Do you remember the days when it was fairly easy to find a bank account with a 4-5% annual interest rate? You knew that if you were disciplined with your savings, you would be in profit at the end of the year and that savings could build on top of themselves over longer periods. Over very long periods, compound interest could help consistent savers become millionaires.
Now, with a base rate that almost makes stuffing your cash in your mattress more attractive than keeping your money in the bank, regular current accounts are no longer a way to build your money. Other methods must be used to get return on your investment.
Training is an investment in you. You invest time and energy in both the process and the results you get from it. Does your training provide a good return on the investment you make?
I read an article months ago on the fitness phenomenon known as Crossfit. Empirically, Crossfit provides significantly inferior results to other methods in the areas of strength and power development, muscle mass production, body fat reduction and produces much higher incidences of injury than many other training methods and even competitive contact sports. In my eyes, if I wanted any of these results as a priority, I would view Crossfit as a mediocre to poor investment vehicle.
Some will find the actual act of saving equally if not more beneficial than the riches to be gained from it. The discipline and persistence you cultivate is arguably a more important return.
Training can be the same. If you enjoy the act of Crossfit itself and this enjoyment is the important thing to you, then by all means, Crossfit away!
I'm speaking about Crossfit here just because it sprang to mind first. The same is true for any training/activity. Let's imagine a martial artist that plays 5-a-side twice a week. The results in their sport would be best facilitated by replacing 5-a-side with training more relevant to martial arts. Is this more important than their enjoyment of 5-a-side? Only their knowledge of this answer will be able to guide them to invest wisely.
The divide may not be so obvious. Rugby players play rugby and lift weights. What is the balance to strike between the two activities? Some people tip this balance because of enjoyment. Some tip the balance because they are better at one activity than the other and maintaining ego is their priority (I am good at lifting and even though I want to get better at playing, I feel better about myself if I keep doing what I'm good at – lifting – than I do if I put myself in a more challenging situation). Some tip the balance because they don't have the knowledge to decide on a balance that is best for their objectives. Sometimes, it's a mix of a few of these factors.
Are you investing in training that is really serving your purposes well? How effective are your methods? How well are you prioritising your time and energy?
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