It’s time to begin the noble climb from out of the ordinary to the heights of extra-ordinary—an elevation few choose to pursue in their lifetimes.
Take the next six days to complete your preparation in Base Camp so that you’ll be rested and ready to enter your 12 weeks—only 84 days—of training.
4 – 21 Day Sprints
Your body is amazingly adaptive. Ask it to be stronger, and stronger you will become. Challenge it to go farther, and farther you will go. Coax it to be more limber, and more limber it will become. Allow it to mold into the seat of a recliner, and—you got it—a recliner seat it will become. Stretch it, push it, pull it; your body is like cellular Play-Doh® waiting for you to be its sculptor.
Think of the next 12 weeks as your training camp for a strong life. For athletes, training camp is a focused, intensive period of time specifically designed to transform them from their off-season condition to their peak in-season self, physically and mentally.
You’ll find that breaking the 12 weeks into four 21-day “sprints” is helpful in maintaining focus and managing expectations. Your experience will be unique, but, generally speaking, you will encounter each of the following stages:
Stage 1 (days 1 – 21): This stage is about momentum. These few weeks are both challenging and absolutely critical to reaching your full stride. This is the time to align your practice, creating your rhythm and rituals of training and nutrition. Take it one day at a time, for 21 days in a row.
Stage 2 (days 22 – 42): It’s common that people express some frustration or concern if they just aren’t feeling or seeing results at this point. When you’ve been in a good rhythm, doing all the right things, your body will resist change for a while, but then, suddenly, it will be almost as if it starts working with you. This reward is usually enough of a boost to finish this 21-day sprint strong.
Stage 3 (days 43 – 63): This third set of 21 days can welcome a slight plateau. Bolstered by the first spurt of results, you can get a little spoiled—and that’s when things slow a little. Now is your time to double-check your practices, make sure you’re reaching training peaks and hone your nutrition in preparation for the homestretch.
Stage 4 (days 63 – 84): In this final sprint, expect to question if you set your goals high enough. When a few weeks earlier you were filled with doubt, suddenly, it’s as if the force is with you. It’s not uncommon for these last 21 days to produce nearly 50 percent of the measurable results.
Beyond the Body
Approach the next 90 days as you would a great life adventure. Enter with an open mind and a light spirit—and seek to enlighten both.
Expect to be challenged, as life may conspire against you. Yes, that’s right. Things will unexpectedly arise, so be prepared and stay your course.
You will be a stronger person in nearly every way for having done it.
Let your ascent begin.