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Old 01-12-2005, 07:45 PM   #1
Barry Cooper
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No, I can't walk a straight line and chew bubble-gum.

I saw a T-Shirt in my gym today that said "Give 110% or go build sand castles." Now, my brain being super-oxygenated, or oxygen deprived, one or the other, I got to thinking.

Most people never come close to giving 100% in anything in their entire lives. I think if you can get a group of people to give 80% of what they are capable of, day in and day out, you can win championships.

Think about it, how would you train for and play football (or your chosen sport) if your life was on the line? Your family's life? There's more there, isn't there?

Consequently, I got to thinking that 110% is actually a mathematically correct and possible number if the baseline is 80%.

Which led me to a great T-Shirt slogan: "Give 88% or go home." OK, I think it's great. I'm a nerd. However, there's a point there: you can always give more, and this 110% nonsense (it's long been a pet peave of mine) obscures that. You are never perfect. If you die doing what you're doing, then you gave everything you had. Anything short, and it's not 100%. Tough criteria, but if you want to get better, you have to raise the standards, or at least place things in a rational context that reflects reality.

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Old 01-12-2005, 08:21 PM   #2
Thomas Whitehead
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As difficult as that line of thinking was to follow, I think you have a point Barry.
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Old 01-13-2005, 11:23 AM   #3
Mike Minium
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You're not alone in your disdain of the 110% figure that's thrown around so frequently in discussions of effort. Coach Wooden (whose books you've read, too, I believe) uses 100% as the gold standard for effort.

It's a pet peeve of mine, too (using figures greater than 100% to measure or assess effort).

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Old 01-13-2005, 11:26 AM   #4
Paul Theodorescu
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Good point. I think I've given a lot more effort in many aspects of life than most people. With that said, with training alone I can think of hundreds of ways in which to be better (buy better equipment, supplements, sleep with perfect consistency, eat perfectly, recuperation techniques, etc, etc.)
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Old 01-13-2005, 12:54 PM   #5
Brian Hand
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Barry, this reminds me of something my favorite sports psychologist once said: "Nintey percent of this game is half mental."
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Old 01-13-2005, 01:06 PM   #6
Barry Cooper
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He's one of my favorites too.

"I thought that record would stand until it was broken."

I got more, but that will probably do.


Yes, I've read that book a number of times. I think the 110% thing is a little like the guitar that goes to 11, just in case you need a little extra something.
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Old 01-13-2005, 01:09 PM   #7
Ron Nelson
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I agree 150%!!:rofl:
I remember Pat Riley, when he coached the Lakers, used to gauge each player's performance based on perceived effort, with 100% as the maximum. IIRC, his goal was 80% or higher from each player while they were on the floor. I also seem to remember that each figure was based on what each player was capable of. In other words, Kareem could block shots and float a sky hook from 12 ft. and get up and down the court slower than the rest of the team. Yet, if he got into the post, looked for the ball and made his shots, then played some D, his effort was perceived as high; whereas Magic or Worthy was asked to get out on the fast break and make layups. So, yeah, in a roundabout way, I see your point. My 100% is a lot different than anyone else's. Therefore, my 88% is great exertion to me, but not Greg A.!
Does that make sense?
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Old 01-13-2005, 01:39 PM   #8
Barry Cooper
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Yes. And I think it's likely that your 88% feels as bad to you as his 88% feels to him. He just goes farther. That's where mental toughness comes in, too. I think it's likely, for example, that the really good guys and gals are going 88% of their maxes, where most of us are going maybe 70-80%. So they win twice, both through better conditioning, and by getting a higher percentage out of what they are capable.

I meant to add earlier also that I feel like the 90's, in this concept, would belong, by and large, to people in life and death situations.

It's interesting that, in hypnosis, people can be laid down with a chair under their head and shoulders, and one under their feet, and--with a suggestion to make their body stiff--can support a lot of weight they wouldn't normally be able to in normal states of consciousness. This is a very common hypnotic stage induction, and probably would compare, as I understand it, in difficulty to a Front Lever.

It's very hard to know how much more we are actually capable of. 88% may be a gross exaggeration. It may be 77%.
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Old 01-13-2005, 01:59 PM   #9
Mike Yukish
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Yea, I work out as hard now as I ever did. I just do it slower and with less weight.
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Old 01-13-2005, 02:10 PM   #10
James R. Climer
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Barry, you should sell tapes of yourself thinking out loud. I would listen to it while I workout to tax my cognitive skills to the max at the same time I'm killing myself with the WOD
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