Every (in)action is a choice.


The Cultured Warrior #057 | Every (in)action is a choice.

Newly purchased from my to-read list is Jocko's Extreme Ownership.  Many, many people struggle with recognizing that choosing to NOT act, is still a choice.  That is, your in-action is responsible for as many (more?) consequences as your actions.

On the particular Saturday above I had a "spirited" roll with my friend Sam – 10 years my junior and a seasoned competitor I look forward to seeing big things from.  Per the spectators in the room at the time, our exchange was quite entertaining to watch.  As an aside, and as I've mentioned before, "hard" or "competition mode" rolls are rare for me these days, but back to the point of this essay...

I love to twist the knife that Tim Grover hands us in Winning:

"Motivation is for people who don't know what they want."

The short version is that (1) if you're at the stage of something where you need to be motivated, you're not at the stage of winning.  Period.  (2) There's nothing wrong with not knowing what you want or being wherever you happen to be.  (3) Motivation is a spark, that's it.  Fueling the engine towards victory is on you; not a meme.

As Jocko reminds us:

"Don't count on motivation, count on discipline."

What is discipline?  He told Lex Friedman that discipline is doing the right thing and that doing the right thing is moving yourself closer to your goals (ref.).  The vast majority of people need a sharp kick in the pants and are far too comfortable, well, being comfortable.  But, I digress, what about the discipline to rest?

HRV = Heart Rate Variability | Time Between Heart Beats

As per usual after Saturday's open mat I hit the weight room.  However, I felt unusually sluggish; not tired, maybe a little de-hydrated, but something just felt off and I decided to abandon my scheduled workout halfway through – at least before technical proficiency declined.

Daily Average Heart Rate

I had been meaning to post similar graphs to these before to illustrate the point, but the point(s) connected when they needed to.  You can see in the first graph that my HRV nears 70 when I'm well recovered, which is pretty good for my age (1).  Likewise, my daily average heart rate is usually in the high 50s – again if I'm sleeping well and recovered.

Then, look what happens as training volume accumulates through the weekend!

The point I'm making here is that you can only give a "hard" effort so long before it's not really that hard.  For example, it would be inefficient for me, having "rest" days Monday - Wednesday and training 2x / day Friday - Sunday, to start the training block with a barn burner – thus compromising my ability to put in honest effort on Saturday and Sunday.

Rather, it would be smarter to start with the most complex / explosive movements (power, Day 1), then move towards strength (Day 2), and then throw in the kitchen sink on Day 3 because you know you'll have rest coming; but haven't compromised your previous days' efforts.

The TLDR is that I felt like sh** because my heart rate went up 3% and my HRV cut in half (!).  So, instead of pumping iron, I soaked up some rays at the park with my dog.  He appreciated it and so did I.

Odds and Ends:

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