Life’s #1 Supplement — Consistency
Athletes all around the world are constantly seeking out the latest and greatest supplement, diet, workout, or equipment that will give them the “edge” and propel them past the competition. Unfortunately, these quick fixes are temporary and never seem to last. Why? Random actions produce random results. Throwing a new diet or workout you saw on Instagram into the mix will more than likely give you random results.
The best and most affordable supplement on the market is CONSISTENCY. Although it takes time and effort, it’s free! Stick to the basics in your nutrition and in your training — be consistent with both and it will pay off big in the long run.
Consistency in Training
Anyone can wake up early, head into the facility and give great effort for a training session. That is easy. But can you maintain that intent every rep, every set, every exercise, every training session, every week, every month, and every year? This is where separation occurs.
Consistency is the mark of a CHAMPION!
Showing up each day with purpose and delivering the effort necessary to achieve that purpose is what separates champions from everyone else. There should be intent behind everything that you do in a training session. When intent and effort are absent —you waste the rep, hindering you and your team’s success. Lack of intent is a result of lack of focus. This leads to poor technique which can result in injury.
In his book, The Compound Effect, Darren Hardy says, “It’s not the big things that add up in the end; it’s the hundreds, thousands, or millions of little things that separate the ordinary from the extraordinary”. You may not immediately see the result of lack of intent during one rep, but as this process adds up over time it can have big consequences. Where could you be if you had consistently put forth the effort in every action you make? Not a question that you ever want to think back on. Make the choice now to be consistent with intent during training.
“Long-term CONSISTENCY trumps short-term intensity.” — Bruce Lee
Everyone knows the importance of off-season training. Many athletes and coaches can see the impact that off-season can have on their season and take full advantage of the opportunity. The real separation occurs with what is done in-season. Would you rather be at your best athletically at the start of the season (scrimmages and non-district) or during playoffs and for the State Title game? Seems like an obvious answer.
Consistent, year round development can take your “gains” to another level. The common fear of stiffness and soreness during the season due to training, can be thrown out the window if you take a consistent approach. Maintenance programs do not exist. You either get better or you get worse. Utilize the time during the season to continue athletic development. Continue to get stronger and more explosive while simultaneously increasing durability and resistance to injury. While relative intensity (percentages and reps) can decrease in-season, consistent training will continue to produce results over time. Consistency is ALWAYS the key here.
Consistency in Nutrition and Recovery
Most athletes understand the impact nutrition has on fueling the body for performance. However, many only focus on fueling properly leading up to and immediately following training or competition. These inconsistencies result in lower quality nutrition a large portion of the time. A quality pregame meal followed by a protein shake after competition will NOT make up for a week long intake of fast food and other processed meals. The damage has already been done.
Imagine if NASCAR drivers fueled their high performance cars with low quality fuel for practice laps and saved the high performance blend for race day. That engine probably would not run at an optimal level. The key to fueling for performance is consistency throughout the week. You do not have to track calories or be perfect every meal. Focus on sticking to the basics and being consistent. For some helpful tips, check out our PRODUCE post.
The biggest and best recovery method is SLEEP! Unfortunately this is also the biggest area where inconsistencies occur. Student-athletes are all over the place with their sleep schedules. Things like Fortnite and social media keep athletes awake and staring at their phones. This is on top of keeping up with their studies and other extracurricular activities.
Matthew Walker, author of Why We Sleep, said, “Once you get less than seven hours of sleep, you can measure marked impairments in both brain and body health”. He also goes on to say that there is no such thing as a “sleep debt.” You simply cannot sleep more and catch up on your debt throughout the weekend. Once again the damage has been done.
“When you are not getting enough sleep, you work less productively and thus need to work longer to accomplish a goal.” — Matthew Walker, Why We Sleep
In order to be consistent with your sleep, you must manage your time wisely. Create a sleep schedule so that you are forced to get your homework and any other responsibilities completed on time. You will begin to notice this will become easier as you consistently sleep your 7–9 hours. Recovery will allow you to work harder and accomplish more — physically and mentally.
Big goals are accomplished by doing what is supposed to be done, when it is supposed to be done, and how it is supposed to be done on a daily basis. Winning habits produce winning results; so take advantage of a free supplement and apply it to everything that you do.