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Patience in 2.5 Unit Increments

November 08, 2017

There are a lot of quotes on patience. A quick Google search will brings hundreds of memes that extol patience. We all know we need it, very few of us want to use it, even fewer of us want to be in situations that require it. I speak from experience.

We all know it's useful but unless there are concrete, actionable steps to take, "be patient" becomes just another saying. Want to be successful, early bird gets the worm. Cool - wake up early, and then what? Memes and sayings look nice on a quote board, but unless a plan is in place, sayings are just poems. 

I came across an article about a man learning to use the 2.5 minute rule with his kids. Every task, partition an extra 2.5 minutes because kids are slow, less dexterous, and some things aren't memorized motor tasks. Ask them to put their shoes on - extra 2.5 minutes. We can slip our shoes on literally in a few seconds. Not so much for young kids. For tasks like these, give yourself and your kids this leeway. 

I learned early on that you need to partition extra time when you are taking your kids somewhere. I learned it so well almost 6 years in with kids, that I'm only late like 3 out of 5 times. Of those 3 times, I'm sure I was a bit stressed and I'm sure I stressed them as well. 

There was no plan. If you don't have a plan, you ultimately don't succeed often. And when you do, it's probably by luck. Giving yourself "extra" time is just arbitrary. 2.5 minutes is concrete. 

When I first started lifting weights, the only principle I understood was that if I put more weight on the bar than the last week, I was getting stronger. If I kept doing this, I'd get to where I wanted to go. So I used those small 2.5 pound weights every single time for my last set. If I beat my last weeks effort, I'd go up 2.5 pounds on each side the following week. If I didn't, I stayed there. 

Those 2.5 pound weights got me where I wanted to go. They also taught patience. You don't go from squatting 135 pounds to 405 pounds in big increments. Your body needs time to build up connective tissue, motor unit recruitment, cross-sectional muscle development, vascular networks, and loads of other physiological adaptations.

One of the things I've noticed with myself is the lack of patience with some of my bigger lifts in the last few years. I've also noticed lack of progress. Part of it was just being content with staying at a certain weight. Part of it was just lack of patience. Wanting to just get a lift in, but not having the patience to commit to slow progress. 

With winter coming, patience in 2.5 unit increments is becoming a concrete goal. 

"The two most powerful warriors are Patience and Time."  Leo Tolstoy



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