Bo: Okay, everybody we’re back. We just finished our workout and now we’re sitting in the grand stands obviously. Tim and I are going over one of the most important things that I think there is out there. We’re talking about schedule, a concept that Tim calls Periodization.
We all want to be champions. We all want to be The Best. At least if you work with me, that’s what I talk about, is being The Best. Your schedule has to be equivalent to you being The Best. These accidents don’t just happen. People don’t become champions; people don’t become amazing performers without a schedule equivalent to that.
Bo: So, let’s talk about that, Tim. Let’s talk about schedule, how you do it with your guys and girls, with your performers and how we can do it better for ourselves.
Tim: Right. So, one of the things that I immediately start with is like what do you want to accomplish. We always start like Steven Covey says, “Begin with the end in mind.” So, we want to know, where do we want to go?
Once I know where you want to go and how much time I have to accomplish that then I can create the schedule around that. Whether it’s 4 years, whether it’s 1 year, whether it’s 8 weeks, as in a combine trainee or you’re doing a 30 day challenge.
Once you know that timeframe now you have the constraints that you can work within and now you can set up your schedule as aggressively or as long as you would like.
The one thing that when I look at a schedule and when I look at performance, it’s about making sure that you are integrating all the different components necessary to accomplish whatever it is that you’re going to accomplish.
So, from a sports perspective, you have to look at the metabolic side. You have to look at the neurological side. You have to look at the strength side, the power development side. But you also have to look at the recovery component and when are you going to take time off to allow yourself to recover.
So, what ends up being an annual plan or a monthly plan turns into a weekly plan which ultimately becomes a daily plan which becomes a workout plan.
Bo: So you just keep working backwards through time.
Tim: Backwards, yeah.
Bo: Right, I got it, okay.
Tim: The structure really stays the same from the sense of you modulate your rest, you modulate the intensity that you work at, you modulate the volume that you work at. You modulate all these different variables to make sure that you don’t over-train. You don’t push yourself too hard.
But that you push yourself to the edge and know that there might be a point in time where you’re in a competition cycle or you’re on the road and you’re traveling to China. You know you got an 18 hour flight ahead of you and you’re going to be there for only 4 to 5 days and you’ve got to turn around and do it again.
That has a huge cost to you from a metabolic perspective, from an energetic perspective, from just the work capacity perspective. You need to plan your schedule accordingly so that you can handle that load because it’s an additional stressor to your system.
Tim: So, when you’re looking at the planning component. You just want to account for all these different stressors, or at least account for as much of them as you can so that once you’ve set the plan in motion, you’re going to change the plan once you initiate the plan.
Tim: I always create an annual plan for all my clients, always. I never follow that specific plan because everything changes once you start the plan. Your goal is for you finish a program in 2 weeks or 3 weeks, a cycle in 2 to 3 weeks. But it might get pushed because of one thing or another, and they may not adapt as fast as you want, or they might adapt faster than you want. So immediately you’re changing the plan.
Bo: Got it. So, the plan gives you freedom to work around.
Tim: Exactly. That’s the beauty of a plan is that it allows you to be creative.
Tim: It allows you to deviate from the plan because if you don’t have a plan, you’re in chaos and you’re always in chaos and then you’re putting out fires and you don’t know which way is up. When you have a plan, when you make a deviation, it’s purposeful, and when you make purposeful deviations, you can stay on track.
Bo: Got it. I always think it’s really important for people to look at your calendar, look at your schedule and see if your schedule is lining up with you being The Best, or you being a champion in whatever field you’re in.
Tim: That brings up a whole other area too of your schedule and planning and that is you’re talking about where are you spending your time? Let’s just say if you want to get fast but you’re not running year around, if you looked at your schedule and you didn’t see like you were on the track or you’re on the field running, you’re not going to be fast.
Tim: Yeah, there are things that you have to do in the weight room, and there are things that you have to do from a functional perspective and a pre-abilitative perspective. But if you’re not putting the time, you’re not going to get fast. You’re not. It’s not going to happen.
Tim: Same thing with practicing routes, or whatever skill that you’re trying to develop, it’s not going to happen if you don’t put it on your calendar.
Tim: So, when you’re looking at your calendar, you’re absolutely right, champions focus on the things that they need to do to get better. They also focus on the things that have the highest return for their time.
Bo: Got it, right.
Tim: As an executive, there’s definitely things that you need to be focused on that are the best use of your time versus the administrative stuff or putting out fires that if you had a plan, you wouldn’t have to put out.
Bo: Got it. So, when you start working with a client, you lay out their year, if it’s like a year.
Bo: You usually work with people for 2 years, like a 2 year commitment?
Tim: Yeah. I’ve been working with clients for 8, 10 years.
Tim: It’s looking at what are their long term, short term goals. Do they have immediate needs? For an athlete, it could be Olympians, so we’re looking at a 4 year plan.
