The “Law” of Training Results, Part 3

Everyone wants it now.

Scratch that – we all want it yesterday.

But that’s just not how things work.

That’s just not the way nature is set up.

When a farmer plants his seeds to grow a new crop, he doesn’t cover them over and expect that overnight, or instantly, that new crop will appear. That’s just foolishness!

But that’s the way many of us approach training. We expect instant results instantly. That’s why the weight loss industry is a multi-billion dollar industry – people want that “magic pill” or “easy” button like in that Staples commercial.

And that brings us to the Third Law of Training Results – the Law of Delayed Gratification.

The harvest is in a different season from the planting.

No matter how you shake it, cook it or sell it, in this world of low-cost, long-term  financing, you must work for you training results. And here’s the worst part – you have to wait to reap their benefits.

In the sport of weightlifting, there are several periods of training that lead up to competition. Each training phase is built on the other, all with the intent to hit a new PR at the big meet. But, the training has to be done to ensure, or at least stand a chance of hitting a PR. In fact, elite weightlifters often wait, train, and prepare for 4 years – a long training cycle based around winning an Olympic Gold.

But it doesn’t matter what you do, if you do something, you will see results, just not immediately. This is called adaptation or the training process. Your body works to do better what you ask it to do. Please note that it is a process.

Your training should be set up to facilitate your long term results.

This requires what is known as “backwards planning.” This is the idea of starting with the end in mind and figuring out the steps required to get from where you want to go to where you want to be. (For more on how to successfully implement backwards planning check this out – it’s free.)

For example, a farmer plants a crop and expects a certain result – wheat for example. (Hey, I grew up on a farm, so we’ll go with what I know, ok?) There is a set time period – a maturation process before he can harvest the wheat. He has to rely on nature – rain, sun, etc. – to do its part, and if it doesn’t he must step in with irrigation methods and so on.

In the same way, you must ensure that the methods you use, reps, sets, speeds, loads, implements, etc., line up to produce a certain outcome – the outcome you want.

And what’s the best way to do that?

Model it.

That’s right – find someone who’s gone before you and been successful at what you want to accomplish and follow their path. Or get a coach who’s helped people do what you want to do.

(About this time you might expect me to offer to coach you – I won’t – sorry just too busy right now…)

But remember, you need a starting point in your process and that point is where you are now. You need to identify that point in time and take some down some data. Have you planted the right seed? Have you plowed deep enough? Have you been mindful with the training process to date? Are your expectations in line with reality?

For example, if you want to pack on some muscle using Return of the Kettlebell, have you first completed Enter the Kettlebell? There’s a reason Pavel recommends doing so – ETK shows you the basics for RTK.

In the same way, if you want to Snatch the Beast for sets of 10, have you done the necessary prep work? Is your Swing strong and crisp? Can you lock your arm out over your head with your elbow straight and your shoulder packed? If not, remember the Second Law – The Law of Increasing Returns. You will reap more than you sow – both good and bad.

So where does all this leave us?


Be mindful about your training.

Have a direction.

Have a plan.

Follow the plan – and hopefully it’s modeled off of a successful one. There are plenty out there but just model the right one.

For example, want to get really strong? Model a strength athlete.

Want to get ripped and see your six-pack? Model a program by a guy or girl with a six-pack who has helped others to get the same.

Want to use the kettlebell cause it’s time-efficient and you can train at home? Follow a program like that.

You get the point.

Whatever you choose, make sure you follow it all the way – because you will reap what you sow and more than you sow, both good and bad, and the reaping is in a different season from the sowing.

4 comments… add one
  • helen Mar 3, 2010 @ 15:15

    hi Geoff ~ awesome!!!!! great metaphor – farming..
    i will translate that to gardening for me.. pretend i am a plant – THAT i can relate to.. now i can stop being an idiot that wants to lose 50 lbs by whenever and get into fantastic shape in a blink of an eye. Yes, i saw those athletes that won gold medals – you’re right, years and years of training. Thank god you keep reminding me, thanks muchos. And good luck with your training/etc too!! 🙂

    • GEOFFN Mar 3, 2010 @ 21:28

      Helen – I’m as guilty as anyone on this point – and it bears reminding for us all. Glad the planting metaphor reached you right where you are. You just keep eating healthy for energy and getting lean (not losing fat – there’s a difference) and keep doing your swing and snatches, and that 50lbs will be gone in a blink of an eye!

  • Diana Mar 3, 2010 @ 20:20

    Love your tips via your emails. Not sure how I got on your list, but I’m glad that I am there. I attended the HKC last October (the Ingaural and the best!) in St. Paul and I’m returning in June for the RKC. I have a plan, I have a course and I’m taking my time. I’m a big one for wanting it “NOW”, but have learned to fully reap the benefits I must grow slowly and consistently!
    Thanks for the great info-hope to meet you in St. Paul this June! Looking forward to a great time! And hard work, of course!

    • GEOFFN Mar 3, 2010 @ 21:27

      Diana – glad to be of service! Unfortunately, I won’t be at the RKC in June – I’ll be at the RKC Denmark in May. Who’s team were you on at the HKC?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.