Training Isn’t Linear – Blog

I thought I’d start this off by misquoting Donny Shankle (so we’ll call it stealing an idea I heard from him)…


“Training isn’t linear but your attitude has to be.”


This is something that has resonated with me for me for a while now and I feel it’s important for people who are really getting serious about what they’re doing to gain (or perhaps reestablish) an understanding:

You could call it tired, you could call it sore, you could say your nervous system isn’t ready for the next training session, or you could simply call it a lack of desire to pursue.  Whatever you call it, there are days you just don’t have it in the tank, you feel like everything is happening slowly, you feel you’re going in reverse and not forward, and days where 50# feels like 100#.

The idea that progress in training, and even the training itself, is linear is a mistake.  That means, progress [and your training] will not always improve consistently.

As frustrating as it is to say, and even more frustrating when you experience it, you’ll have more bad days than good days with your training.  Not at first, mind you.  The higher the level, of whatever it is you are training for, you achieve, the more bad days you’ll have.

You might look at that and think, “well, what the hell am I doing, then?”

I have to say, for me, it’s an opportunity.  It’s a chance to challenge myself at a level that somebody else may not want to be challenged at.  Those bad days aren’t for not and the work is definitely NOT in vain.  Your work on your bad days is a stepping stone to something great!  When other people choose not to go, when things get rough, you’ll continue to go.

This is what makes somebody great at what they do.  And really, there’s only one way to continue to plug away like that when things get really ugly.

“Training isn’t linear but your attitude has to be.”

So if training, and progress, isn’t not linear, attitude needs to be.  It is absolutely necessary that your attitude is.  And hopefully, you’re understanding me as having a linear attitude means that you must stay positive.

Training is hard.  It’s supposed to be.  It’s supposed to be easier to just not do it, go home, and relax.  That’s what makes it worthwhile in the end.

“Training isn’t linear but your attitude has to be.”

What’s the moral of the story?  When the training gets rough; when you feel as if you haven’t made progress in some time; when you even feel like you’ve regressed, you need to keep positive.  Not easy, but doable.  Most definitely doable.