When a Poor Plan’s Better Than a Good Plan

While warming up for my training session the other day, an acquaintance of my walked by.  Having seen him lifting earlier, I commented that his form was looking good.  He said he appreciated that because he’d not been in for two weeks.

He shared that in order for him to get his entire workout in during the week he’d have to get to the gym at five.  But because he was having difficulty getting in at five, he was missing his workouts.  I told him I could empathize.

Albeit slowly, I’ve had to learn to change my thinking from all or nothing, to always something.  I shared with him that although I prefer to do my entire 70-minute workout, I sometimes only have 20 minutes.  In fact, that day was one such day.  I shared what I was going to do.

I felt like he kinda dismissed what I was saying and said he already had a pretty good plan.  The pretty good plan he’s not done in two weeks?  That plan?!

Gen. George S. Patton said, “A good plan violently executed now is better than a perfect plan executed next week.”  I think a poor training program executed consistently is far better than a pretty good plan executed every two weeks.

Although more of my training sessions aren’t as long as they used to be, I find that with shorter workouts I train:

  • more frequently,
  • with greater intensity,
  • and with better focus.

And given my current goals, I’ve not sacrificed any results.

For my 20-minute workout that day I did the following:

  • Twenty seconds of DB goblet squats with 45 pounds followed by 20 seconds of rest for a total of 10 rounds
  • Farmer carry with two 55-pound dumbbells for 90 seconds
  • Repeat

If you wanna try it, I suggest picking 15-45 pounds for your goblet squat.  Error on the side of light.  If after a few rounds you feel it’s still too light, go faster.  You can always move up in weight the next time you do it (if you ever decide to do it again).  Although there is a strength component to it, I want you to be able to fill all of your working sets with actual work.

As for the farmer carry, pick a weight that is 30% of your bodyweight for each hand.  If you weigh 150 pounds, that’s approximately 50 pounds in each hand.  If your 180, 60 pounds.  Two-ten, 70 pounds.  (Have I insulted your intelligence yet?)

We won’t always have time for our “pretty good plan”.  Sometimes we need to settle for less than.  And you may be surprised.  What you thought was less than may end up being better than!