Updated: Jun 23, 2019

Over the past couple of weeks, I have stumbled onto a podcast from a retired Navy Seal commander, Jocko Willink. Most of his work nowadays is about applying the skills and qualities of a great leader into business world. For some reason, there has been one word that has stood out to me the Jocko spoke about; DETACHMENT.

He explains the essence of detachment in a military sense by not getting caught up in the difficulties and chaos surrounding a leader on the battlefield. One must be able to step back mentally and see the bigger picture in order to make the best available adjustment. Today’s post is about 3 ways to practice detachment into your own training whether you are an athlete or a coach.

1.) Get A Coach Even if you are a coach yourself, you need someone to have outside input onto your training and movements. Think about this in a sense of writing your own training program. What would happen if I hate performing cardiovascular conditioning myself and I go to write out the next month of my own training? Chances are, the conditioning aspect of my workouts would be extremely limited.

If I let a fellow coach take a hard look at my current status and they see that my conditioning is terrible causing my recovery to go down the drain, what will they do?

They would program much differently than I would in order to give me what I NEED not what I WANT. This would be an example of PHYSICAL detachment by handing over a task to someone else.

2.) RECORD YOUR MOVEMENTS – You don’t need to bring a news crew to the gym with you, a simple phone propped up on a bench will do. It’s important that you record your main movements because it allows you to look at yourself through the coaching lens from another angle and gives you instant feedback.

For instance, if I record my deadlift from the side view I will immediately be able to see my spinal alignment and the placement of my shoulder, hip and knee. All of these points may not be obvious if I just go by how the lift feels.

By recording it, I can put on my coaching hat and detach myself through a TIMING element (watching myself after the lift is complete) and make proper adjustments as needed.

Uploading big lifts on social media after the fact is optional.

3.)REVIEW YOUR TRAINING MONTHLY – I recommend that you review your training at the start of every month or whenever your microcycle ends. Doing this allows you to detach MENTALLY from the current situation. Now this assumes that you already keep track of everything you do in the gym. If that is not the case, start doing it. Practice detachment by looking at your training program as a whole, and then work backwards to where you are now.

For instance, if I know that my goal in 4 months is to add 10 kilos to my total, I can work backwards and see that I am getting ready to add a bunch of volume in the next few months. In order to be able to handle more volume soon, what should I be doing now?

Oh that’s right, the dreaded cardiovascular conditioning workouts. Looking at training this way allows you to see the bigger picture instead of getting bogged down in the daily details.

If you didn’t practice detachment, you may wonder what the point of conditioning is if the goal is

to get stronger.

These are just 3 out of countless steps that you can take to infuse detachment into your training. These particular steps help address the 3 avenues of detachment: PHYSICALLY, MENTALLY and through TIME. By practicing detachment in your training, you will be able to gain valuable input and see things from a different perspective. Try adding these tips into your routine and see the value that detachment can bring.


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