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349: The Power of Binary Actions in Achieving Fitness Goals

Mar 07, 2024

Embrace Binary Thinking for More Effective and Consistent Training

There’s a secret to maintaining consistent and effective training, and it’s not what you might think. Rather than thinking in terms of gradients and percentage points, consider a more straightforward, binary approach — did you do it or not? If you embody a yes-or-no mindset, you might discover more successful and consistent training is within your grasp. In this blog post, we’ll guide you through applying a binary action plan to your workouts.


The Concept of Binary Action in Training

Indeed, life is not usually black and white, but there is value in reducing some matters, like workout goals, to "ones and zeros" at times. Binary action simplifies the complex mesh of actions, intentions, and results. It means breaking down each part of your workout into a series of yes or no questions — Did you run today? Yes. Did you hydrate enough? No. It’s either a yes or a no; there isn't any 'but' or 'maybe'.

When you initially start with broader binary questions, you create a system whereby you can record your workout actions and measure them against your intention effortlessly.


The Benefit of Binary Approach

The beauty of the binary approach is that it forces your brain to deliver an immediate, unfiltered answer. This can then highlight whether you're engaging in the action that you intended to do. The constant stream of straightforward yes or no answers can spark awareness and eventual changes in your workout patterns, leading you to become more focused and efficient.


Three Questions to Start with Binary Approach

When you are ready to implement a binary action plan into your training, three questions can guide your steps:

1. What is my intention?

Clearly define your intention; attempting to "get stronger" is too ambiguous. Conversely, aiming to increase the weight you can lift by 15% within two months is a very specific goal. The more explicit the intention, the easier it is to tell if you're making progress.

2. What resources do I need to achieve my intention?

Once you clarify your intention, determine what resources you'll need to attain your goal. Do you need to purchase weights? Should you subscribe to a workout channel? Do you need someone to watch the kids while you go to the gym? What kind of guidance or support do you need? Pin down the materials that will facilitate your binary actions.

3. What actions do I need to align with my intention?

The critical third question will translate your intentions into binary action patterns. What specific actions will you need to continually perform to achieve your goal?

While the binary approach helps reduce complexity, you should still be aware of the potential obstacles to your intentions. By considering such obstacles ahead of time and coming up with actionable solutions, you enable yourself to forge ahead, even in the face of adversity.

As you apply the binary action concept, you'll begin to notice changes not just in your training routines but in your mental approach to fitness and life in general. This system of questioning removes unnecessary complications and sets you on a straight path to meeting your workout objectives, one step (or binary question) at a time.

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