Should you sweat the small stuff?
MSC Performance prides itself on its clients results, helping people to get in better shape. To some, that means to help them live healthier lives, for others it means perform better in the gym/at their chosen sport. When someone makes the decision to work with us, we initially spend our time sorting out the ‘big rocks’, helping them get their biggest ‘bang for their buck’, the biggest return possible for their effort. If someone is looking to lose/gain weight, we would ensure their energy expenditure is set up to elicit the desired response. If their goals are performance related, we set them up with a training programme that is specific to their goals, progressive in nature and makes them work as hard as they need to for their current training tolerance level. These first couple of big rocks are the biggest benefits to the client and take care of a big percentage of potential outcome they can make.
People often ask viable questions about smaller potential benefits that may be related to their goals, ‘should I take supplements?’, ‘what’s the best rest period for muscle growth’, but if you don’t have the big rocks in place, the response will usually be ‘don’t sweat the small stuff’. But if you do have the big rocks in order, should you dismiss these smaller strategies that have a less impact on your training? I think much like the last few articles I’ve written, the devil is in the detail. If you are a busy professional with a young family, you are and should be happy with making the biggest return for your effort. If 2-3 strategies make up 75% of the benefit, it isn’t going to be a worthwhile investment using strategies that may take up an extra 1-2 hours of your weekly time, for an extra 2-3% benefit to your fitness/health goal. If you’re a athlete, or someone that strives to be the best they can/get in the best shape of their life however, you shouldn’t be dismissive of these smaller percentage gain strategies.
If you dismiss a strategy that could improve your effectiveness of your training by 2%, it may appear nuanced by itself, but if you dismiss five strategies that could improve your performance by 2%, you could be missing out on an overall 10% improvement to your training optimisation, all of a sudden that’s a huge increase in your training outcome! Strategies such as an extra hour sleeping, staying hydrated, eating a higher carbohydrate meal prior to your session, periodising your training and regulating your rest periods are small performance increases that can add up to a meaningful difference to your training outcomes. Similarly with a weight loss/gain goal, if you want to be in the best shape of your life, you will need to look further than just energy expenditure. To fully optimise your nutrition, you will need to look at meal timing, macronutrient breakdown, food quality and supplements. These are examples of small returns that can add up to make a meaningful difference on the effectiveness of your outcomes.
To conclude: While you shouldn’t lose focus on what the most important aspects of training/nutrition are, don’t be dismissive of the smaller wins if you want to optimise your training. Make sure you have the ‘big rocks’ in place first, then you can look further to these smaller strategies, that when put together, will take your training/aesthetic outcomes to the next level. Putting together several of these small effects, will add up to a big effect on your overall outcome.
Thanks for reading, as always any questions please send them over J