This week, like many, I’ve been reading and listening to as many Kobe stories as possible. There are so many anecdotes that capture his intensity, willpower and fierce competitiveness. One of my favorites is an account from a trainer working with Team USA at the 2012 Olympics. In the presence of some of the greatest players of our generation, Kobe’s work ethic was on a completely different level.
RIP to Kobe, Gianna, and everyone on that helicopter.
On to the digest…
The Frequency/Intensity Matrix: Last week, I wrote a love-letter of sorts to Orangetheory Fitness. I went a little visual-crazy with a funnel and a flywheel, and hope it wasn’t too confusing. I actually left another visual on the cutting room floor and figured I’d share it here. Since going to Orangetheory, I’ve thought a lot about how often and how hard I work out. As a result, I’ve charted past workouts on a Frequency/Intensity Matrix:
For context, over the years (and not all at the same time) I have:
Gone to CorePower Yoga once a week (usually the C2 class)
Played in a weekly basketball league
Played Tennis once a week
Golfed once a week
Gone to the gym (BSC) 3-4 times per week, doing a combo of cardio and weights
Stretched daily (McGill’s Big 3 for my back)
The placement is pretty crude, but as you’ll notice - Orangetheory is the most intense workout I’ve done in the last 5 years. Even a shitty OTF workout beats my best personal workout by a wide margin.
That said, since starting Orangetheory, I haven’t done much else besides daily stretching. I used to worry that working out twice a week just wasn't enough, despite the benefits of the afterburn effect. While I still want to add sports back into my routine, I felt better about my fitness cadence after reading Joe Holder, GQ’s Fitness Editor, walk through his typical weekly regimen:
People design artificial workouts that don't tie back to the purpose of the human body: to move as an integrated unit. I schedule two workouts a week—90 minutes to two hours, usually at night—that will push me outside my comfort zone. You don't want to just get stronger. You should be getting stronger for a purpose. I'll do strength training. But people think all of your workouts have to be hard. They shouldn't be. My other workouts are typically condensed to 30 to 45 minutes, when I have some flex time. They're what I'd call an ‘exercise snack’: a light mix of stretching, jump roping, and light strength-training work. When things are crazy, I keep my focus on the old hierarchy of a push exercise, a pull exercise, a hinge, a squat, a walk, and a glute bridge.
Picnik Butter Coffee: As a morning workout person, it’s often hard to convince myself to get out of bed to hit the gym. Sometimes, a good reward is all it takes. While I love a good protein shake, my favorite off-the-shelf post-workout drink is Picnik Butter Coffee. The Cappucino flavor has 10g of Protein per bottle, plus the added benefit of caffeine to jump-start the day.
Hoka Recovery Slides: Sticking to the theme of post-workout recovery, nothing feels better after a run than giving your feet some room to breathe. I came across Hoka Recovery Slides a few years ago, and while they look ridiculous, they feel like a Tempurpedic for your feet. Don’t let the looks fool you, these will become your new best friend after workouts and beyond.
Second-Order Impact: I’ve been thinking about decisions that have both an immediate and second-order impact, and realized that one of my favorites is Saturday-morning workouts. The first-order benefit is obvious - getting a good workout in. The second-order benefit is that it limits my drinking on Friday night. There’s even a third-order benefit of a healthy start to Saturday which usually carries through the rest of the weekend. I want more examples of decisions like this. If you can think of any - please share!
See you next week,