24 Aug Successful Investing, Rules & Covid-19 Success Stories: Adapt and Overcome
This article today is a critical read. It highlights the power of three concepts we’ve been discussing extensively within our team and with our clients:
- What you can do when you approach the investment phase with the same vigour as your earlier phases
- How to use long-term rules to fire on all cylinders across the board in your life
- The power of adapting, preserving through dips and overcoming challenge
The last segment shows how even in lockdown, with minimal (often zero) equipment, you can still master the training piece of the puzzle to make progression, no matter what phase you’re in.
I’ve personally used this time to master my technique, develop my mind muscle connection and prime myself for increased loading when gyms open. It’s been more productive than I anticipated, and I will be writing an article on how to maximise your final stages of lockdown while anticipating gyms reopening.
I can’t hide my disappointment at pubs being opened before gyms in the UK – it highlighted a worrying disparity in our nation’s priorities and future well-being.
Nevertheless, we must continue. Training is only one piece of the transformation puzzle – and it’s not tied to the gym. It can be done anywhere, anyhow. The basics remain. Progressive overload with perfect form, and we can apply these principles to whichever training modality we opt for.
Within our team, we coach each other through the five phases. It was an initiative we started early 2020 to really go deep into the investment and reward-investment phases, in particular. Below are the top three investment insights from one of our RNT coaches.
1) Shiny object and excitement based decision making
When you strip away the shiny objects of a new program, new sport, new structure, new routine, new food choices, what you’re left with is a different type of excitement. It’s the excitement of seeing your bodyweight hold, the excitement of having consistency, and the excitement of feeling in much more control than in earlier phases. It strips back the excitement of shiny objects, and allows you to identify why you do what you do without that shiny object triggering a restart in the process, time and time again.
All of the shiny objects mentioned earlier all have a place, no doubt. However, it’s about timing, and understanding whether it’s rational, logical decision making, or excitement driven. Are you looking for entertainment or results? Are you in a dip and looking for an easy way out instead of leaning in?
We have the ability to up and try something new when things get boring or if you’ve been consistent for long periods of time. The question to ask is: what’s going to be left for you when the shiny object syndrome disappears? Do you want to be chasing excitement over and over again?
What this phase highlights is the power of long-term investing, and the important of having a why behind your why.
At the start of this phase, spent time understanding your why behind your why. It’s not only to look good, it is because:
- It’s a trigger to be productive at work
- It’s to reset your day regardless of emotions
- It allows you to push yourself, embrace challenge and develop resilience; when you push through that moment of a hard set, it means you know you can tackle anything on that day.
Lean in. The rewards will come.
2) Embracing the fluff
As you come out of the process phase and enter consolidation, you’re super sensitive to how you look and feel, how things fit, and you’re hyper focused on everything being right. After all, why waste your hard work?
You might be reluctant to embrace any type of body fat increase. But you must remind yourself it’s different because it is self imposed and purposeful. That said, the mind games won’t be easy.
As your bodyweight rises, mind games will be in full force! Each time this happens, the thought of dieting and cutting back on food might cross your mind. However, if you just embrace that little jump for just a little longer, the feelings will dissipate. Instead, you’ll notice your chest looking fuller, your pictures improving, training performance going up, mood improvements and productivity at work firing on all cylinders.
Your hard work will not be wasted. The key to being in the shape of your life, for life, is embracing the change, understanding the why behind your why, and channelling the energy into high performance.
3) Finding your BW sweet spot
As your bodyweight rises, pay attention to where your sweet spot is. We’re all on a continuum, and the key indicators to help identify yours are performance, training drive and day-to-day mood/libido/energy. You’ll know you’re at your sweet spot when you’re firing on all cylinders.
Think of this as your ‘fighting weight’. There’s a reason we don’t see boxers / MMA fighters completely shredded; we see them in a range that makes them productive for their sports. Think of Tyson Fury gaining weight against Wilder to fight at his better fighting weight for his job at hand. It’s true for ourselves as well. We want to be in a range of bodyweight and food intake that allows progression in all aspects of life (not only muscle build), and what facilitates high performance in our highest priorities. There’s always a tipping point. Too lean and energy is low with high food focus. Too heavy and energy tips with lethargy and brain fog. It’s a fine balance, and a critical goal of this phase.
Hitting The Tenpin Bowling Strikes Every Day With Rules
Once you’ve reached your checkpoint and consolidated, you need to work on your rules to hold yourself accountable towards, and stop yourself from a slow regression to your old self. The investment phase is about rewiring your mindset, behaviour and identity, and you need rules to facilitate this.
