not ideal, for child growth standards over 2 months (ages 7-17)
- Re-Test Increases = ranging from 10-13.6% improvements seen in muscular endurance (prone bridge aka plank), upper- & lower-body power output (broad jump & medicine ball throw), and aerobic capacity (VO2max*)
- Re-Test Decreases = ranging from 2.2-10.5% improvements seen in speed development (0-30m & 0-40m Sprints) and agility (T-Test)
- Re-Test Deviations = Speed Development (0-10m Sprint) & Push-Ups (not visible)
- Interpretation: above-average improvements were seen at normal growth rates for these youths; lack of improvements in certain areas may be accounted for by fatigue or lack of preparation for particular exercises; with a broad spectrum of testing components, it is difficult in 8 weeks to cover every modality (e.g. muscular endurance, power output, speed development, or aerobic capacity) due to the fact that adaptations are specific to the stimuli provided (this means, if you increase the amount of aerobic training you do, your sprinting capability will not necessarily improve, and vice versa)