Challenges, challenges, challenges! Since the Corona outbreak and the quarantine, as a result, everybody is taking part in some kind of challenge. 

Take for example a challenge you see on Instagram, like doing 100 push-ups or hold a plank for 5 minutes. Both cool achievements to have under your belt. And most people can do amazing things when they approach a goal as a challenge. If you add a future desired emotion to that, you double your chances of achieving it.

When your challenge is big enough (and it should be!) it’s important to realize that you won’t succeed without a plan. And without any knowledge about physiology or how your body works, it’s hard to make a strategy or plan that works for you. You might think that trying as many reps every day, will help you end up being able to get to your achievement. But that’s a false myth. Physically, the adaptation from your work won’t give you enough new strength, and mentally, you won’t last. Your mind will lose its focus and wonders of… And soon you will look for a new challenge or let it all go.

Do you know the story of Milo from Croton?

Milo was an accomplished wrestler from the 6th century who became famous for his amazing strength. It is said that Milo built this incredible strength through a simple, but profound strategy.

One day, a newborn calf was born near Milo’s home. The wrestler decided to lift the small animal up for a fixed number of reps. The next day, he returned and did the same. Milo continued this strategy for the next four years, pressing the calf overhead each day as it grew until he was no longer lifting a calf, but a massive, 4-year-old bull. 

I love mythological stories and the story of Milo sounds really cool. But building strength and getting stronger just doesn’t work this way. 

The commitment must have helped Milo do what he intended to do every day. Just like our Mental Power principles can help you achieve a challenge. But this workout strategy is nonsense because Progression is never linear! Not for mental growth and not for physical growth. 

Some days are easy, some are hard. Sometimes your mood is off. At times, your recovery isn’t that great because of the extra zip of whiskey you took or sleep you’ve missed. Sometimes your mindset is laser-sharp and sometimes you are worried about your spouse, stressed from work, or just not at the moment. Sometimes you need to adjust to your MEIS and do an easy workout instead of going through the same regime, going all out every time. (MEIS stands for Mental Effort Intensity Scale. For more info check out the book or our free app)

So what is effective and will get you further in your challenge?

That depends, but here’s a start;

  1. Commitment is important. And to help you stay committed, you can start with making an image of your future self and how you would feel when you already achieved the challenge. If you have a challenge in mind, do this mind-work and do it NOW. 
  2. Next, plan the work you can put in. How many days a week, what days, what time. Take the time to schedule your next trojan workouts. You can use the agenda on your device or the special feature in the Trojan Workout app. 
  3. Reveal your kryptonite? What’s the number one reason that’s holding you back from showing up? Take this into consideration and how you can be stronger than this demon. If it’s your mood, look for a reward or the thought that is triggering the mood. If it’s your job, do it first thing in the morning. If it’s your spouse, ask for help and support.
  4. Now pick your strategy. If your challenge is physical, you can build a Trojan Set that contains the exercises you need for that challenge. In the new feature in the app, you can now build your own Trojan Set. Feel free to ask questions, if your challenge is specific. 
  5. Last, don’t make the challenge on itself to important. Make sure that achieving the challenge adds to something bigger. Again, it’s great if you can do 100 push-ups, even if it is only once. But living a healthy life, being the person you want to become (something to think about ;-)), and feeling strong in a challenge, no matter if you win or lose, is to the true reason for taking on a challenge in the first place.

See challenges, big and small as your steppingstones to greatness and being your best self. Have fun and enjoy the ride, no matter if you succeed or fail. There’s always a lesson learned and using your workout as the best tool for mental growth.

And vice versa. End in Trojan Pose!