Well, I think we can agree on this if nothing else: 2020 has not been what any of us expected. And, we all know and feel there are still more “interesting” days ahead. The question is, are you still taking care of yourself, eating right, drinking enough water, getting enough sleep, working out, etc? Whether you’re just getting back to your favorite fitness routine, or you’ve kept it up through all of this weird year, it’s time to transition to Winter Training Mode once again.
For several years, I wondered if it was possible to stay 100%, tip-top, super-duper “in shape” all year around. Wouldn’t that be great, to be at the pinnacle of your fitness level not just a few days or week, but 365 days a year, every year? Imagine being strong, flexible, and having great endurance all the time. Who wouldn’t want that? But after researching and reading about the pros and cons of training at a high level all the time, and after experiencing some of those cons for myself, I concluded that it might not be such a great thing after all. So, I decided I should try a different way. In 2011 or 2012, I started experimenting with what I call Winter Training Mode (WTM), and I’ve been doing so ever since.
About five years after I made WTM a regular part of my training practice, I reconnected with one of my former karate instructors. We hadn’t seen each other since 1995 so we had a great time catching up. He’d been deeply studying and training in a Chinese martial art (Bagua) for more than a decade at the time of our reunion. During our fervent and enjoyable conversation, he mentioned a training principle of Bagua that sounded very similar WTM. I couldn’t help but nod and smile.
Winter Training Mode is a time to allow your roots to thicken and grow deeper. This is a time to:
During WTM, I decrease the intensity of my training routines while increasing the depth of my personal martial and fitness research and experimentation. Because I really enjoy training, I still have to remind myself at the start of WTM that it is okay, and necessary, to not push so hard during this time.
I’ve experienced the following benefits through WTM:
Though spring seems so freakin’ far away, it will be here before you know it. So, grab a notebook, a pen or a pencil and make your plan. Be sure to keep it simple.
Consider starting this month. Don’t wait until after Thanksgiving, or Christmas or some other upcoming holiday because if you do, you’ll have lost valuable, irreplaceable time. Then, once you implement, remember to keep track of your goals, stay fluid and adjust as needed, and enjoy the journey.
At the start of 2020, we were ready and determined to conquer the new year in order to elevate our lives, and because that’s just what we do, right? Well, after everything 2020 has thrown at us, utter vengeance just may be the main motivating factor in conquering the remainder of what has been a strange and challenging year. Winter Training mode, if done correctly, just might play a pivitol role in the things that help us position ourselves for a strong and vibrant comeback in 2021.
Be well, and stay strong!