In the process phase, the more accurate you throw (transformation checklist), the better chance you have of knocking down the pins. Having a rule system and using it as your accountability measure and guide to ‘hitting the pins each week’ will be like having the gutter guides up, and razor sharp focus. It’s much harder to fall off and end up in the gutter while you’re familiarising yourself with your new self and lifestyle in the early days of an investment phase. As you get better at hitting the pins and not relying on the guides, and while the need for them will get lighter, you will always need them to some degree to ensure you’re not reverting back to previous poor choices and habits.
The more we delve into high performance and wanting to hit a strike each day, the more that developing and abiding your rules become. Rules aren’t limiting, they’re transformative. If you want to be at your absolute best in the areas of your life that matter to you, they’re non-negotiable.
Examples of your non-negotiable rules could be:
- Protein for meals prepped each week
- Train Monday to Friday each morning
- Set a phone curfew
- Bed between 9-10pm
- Set meal times: 9am, 12pm, 6pm, 8.30pm
- Set walk times
If one rule starts slipping, it may be a sign that something is off, or a sign that something is about to be off. You’ll learn which way around each rule is as you continue to experiment and go through challenges.
If you fear accountability of rules, and think it’s ‘limiting’, that’s great. That means you need them more than anyone. Rules are key to having a lifestyle solution. It’s simple to get into shape. Staying in shape requires accountability to rules that align your 3Ss and priorities, and a rewiring of your mindset, behaviour and identity. That’s hard.
Covid-19 Success Stories
The journey of self mastery and the lessons you learn from using the physical as the vehicle all come from creating a self imposed challenge on yourself in a controlled manner and environment.
The best journeys and the ones who develop themselves the most are the ones who can go through the dip of challenge and come out the other side. Covid-19 created an enforced challenge and dip that added to the already difficult journey of self mastery that the RNT Transformation Journey embodies. However, like with anything, when you look to persevere through the dip, lean on your priorities and rely on your 3Ss to create non-negotiables, precursors and automated decisions, amazing things can happen.
We want to finish this article by highlighting just how proud we are of the RNT clients. Covid-19 has been a difficult period for everyone, so we want to show how some took the bull by the horns and focused on what they could control – their physical self. It highlights the importance of adopting an ‘adapt and overcome’ mindset with your training, and just how much can be done without a gym! The biggest knee jerk we witnessed in our industry was a panic around what to do without a gym. The reality is, it’s a tiny piece of the overall puzzle, and with the right tools and focus on what you can do, you can still make progress in that arena.
Here’s what happens when you use the physical as the vehicle to push through one of the biggest challenges of a generation. A few client stories to share:
Completed most of the process phase and took himself through the Grind with light DBs only and pushed through a consolidation period that really tested his resolve and determination to stay in the shape of his life.
Working from home with a young child and training with home workouts on minimal equipment.
Completed the last 10 weeks of her process phase which led to her photoshoot at home, working from home, stabilising her thyroid medication, no equipment, and in the midst of the food shortage.
Working around the clock to save his two businesses during Covid-19, strapped for time with only access to light dumbbells.
The physical transformation has given him the confidence in himself to be able to take on more challenges, especially in his entrepreneurial endeavours.
Lost her job and recovering from a back injury early in the process phase, but continued to focus on her 3Ss and reach her checkpoint.
She has used the vehicle to help her rediscover her strengths and motivations, and has learnt how to invest her time and energy for herself. Not only has it taught her how to look good, but it has also taught her how to feel good and to appreciate the value of many aspects of life such as the importance of a good support system and the value of self discipline.
Working as a doctor in NYC during this pandemic, with limited time and minimal equipment.
Mansi had only recently moved to New York to work as a Doctor when the pandemic struck. Being part of the front line in the defence against the virus and in a new city, it would have been understandable for her to have felt overwhelmed. However, she used the limited free time that she had in order to prioritise her mental and physical health through sticking to her non-negotiables. Having to deal with so much stress and sadness at work each day, this process provided her with something really positive to focus on and work towards.
Access to minimal equipment.
Having been furloughed, Jigna’s employment, like most things in the world, was up in the air with no clear answers in sight. Instead of letting this uncertainty get to her though, she adapted her 3Ss to enable her to remain in control of what she could. This gave her days structure and purpose and a sense of achievement each day. By knowing that she was doing everything she could to look after herself she felt empowered when it would have been so easy to feel sorry for herself.
Tej & Hetal
Two sisters looking after their elderly mum during lockdown and at home with no equipment.
Both were very inactive for a long time prior to starting with the RNT and now even the thought of not exercising, eating well or looking after themselves is completely foreign to them. They have also inspired their entire household to pay more attention to their health.
We’ll share their individual testimonials here. What’s amazing is that these are a few of a hundred Covid-19 success stories we’ve witnessed, showing just how powerful this journey can be for the greater good!
To explore all of my Quarterly Insights, scroll through the Team Corner here.
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