The “Law” of Training Results, Part 1

There’s a lot of talk lately about training results. And that’s a great thing. It’s getting people excited about training again.

But really, there is nothing magical or mystical about getting results from your training.

To get results from your training, you must simply follow the Law of Compensation, which is comprised of three parts.

The first part is the the Law of Sowing and Reaping. (Yeah, sounds like I’m a farmer, but in a way, we all are…)

This law simply states that whatever you sow or plant, you will reap in like manner.

For example, if you want to get strong, you must actually exercise against a form of resistance to get stronger.

But let’s take a closer look…

Sowing. This is the idea of planting, or investing, time, energy, or money, or some combination of the three. Sowing is not done haphazardly. When a farmer plants a crop for future harvest, he must first know what crop he wants to harvest. He must then know where he wants to plant it. He must prepare the land for the sowing. Usually the preparation time takes longer than the actual planting. I remember as a kid, growing up in England on a farm, watching the tractors repeatedly till the fields with bigger and bigger tills, creating massive furrows, to plant sugar beet. The way they prepped the fields for barley or wheat were different. They used different plows and different tractors. (Usually smaller in each case.) The preparation was specific to the desired outcome. Sure, on the surface, it looked very similar, but the details varied.

The same is true with your training program. You must prepare your body for the desired outcome. Which of course means that you must have a desired and specific outcome in mind.

For example, I still have the dream that I’ve been chasing for the last 10 years of competing in the Weightlifting National Championships. (I qualified in 2000, but failed to go.) I am prepping my body to be able to withstand the rigors of weightlifting training. I am using both kettlebells and barbells to do so. And I am using a series of checks to not only guide my progress, but make sure I stay on track and keep moving forward.

Let’s say your goal is to press half your bodyweight in one hand, which is a measure of strength we use in the RKC to achieve your RKC2 standard. You need to make sure your body is able to press. You must have a standard of measuring it’s ability. And then once you can press, you must make sure your pressing in the most efficient manner possible, which is what we teach you how to do in the RKC and through Pavel’s various texts.

Then you must have a method of overload that will get you stronger. But, that is the least important part of the whole equation. You must first prepare your body for effective force transfer to the arm that will be doing the pressing. Mastering, or at least being able to “own” the Get Up is a great place to start.

Reaping. This is the actual harvesting. In most cases, what you harvest or reap, is the manifestation of what you planted. For example, if you want to grow an apple orchard, you have to plant apple seeds, so that they can grow into the actual apple trees. You wouldn’t expect to yield orange trees if you planted apple seeds. To do so would mean you are out of touch with reality.

The same thing holds true with your training program. In order to achieve a desired result, you must first have planted the “seeds” for that result. That includes not only the actual planting of the seed, remember, but also the preparation of the “ground” for that seed to grow in. Let’s use me as an example again, since I don’t know what it is that you want to accomplish. I want to compete again in Weightlifting. I must have a very strong core, healthy mobile, but stabile shoulders, and I must have mobile hips. To say that I should just start squatting, cleaning, snatching, and jerking without ensuring these things are in place, would be to reap not just heavier squats, cleans, jerks, and snatches, but also some injuries too. (Ask me how I know that… 🙂 )

So in order to reap exactly what we want, we must be very deliberate in the preparation of the sowing process.

In order to start seeing progress, or results in your training again, make sure you are very deliberate and precise in mapping out your training goals and how you plan on achieving those goals.

Next time, I’ll talk about a process that will help you do just that.

5 comments… add one
  • Russ Moon Feb 23, 2010 @ 11:49



    TGU – I thought “If the TGU has healed many an injured shoulder could it not then be used to strengthen the shoulder to prevent injury ?” MMM

    Sticking with it and going to “own” the positions, if it takes a year, it takes a year.

    I have noticed the following side effects of the TGU work :

    1. My shoulders are more sucked into the socket when I swing or snatch….which made both lifts more efficient and tamed the arc further.

    2. My snatch finish position has become more vertical.

    3. My tender left elbow from not fully locking out on the extension of the swing or the bottom of the snatch now locks out and the tenderness went away.

    4. More hip flexibility, better integration of the “corset”

    Great conditioner and the static holds are increasing my pressing strength.

    • GEOFFN Feb 24, 2010 @ 15:10

      Russ – Yup, that is the beauty of the TGU. It works the stabilizers incredibly well. We know that some of our body’s strength limitations are not due to weak prime movers, but to weak stabilizers. Increase their strength, get stronger all over. It’s amazing what one little exercise can accomplish in such a short period of time, especially when compared to the whole training journey.

      Keep up your smart work.

  • TJ Byxbee Feb 23, 2010 @ 12:30

    great post Geoff-I teach kettlebell/Indian Club boot camps outdoors year round in Florida to many different types of “athletes” from boxers, tennis players, golfers, swimmers, and triathaletes as well as baby boomers wanting to stay lean and move well into their golden years. Teaching the TGU and getting my students to feel confident in mastering it has really paid off. It takes a while for many to get used to that are not used to an integrated condtioning systtem as Kettlebell training provides. Across the board everyone gets better at what they like to do whether they compete or not. It’s one of my favorites!

    • GEOFFN Feb 24, 2010 @ 15:12

      TJ – Yeah, it’s crazy how good the TGU is. I am only now really appreciating its benefits. There is much to be learned about how your body functions or doesn’t function in that “simple” exercise. It truly does make everything else feel better and easier.

  • BDougie Feb 24, 2010 @ 22:58

    Hi Geoff this post really hit home for me.. I ve been a Canadian National Kickboxing team member for over 10yrs.. For the first six years everytime I hit the weight room I would always turn to my teenage roots of training like a body builder.. Leading up to many fights I would live in the weight room just to look good estetically in the ring (stupid), Although this sometime did work to my advantage as many opponents became intimadated at first sight. As i moved up in the ranks and the competition beame more challenging I found myself carring extra weight around and getting really tired (cause the fights were now going the distance). Injuries also started to set in as I was always pushing my body and creating many muscle imbalances… A couple years back finding training tools like kettle bells and becoming a certified yoga instructor I can easily agree What You Reep Is What You Sow! Thanks for the touching post..

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