Audio version of this article:
What is NOISE?
Let me start by putting to death the myth of ambition.
Pretty epic start, right…?
…sorry, back to the death of ambition…
Ambition, however great you think it may be, is useless without aggressive pursuit toward an extremely specific outcome.
Kind of like a firearm, ambition is a weapon. Extremely powerful and extraordinarily useful in many situations…But if you point it in the wrong direction you’ll be left with a big problem and a lot of regrets.
Without an aggressive and relentless pursuit in the right direction…
You are dreaming.
You are sitting on the sidelines.
You are producing NOISE.
That, my friends, is NOISE.
Now, the next question:
Is there any NOISE in your training?
Many athletes, coaches, and programmers know that to specialize in one area means that another area could, and most likely will, suffer.
Doing it on purpose, that is a bias.
Having areas that fluctuate outside of your control, that is NOISE.
The biggest culprits in noisy training are:
- Program hopping
- Inconsistent training
- Poor decision-making
- Viewing Fitness on too short of a timeline
Let me define biased training and noisy training a little more clearly:
- Biased Training — Off the mark, or off balance, but **consistently**. Think a bathroom scale which is ALWAYS wrong, but it is ALWAYS wrong the same amount; i.e. 3 lb heavier. This could also be the pursuit of strength at the expense of aerobic endurance.
- Noisy Training – Off the mark, and off balance, but sporadically. Think a bathroom scale which is ALWAYS wrong, but wrong differently each time; i.e. 3 lb heavier today, 1 lb heavier tomorrow, etc. This could be a fluctuation in strength AND aerobic endurance for no real reason.
Noisy training is insidious.
Noisy training is never a goal, rather an outcome of poor decision-making.
Further to note, it is extremely costly.
Noisy training stifles your results and wastes your time.
You may be asking, “How does noisy training happen?”
The easiest way for noisy training to creep in is to start using your own judgement.
Yes, using YOUR judgement.
Don’t get me wrong, studies have shown that YOUR human input is very valuable, but often times the judgement is flawed and poor decisions can, and will be, made.
To say you have poor judgment is not an insult. Just think of this scenario:
If I put you through a training program to improve your back squat 1-rep max and your mile time, and they both get better by 20%; that’s great!
BUT you probably would be just a little bit happier with either the heavier weight on the bar or the faster mile time. Very few would be equally happy with both.
The simple act of gravitating more towards one than the other, is flawed judgement if your goal was to improve both.
Your judgement can’t be trusted.
Perhaps I should reframe the term judgement as UNDISCIPLINED JUDGEMENT.
Undisciplined judgement is what will make for noisy training.
Instead of noisy training, you need direction.
You need rules that are not open to interpretation, personal intuition, gut feelings, hairs on the back of your neck, little devils or angels sitting on your shoulders.
Rules and benchmarks that contain no ambiguity.
That is where we start to dial in your noisy training.
Dialing in NOISY Training: The Audit
Noisy training happens in every field, and you should think in terms of your sport, goals, training, etc.
However, no matter your goal, you should start with an audit.
This is how we do it, feel free to tweak our process to fit your needs:
Here at End of Three Fitness we are training to be better humans: Stronger, Faster, and Hard(er) to Kill. More useful and we’d like to look good naked in the process of it all.
To make sure we are on track, every 12 weeks we put our athletes through an audit whether they know it, or not.
You don’t have to benchmark as frequently as we do, but given our opportunity to train so many athletes, we find frequency important.
Because we are not looking for mind-blowing results every 12 weeks, rather a trend in the right direction each 12-week period.
We have 15 different physical tests across many domains to determine the overall fitness level of each athlete.
We then cross-reference the results of these benchmarks with other benchmarks such as average sleep, resting heart rate, and a subjective score (scale of 1-10) of how the athlete felt (i.e. stressful week, low energy week, etc.)
I tell you all this for one reason…
I program for hundreds of athletes who see results, and ultimately I take a lot of my judgement out of how athletes are doing.
If all EO3 athletes were direct one-on-one each week, it’d be different.
But in this training environment, I don’t trust my judgment or opinion-bias. I let the numbers do the heavy lifting.
So where should the individual athlete start the audit??
IF your goals are in line with ours, we have a very easy starting point for you.
You can try our 15 different benchmarks and see where you stack up at each of the three levels:
Perform your audit, and see where you stand.
Firing YOU: Judgement is Flawed
Ultimately, relying less on how you “feel” and what you “think” is the easiest solution.
Fire yourself and focus on the numbers.
But at End of Three Fitness, we are going a step further than just benchmarks.
We are working on a single number to give to an athlete that helps determine where they are at.
So if an athlete isn’t thrilled with a marginal PR on his back squat at the end of 12 weeks, but he went from a 57 to a 68 on the overall EO3 athlete score, that is far more important.
It’s not easy to do.
We’ve been collecting this data for nearly a year now and we are working on something pretty big.
The nerdy side:
We have enough data to take and compute a standard deviation of each benchmark, which in turn we can turn into a “standard score” for individual benchmarks, which will result in a “summary score” for each ATHLETE AS A WHOLE.
Our goal is to have a calculator where you can enter in your numbers and you get a single score. Considering subjective and objective measures, and we can give you direction on where you should head with our training.
We are transforming online training like no one else is doing. And we’re not scared of the numbers or the work it takes.
But at the individual level, you don’t need to make it that complicated.
Set your benchmarks (or use ours), and test them frequently. Make decisions in your training based on the whole picture and never what you “feel” needs the most work.
Here’s to better training, better benchmarking, and becoming a better human being!