Michael Phelps is a champion, nobody can deny that.
But it might have never been.
When Bob Bowman saw Michael Phelps for the first time, he knew he had a potential winner on his hands.
Michael Phelps is 6’4″ tall, most successful swimmers are tall, so his height was to his advantage, but that’s not all. Phelps has an asymmetrical build, his legs are actually short for his height and his torso is unusually “long.”
Not only that, but his wingspan, the length tip to tip of his arms were long. Normally, your wingspan matches your height but Phelps’ wingspan was 3″ longer.
All in all, Bowman saw that Phelps had the physical attributes that could give him an advantage in the pool.
But, as any coach with years of experience will tell you, natural physical gifts aren’t enough. Bowman had seen too many other naturally-gifted swimmers who didn’t rise to their potential.
So Bowman asked Phelps a simple question, “Are you willing to work out on Saturdays also?”
And that made all the difference…
It’s Simple Math
The latest neuro-biology is pointing to the value of deliberate iterations as the key to success.
How many reps can you get in to move the needle of excellent performance?
Phelps had all of the natural gifts but could he day after day train to be a champion?
Could he dig deep to reach into his depths to bring out his true greatness?
Maybe all it took was getting up one more day than his competition>
Mathematically, it’s simple.
And yes, I know life is not as simple as a spreadsheet but you can estimate a close approximation.
For example, for each day that you work out and give yourself enough time to recover, recuperate, and rest, your’ net increase in ability is a measly 1%.
That means between the intensity of your training, and giving yourself to eat the healthy food you need to repair body, and enough time for the mind and body to recover from the intensity.
After all that you gain just 1%
The beauty is how accountable are you to do that each day?
Michael Phelps did it for 6 days a week and earned 23 gold medals.
You are really bad at forecasting
How much will you improve if you gain 1% every day for a year?
Unless you’re a math wizard, most people give the wrong answer.
1% compounded every day for 365 days will give you a 37x improvement!
It’s amazing really, if all you can do is 1 pull-up right now, and for the first 41 days all you do is one pull-up, by the end of the year, you’ll be able to do 37 of them!
Unfortunately, too many people can’t see that improvement, it’s too subtle. So they buy into the marketing of 10 Easy Lessons, or worse yet, sign up for a Boot Camp that kills you but doesn’t develop any long-term habits to carry you pass the finish line.
1% every day.
Back to Phelps and working out on Saturdays. The difference between working out 5 days a week and 6 days a week are just as astounding.
6 days per week, mathematically is a 22x improvement, compared to a 13x of 5 days a week.
It also needs to be taken into account that Olympic level athletes train for years, some for over a decade before they are even eligible, which would make training 7 days a week almost impossible.
But you’re not an Olympic athlete, you want to improve your life and get it to a threshold that allows you to be the best you can be in fullness.
For that you can invest 1% each and every day.
Read 1 hour from a good book.
Exercise to improve your health.
Hire a coach to help you build and grow your business.
Reach out into your community to contribute.
1% each and every day goes a long way.
Just ask Michael Phelps and Bob Bowman.