The Off Season Mentality

Developing an Off-Season Mentality

“What you are about to witness is a master class on preparation. The Off-Season.”
– J. Cole

We’ve all hit the wall before, that point when we have been pushing hard for months, balancing training, work, and life, but we just do not know how we can make it another day, let alone another week, month, or year.

The only way to accomplish anything meaningful is from conscious, consistent, compounding commitment, to be able run hard in one direction for years, to not move the goals posts, and be able to keep the blind faith that everything will work out.

But life isn’t easy, business is hard, and training always hurts.

Discipline is always stronger than motivation.

Why are some of us able to keep working towards a singular goal, while others fall off, change their mind, and pick a new venture?

The answer is that some are better at giving themselves a break.

The off-season, rest days, and recovery are critical to high performance.

*High Performance- being able to consistently execute at an elevated level, at the snap of your fingers.

You cannot train all out in the gym every day. So why do you try to do this in the other areas of life?

This article examines three different frameworks I use to balance training/work volume with recover

Recognizing Burnout

If you were to score every day from the last month on a scale of 1-10, with 1 being the worst day of your life, and 10 being your best day ever, what would your average score be?

Were than any 10’s? How many 1’s did you have?

In order to maximize the number of “10’s”, I believe that you also need to open yourself up to the “1’s”.

To have high highs, you have to be willing to have low lows.

To truly succeed, you must let go of your fear of failure, and step out of your comfort zone. Otherwise, you end up living a “5” every day, you will never take risks, you will never have excitement, and you will never have a chance for anything out of the ordinary.

When I perform this simple exercise and find that I am living my life in the middle, this (almost) always means that I struggling with burnout.

Burnout is a state of complete mental, physical, and emotional exhaustion. If you are experiencing burnout, you may notice it is difficult to engage in activities that you normally find meaningful, or with people that you typically enjoy.

Here are 5 questions to ask yourself to recognize burnout:

  • Do you drag yourself to work, the gym, or training?
  • Do you have a hard time getting started once you’re there?
  • Have you become irritable or impatient with co-workers, customers, or training partners?
  • Do you lack the energy to be consistently productive? Do you find it difficult to concentrate?
  • How are you sleeping– Is your sleep schedule off?

There is a difference between burnout and a hard couple of days. Everyone has days when they feel better than others; sometimes when you step into the gym the bar feels light, while others as soon as you start you know it is going to be work.

The key is to recognize the frequency at which these days occur and understand when you need to give yourself a break.

You know you better than anyone else; be honest.

Rest Days

I love what I do and have designed my life to try to live my best day ever, every day. 

But I also blend work and fun. Most of the time this is great, but it also makes it difficult for me to pause, and reset. 

A lot of people ask how I am able to train/move at such a high volume every day. The answer is multi-fold:

  1.  I have been training like this for years which compounds and creates a massive fitness base. 

  2. I constantly mix various training elements, I train cross-fit Monday-Friday, but then prioritize zone 2 aerobic sessions on the weekend which allow me to recover. 

Probably the most important piece: I take rest days when I need them. 

I listen to my body. When something hurts, or is tweaked I then take the day off. 

Again, I apply this same principle to my work.

I love what I do; I love helping to build brands. A lot of the time, this means I am working weekends, traveling, entertaining, and hosting. 

And Again: I take rest days when I need them. 

I do not necessarily follow the traditional schedule or path. However, I have found what works for me and allows me to consistently perform at a high level through years of constant practice and iteration.

Today’s Optimization

Training outside is a daily non-negotiable for me. I get outside and move every day, and it serves as much as a mental reset as it does physical stimulus. This is why I love GORUCK equipment– it lets me take sandbags, weight vests, and ruck equipment into the mountains. My three favorite pieces for summer training are the Rough Runners, the 30 lbs. Ruck Plate Carrier, and the 100 lbs. Sand Medicine Ball.

 GORUCK allows me to turn Colorado in the summer into my personal playground and bring others along for the run, ruck, or workout. I love implementing all of the equipment into 40 Minute EMOM’S in the backyard with the Denver Dad’s crew on Saturday mornings. Today GORUCK is offering Movement Memo subscribers a deal:10% off using code “ERIC10”.

About Eric Hinman

Based in Denver, Eric is an Endurance Athlete (5x Ironman), content creator and social media influencer, sponsored by dozens of consumer brands. Some of Eric’s partners include Vital Proteins, GNC, Ten Thousand, Beam, Lane Eight, Chipotle, and Whole Foods.

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