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Theory of Marginal Gains

The British cycling team had a theory.  They believed that if they looked at everything that had to do with cycling and improved it by only 1% then that would lead to great gains over the next 5 years.  What they didn’t expect was the outcome.  The didn’t reach their goal in 5 years…..

They reached it in 3!  By improving everything that had to do with cycling in the rider’s lives, the team achieved world championship status 2 years ahead of expectation.  

Why do you care?

There are many times when we make a decision and the outcome isn’t immediately visible.  ‘Sure I’ll get a burger and fries for the second time this week,’ doesn’t seem like a big deal.  In the short term it’s not.  Over time though, that 1% decline in choice leads to exponential decrease.  On the other hand, choosing to drink 1 less soda per week over time can add up to amazing results.  In our society we want huge gains and results all the time, but many times the small incremental adjustments are what lead to huge outcomes.

Pick something small and go at it.  The change may be unnoticeable at first, but will translate into huge gains.  What in your life can you make a 1% improvement on?  

Here’s the awesome article if you want to check it out!


3-12-14 WOD



Met Con:

KettleBell Swings x 30 seconds

30 second rest

Sit ups x 30 seconds

30 second rest

10 rounds for reps