The goal of this brief post is to again iterate the signals i refer to as

Elements Of Effort

When i receive these signs I make a change.  Even if it is the slightest correction available, i still opt to change it.

This has nothing to do with ignoring pain or pushing through to finish a rep, or set.

Changing my position when i get an EOE is not wimping out, nor limping away from a movement.

I believe that changing my position after a signal of effort affords my body a more adaptable situation (thesis statement).


More than once, I have wasted money.  I once purchased a truck I could not drive properly (3 on-the-tree), and sold it back to the guy for 1/4 the cost.   The following year, I purchased a 1978 El Dorado for $900, and it caught on fire a week later, on the 5 freeway in San Clemente, CA.  I purchased $410 of dietary supplements from (insert name of multi-level sports nutrition marketing program here) and instead of selling them , as was my plan, I consumed most of them and the rest went bad after legendary humidity in September 2007, along with countless other instances of derelict or delinquent behavior.

I am here to tell you, the reader, that you need not commit time or money to exercise sets/reps instruction any longer.  Or, at least for the next 4 minutes.  Don’t buy any fitness products while reading this!

The signals from your body which alert you to stress, pain, danger, arousal may also be tracked in fitness training.  That is to say, signs of impending distress during exercise or performance training can be recognized and respected, and may guide the user toward a more adaptable state.

Hooray!  We did it.

Did we?  Well. . .

Allow me to try again: Moving forward with your training, moving closer towards plotted points on your transformation navigation chart, can be done real easy.

Recognizing and respecting the signals of impending distress, and guiding your training away from crappy movements and reps may ease your body into performance progression and nutritional excellence.  Giving yourself enough of a dose to move forward is boring, and strategically advantageous.  Play the long game with your body, and your habitual fitness practices.

This may all be visible with regard to your training numbers in about six weeks if you listen to me (wink).

12 months ago I had been ‘off’ from physical training for a solid 7 months.

Today, i can state that swimming and hiking are my two most frequent and voluminous activities.  While more sustainable than hiking, swimming carries a level of responsibility that i have yet to settle in for.  Far, far less of an investment than a gym membership, swimming  requires regular upgrades in equipment.  Earplugs, shower shoes, and $5 a swim is nothing compared to the receipts i racked up when i was a meathead.

Weight training was a more entertaining addiction than swimming has been.  I find that to be a good thing.  Spending up to 40 minutes in an outdoor pool requires, from me, a total focus, or a state similar to sensory deprivation.  There is nothing to look at but the sky, and the pool is located near the airport, making for a wonderful situation where i can hear nothing, feel nothing, and do everything.  Yesterday, i was the fifth member of the Impossible Mission Force, swimming 25m as fast as i could and then changing direction, diving for the floor, resurfacing, only to breach with the top of my head.

Yes, that is the scenario i create to keep it interesting in the water.  While treading water, my heart rate rarely climbs above 85 beats per minute, and things are boring.  Nearly 80% of my tank training is water-treading or treading water for recovery, meaning, my heart rate gets sky high after lap swimming or change-of-direction work, and i choose to tread water to let my HR decline steadily.  That being said, the tank training where i tread water to the exclusion of other movements is often after a long hike.

So, 1 in 5 trips to the pool is a speed training/COD lesson, and during other sessions I follow the parameters of my physical state at that moment.  I do what I can, however I can.

And my mind wanders. . .

It wasn’t like that in the gym.  So much external stimulus in those gyms!  More than enough to listen to, look at, smell. . .

But now, my training is done in near solitude.  In quiet environments.

This is nothing for me to complain about, i am simply not used to it.

Settling in to settling in to train may just be an interloping goal.

Raining here, no swim or hike today.  That does not mean I can not practice guiding myself toward an adaptative response today. . .

I tested some movements in the home-gym and this is what came up:

Shrug: 9 sets totaling 6,950lbs

79LB for 3 sets, and 80lb for 6 sets (two kettlebells, two DBs).

Bent row: 35lb for 6 sets totaling 3,100lbs. in 7:00 (kettlebell and DB).

Thank you,