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The Spartan Commandments: III and IV

The Spartan Commandments:

1. Earn your shield

2. Power in appearance

3. Always perform a pre battle ritual

4. Prepare for battle, prepare for glory

5. Fight from habit, not feeling

6. No place for weakness

7. True strength is the warrior beside you

8. Endurance is the foundation of strength

9. No retreat no surrender

In our last article we went in depth on the first two and they set the tone for what is to follow. So without further ado…

3. Always perform a pre battle ritual

A routine allows you to create a system. This system can either earn you the victory or it can be to your demise.

Either way it provides you with feedback and you can use that feedback to fine tune your routine. A good routine allows you to work towards a goal.

Over the period of a day (the granddaddy of routines), we can start to segment mini routines. A morning routine, to set the tone for the day. A lunchtime routine, to recharge you for the rest of the day. A pre-workout routine, to prepare you to train.

A pre-workout routine does a few things. It reminds you of the goal for the day, the phase, or the year. It allows you time to tune out the noise of the day and focus on the task at hand. Ultimately, it lends to allowing you to get in the zone.

What does a pre-workout routine look like? For me, I sip my pre-workout whilst I listen to whatever music I feel will get me in the zone for that session. I look at my previous session, so I know what intensity I need to bring to that day. And I set a mantra for the day. Whether it’s “I am here in the moment and only in the moment” or “I oversee my effort”, it’s usually something that I carry with me from outside of the gym. A “demon” that I choose to go into battle with for that day. Remember, you are your biggest enemy.

Following on from this, I get in the gym. 5-10 minutes on the treadmill. Into my warmup routine. And then it’s game on.

The power of routine comes through repetition. It helps to achieve a level of consistency and focus that allows you to bring your A-Game every time you train (or at least as close to it as possible). If we can control everything that is within our control, the chances of success continue to grow in our favour.

4. Prepare for battle, prepare for glory

In the same light, a routine is nothing without action.

However, action without direction is a recipe for failure.

A good training programme allows us to tick a few boxes:

  • Structured action with a goal in mind

  • A place to reflect and review training progress

  • A place to hold yourself accountable for rest and recovery

If you attend the gym, you have a programme. Even if there’s nothing written down. A good training programme allows you to fine tune that programme and set you on the path to achieving your goal.

“For the greatest chance at glory, always assess, then progress.”


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