Microdose Training for Consistency with Flow
By Logan Ryan
What’s the ONE thing you’re training for on the basketball court and in the weight room?
To achieve your ONE thing, consistency must be prioritized over intensity. Maximum intensity by nature can only be occasional because if you’re going hard everyday then you’re not really going hard (REREAD THAT), The more consistently you work on something, the more likely you are to reach that ONE thing. On a macroscale, this will take you further because you are accumulating volume. It’s like the story of the tortoise and the hare --- the hare might win a short-term race, but in the long-term the tortoise will win because of his consistency. Steady pace wins the race.
The key ingredient for consistency is flow. Flow is a mental state of being fully immersed in your activity with joy, energized focus, and full mental involvement. In essence, it’s getting lost because you are so engaged with what you’re doing. Have you ever lost track of time doing something? That’s being in flow state.
Ideally training sessions move in your “flow channel.” This is the area between the low and high ranges of boredom and anxiety. It’s not so easy that you are bored and anxious, and it’s not so difficult that you are tense and stressed. My goal as a coach/trainer is to design your sessions in this flow channel so that your “training becomes addictive,” as Firas Zahabi likes to say. By making your sessions fun yet challenging, you’ll be drawn to come back daily, put in the work, and make incremental improvements towards your goal.
So what does this consistent, flow-channel-oriented training look like? I present microdosing. Microdosing is a concept I first heard from Cory Schlesinger of the Phoenix Suns on the PJF Podcast, and have since read more about from Daniel John and Pavel Tsatsouline. The premise here is creating short sessions that put the focus on accumulating volume at submaximal levels so that you have a quicker recovery time. Training like this creates a tonic effect in the body that is conducive simultaneously with flow and habit building for consistency.
To demonstrate I’ll share a weight room template that I picked up from Sean Brown (Rice University MBB). It looks like a warm up, movement prep, and big lift, all of which can be done in 30-35 mins. The warm up should consist of fundamental movement patterns such as run, crouch, crawl, roll, carry, throw, swing, and I’ll also add basketball specific movements like sprint, slide, jump, accelerate, decelerate, and change of direction. Next is movement prep, which is made up of a BB/DB/KB complex (ex. Squat + military press + lunge + row) of complementary movements to the big lift, as well as a corrective exercise as needed. Last is the big lift, which is 5-15 reps of a general strength exercise (squat, RDL, bench, pull up, overhead press, etc.), which can be broken into sets in a 10-15 minute timeframe.
When you are designing your training program, make sure it is oriented towards your ONE thing. As you create this training program, implement the concept of microdosing to make your sessions in your own flow channel for sustainable consistency. The template I've provided is an excellent framework for your microdosing sessions.
If you are interested in training under professional guidance, reach out to me through the contact page on the site.
Brown, S. (2018, April 26). In-Season College Basketball Micro-Dosing, Part 1-A Guest Post
by Sean Brown. Retrieved from https://cvasps.wordpress.com/2018/04/26/in-season-college-basketball-micro-dosing-part-1-a-guest-post-by-sean-brown/
John, D. (n.d.). Easy Strength. Retrieved from http://danjohn.net/wp-content/uploads/New-Easy-Strength.pdf
Rogan, J. [JRE Clips]. (2018, June 19). How to Workout Smarter. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_fbCcWyYthQ&t=2s