The Performance Formula
How do we achieve High Performance?
Performance = Potential - Interference
The secret to high performance is not more but less. Less interference, less distraction, less obstacles.
Likewise if you want results in a certain area, you must look at what is getting in your way. This is a different approach to the one many of us are trained to use. We go for more. What do we need to get there. How do we achieve it? Rather a better question is what is getting in my way here? Ultimately, this boils down to the fact that this is the way the human mind and body work. The human mind performs better when there is less in the way. Less thought, less emotion, less interference.
By removing the obstacles, we allow for more because all the energy and other resources are no longer getting wasted, but rather focused and concentrated towards ONE end goal. However, if I struggle to find more, all I will do is get less because I will be interfering and wasting my input. Sound confusing? Well, then all you need to remember is this. Find the space. Get clear on the outcome you want to achieve. And flow from there.
So with regard to, say, fat loss. A good question is: how do I burn fat? If I were to ask that question, I wouldn't start focusing on fat burners, some new fad of fitness classes, cardio, taking fiber pills and all sorts of things. Rather I would investigate what it is that is interfering with fat loss in the first place. See, the body naturally burns fat. That is the nature of the body. We use fat cells for energy. Nothing extraordinary about that. But why does it not do that sometimes?
Well, perhaps the abundance of carbohydrates has taken the body out of its natural state as a fat burning machine and shifted to a glucose or even protein burning machine. So we must become fat adapted. That allows the body to do what is born to do and burn fat. Simple enough. A lot of issues seem to clear up when we become fat adapted. Hormonal issues, energy problems and, yes, obesity or stubborn body fat. Another thing we can do is intermittent fasting again. If we ask the question what is interfering with fat los we might look and see that breakfast is doing it. While we sleep we burn fat. If we simply extend that natural fast we are all in during sleep, perhaps that should do the trick. All we needs to is shift 'breakfast' to later in the day and get some other stuff done in that time, instead of shoving food in our face. Many of us aren't even hungry when we break our fast. We don't even know why we eat, we're simply conditioned to do it. And then we wonder why fat loss has stalled.
Insulin also interferes with fat loss, so we get rid of it by going low carb. Simply having too many calories period interferes with fat loss. Laziness and T.V watching perhaps, so we can get up and go for a walk. Do you see the difference in approach?
When we looking at what is interfering and remove it, we can often take a simple and common sense approach to increasing performance or any other result we are looking for.
Another example is speed. Speed = Capacity - Interference. Rather than trying to build muscles to increase our speed, many sprinting coaches simply remove faulty patterns that interfere with speed. What this amounts to is that the most relaxed sprinter is often the fastest, simply because when he sprints he does purely that. He drives without the brakes on, as any of us are want to do as we grow up.
Another one people like is muscle building. At first it would seem that the Performance Formula doesn’t work for muscle gain. However, if we apply it and see what we get, we may find some insight that can help us tremendously. So if we assume that we do have the natural capacity to put on muscle (as we all do during growth spurts and puberty), then what do we learn?
One of the most exciting parts of the supplement industry is Myostatin inhibition. Like the Belgian blue bull, we realize that there is a gene that actually has to STOP you from putting on too muscle. Your brain does that. If we can inhibit Myostatin (stop the stopping of muscle), then…voila. We have more muscle. What else do we do that stops us from growing muscle? Well, getting 7-9 hours of sleep a night could help. That extra 90 minute cycle does wonders for many pro athletes but as a society we crave useless stimulation at night, for many reasons I won't go into here. Again, the less is more approach. What else? Getting enough calories. People try to diet and gain muscle at the same time, and often get neither. Ignoring the bodies natural hunger signals becomes a habit that can stop muscle from being produced long term. And on and on the list goes on.
I don't want you to misunderstand me here. I am not saying that we should do nothing and we'll achieve everything. Obviously we must lift to grow muscle. We must ‘diet’ to burn fat. We must train to become Olympic sprinters. But if you can use the Performance Formula (Performance = Potential - Interference) as a thought exercise, an approach to gain insight that you can then take action on, we will be surprised at the joy we can get, especially in some of the tougher area of out lives.