Work to failure, not a slightly uncomfortable ‘benchmark’.
Generally my final session of each week is a ‘work to failure’ session. These are and always have been a favourite of mine. I feel it really shows the individual’s true character and willingness to suffer. Every session has a ‘Benchmark’. A figure or number of rounds I feel is adequate for the general population. Some people will work to this figure or slight discomfort, then pull out and walk away happy they got close or hit the ‘Benchmark’ They don’t get any fitter or mentally tougher. They generally gain nothing apart from burning a few calories and getting a sweat on.
The other set of people work to ACTUAL failure. Maybe they don’t get near the benchmark, maybe they get way past it. It doesn’t really matter. What matters is working to your own point of failure. This group of people generally walk away pissed off they didn’t do better. Most importantly they LEARN something about themselves, they learn how to suffer and recognise what that feels like. They get comfortable with being uncomfortable. Their point of discomfort gets further and further away as does their point of failure. They get fitter.
I know who I want on my team, in my gym and part of my friendship circle.
Here’s something I read around 6 years ago, after meeting Mark Twight. It set the foundation for my own training, life after my professional Rugby League career and what I endeavour to pass on to others.
“Accurate self-knowledge precedes behavioral change. Honest, thorough self-assessment isn’t easy so a coach must facilitate self-discovery by exposing physiological and psychological characteristics….
… If the mind doesn’t enjoy hard work, or relish suffering and confronting the unknown then no program, no amount of training can be effective. The physical part is easy – it’s just picking stuff up and putting it down – but if you can’t get it right in your head the physical training will not produce psychological changes that transfer to every aspect of one’s life. Without active mental participation sport may not be used as a tool of self-discovery. The muscle we are interested in training is inside the skull -[emphasis mine].”
Mark Twight, Page 3, Gym Jones Fundamentals Seminar Handout
This weeks session
1st minute – 20 Calorie Row
2nd minute – 16 Calorie Assault Bike
3rd minute – 12 Calorie Ski Erg
WORK UNTIL FAILURE.