By Nikki Jarrett
Changing the way you train will have a profound effect on your ability to reach your goals faster.
Intent is defined as intention or purpose, resolved or determined to do (something), showing earnest or eager attention.
This could be your missing link in your training.
Training with intent is not always synonymous with training for a goal, e.i. to lose weight, be stronger, etc. But training with intent, as in, going into each training session with the intention and determination to do what needs to be done, know that each rep is one step closer to your goal. It’s the intent that when you step up to the bar you’re lifting that bar with purpose and not just picking it up because that’s what you should do.
You should lift with purpose every session, every set, every rep.
The opposite of intent is going through the motions. Have you ever been driving home from work on your usual route and some how you are home? That’s what I’m talking about, it’s describe as auto-pilot. You are not actually IN the moment. This is can be seen as a good thing some of the time, but ultimately you are losing out on so much more when it comes to your training and the results you want.
Lifting with intent gives you added bonuses, not just correlated with results, but on a psychological level as well. By being in the moment of training, sprinting, or even setting up your lifts, you are:
1) not thinking about everything,
2) increasing your attention span,
3) practicing staying focus - look back to #2, and
4) learning to be in the moment of things, more importantly in life.
In this social media filled world we often forget what “being in the moment” is about. We are so quick to pull out our phones to share moments, but ultimately missing out on the experience of those moments. But that’s for another post…anyways…
Let’s get back to lifting with intent.
We will use sprinting as an example. There are a lot of people in this world what call themselves runners but there is a wide range of “runners.” It comes down to intent. What is your intent when you go our for that morning jog? Is it to clear your mind, work on your pace, to get in a bit of exercise before your day starts?
If your purpose for running becomes performance focus, then your intent has to change. You cannot go out for a morning jog and expect to get the positive results you are working for e.i. faster pace, longer distances with a good pacing. You must run with intent, focus, purpose, determine to do or complete said goal.
Mike Boyle (side note: Mike Boyle is one of the foremost experts in the fields of Strength and Conditioning, Functional Training and general fitness. to learn more about him clink the link: http://www.bodybyboyle.com/staff ) started to implement timed sprints in his programming. He gave his athletes 10 seconds to complete a given distance, challenging them to run faster. They can complete the distance, if they actually put forth the effort and run with intent or purpose. He created a situation where the athlete had to run with intent giving them a challenge to complete.
GUESS WHAT HAPPENED??
All his athletes increased their speed, not only for the sprint drill, but in their specific sport as well.
They also increased their power output. This not only carried over to their speed/sprint drills but their overall sports performance as an athlete.
The take away, training with intent will produce better results faster. If you just go through the motions, just doing what you have to do but not intentionally focusing, will fail to produce the results you want. Finding the purpose that each rep counts towards your overall goal can be the missing link in your training.