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The Power of 6

“Success is progress towards things that matter”

It is with this in mind that I created “The Power of 6”. It's a framework to help keep motivation high during workouts which I have used succesfully many times and have since recommended it to many other athletes as well.

The idea is simple, and it applies to any workout, although it is more effective on the more challenging ones, be it intervals training or long distance sessions.

It is a motivational self-help to assist you in maintaining a high level of engagement and motivation, and to not be discouraged during your workouts.

How does it work?

Simply put, build your interval workout with 6 reps, or divide the long session into 6 parts.

Why 6?

So that you can approach your workout as a succession of smaller steps. Achieving each of these steps will help you progress towards the end goal that matters, i.e. completing your workout.

Let’s have a look at these achievements:

  1. The first part of the session is not difficult, you just started and you’re still fresh

  2. At the end of this second part, you have already done one-third of your workout

  3. One more part and you’re already half-way through

  4. Another one, and it’s two-thirds done

  5. We’ll come back to this one later

  6. This is the last one, give it all you’ve got, and you’re done!

Why is 5 the odd one out? Because this is the hardest part where you don’t hit any particular milestone, i.e. a one-third, half or two-thirds of your workout. So this is the only part you have to really focus on.

That means, using the Power of 6 reduces the difficulty of a whole workout to only 1 part, and that’s only one sixth of the total!

Of course, if you want to apply the Power of 6 to your long distance session, you can divide your session into 12, or even 18 parts.

An alternative is to split your session into 6, then sub-divide each part into 2 or 3 to attain the same result.

My personal preference is to split each part in 2 when I prepare a workout for athletes. For example, instead of 1 km, I will set 2 x 500m targets, and that’s one part of the workout accounted for.

With time, this approach proved to be a very efficient way of getting through hard sessions without requiring too much mental effort. Consequently even the most demanding sessions feel easier to finish and are also easier to repeat.

Try it and tell us what you think in the comments below.

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