Tim: If it’s just a football player, it might be in 2, or 3 years I want to make the Pro Bowl, so then you create a different plan for that.
Bo: Got it.
Tim: So, it depends on that need, depends on the individual. I’ve got some clients, I prefer the longer the better because that’s when you really create better, more substantial results.
Bo: Got it.
Tim: We create results instantaneously but to really internalize and make them your own and really build from that, you’ve got to commit. That’s why I prefer a year to 2.
Bo: Got it, because I remember when we were at my office one day when Tim and I first started working together, he looks at my whole year. So my year is booked out of a year or 2 years. Then what Tim does is he overlays, what do you call that chart that you have?
Tim: The annual plan, I overlay the annual plan to your annual calendar and figure out where we need to push, and where we need to pullback, and based on your schedule.
Tim: That gives you the ability to have the energy to do what you need to do.
Bo: That’s cool, so maybe we can put that graphic up in this video.
Tim: Sure, yeah.
Bo: And maybe even talk a little bit about how that lays out.
Tim: Sure, absolutely, yeah. Again just from a general perspective I think just from an understanding, it’s really about modulating the amount of work that you do and knowing when to push on the gas pedal and when to step off or to put on the brake.
Because the bottom-line, you need to make it through the year better than you started the year. That’s the whole purpose of having a plan is that you’re creating this constant and never ending improvement. That’s the purpose of it.
But there are times in our life, unexpected events that happen that cause us to drop and then we have to recalibrate, so that we can try to get back to at least baseline if not the improvement. So, it’s a constant revision, and I guess reconsidering the factors that are going on, but you can’t reconsider if you haven’t laid out the plan to begin with.
Bo: Got it, right. Anything else about schedule, and anything like that we want to cover?
Tim: I just think it’s really important just to consider rest, to consider time away. The one thing from a big picture is like you should take time off every year with your family, get away to recharge; recharge your batteries, psychologically, and physiologically. But you need to do that on a daily basis.
If you think about your work schedule and the amount of time that you can work, and trust me being in the NFL I’ve seen coaches, head coaches be able to push 20 hour days for years.
I’m talking, they’re lucky if they’re getting 3 hours of sleep and these guys are the most productive guys I’ve ever been around. I’m not saying that’s what you should do, I’m not. My point being is, when you build that capacity, you can do that. You definitely can do that but there’s a cost to it.
Tim: There’s going to come a point in time when the body just can’t handle it. Their battery, their gas tank is going to be depleted, and they just can’t go on. In order to be able to have longevity which is what we all want, we want to be able to continue with a vibrant, with vitality and virility for years to come.
Tim: In order to do that we have to make sure we’re taking that time. So part of it starts on a daily practice of, I might work 50 minutes and take 10 minutes of break, come back, refocus and go for another 50 minutes and take another 10 minutes off.
Tim: So, that’s simulating what we’re doing out on the field where we’re going to sprint and then we’re going to walk back recover and then we’re going to sprint again. We’re not sprinting, sprinting, sprinting.
Bo: Got it.
Tim: Because then the quality of work diminishes.
Tim: So, you need that time away to recover, to regenerate, to rejuvenate, to go back and work at a higher intensity. So, when you get in the habit of making this a routine of yours where you’re working for an X period of time. It could be 50 minutes; it could be 80 minutes and taking 10 minutes for a 90 minute period.
Whatever your block of period is that you can work at, focus with no interruptions, no email, no text messages, concentrated focused effort then you take your break. That’s when you check your emails. That’s when you go for a walk. You get up, you move around.
Tim: Because you can’t sit. I mean sitting is one of the worst things that we can do. It’s epidemic in our society that we’re sitters.
Tim: People want to park as close to the entrance as possible and walk as little as possible.
Tim: We need to move. These bodies were meant to move. From a primal perspective, the more we move them, the more we’re going to get out of them. Same thing with our brain and that’s why you work your brain like you work your body in a proper schedule.
You’ll see over time your capacity starts to improve. Your ability to get focused starts to improve. Your ability to stay focused starts to improve and now your productivity goes up and when your productivity goes up your bottom-line goes up.
It’s a model I follow. I work backwards but I also work forwards from this premise. We have to build the capacity on a daily basis, on an hourly basis, on a moment by moment basis, so that we can have a better capacity a year from now.
Bo: Got it.
Tim: It all starts with that one repetition, doing that rep, staying connected to it, staying focused on it like we were talking about on the field. Just like that choice that you make to stay engaged in the movement, is building your capacity to make better decisions. You’ve focused it in your efforts and staying, and really concentrating on what it is that you’re doing, you’re going to be more productive.
But it’s a muscle you have to build. When you start this, you might only be able to focus for 3 minutes, then your mind wanders. What are you going to do when your mind wanders? Are you going to give up, or you’re going to refocus?
Tim: So, it’s the ability to refocus that’s actually a skill that’s extremely powerful and potent. That’s where the difference comes from; it’s the ability to do that, train it, like we’re training out here.
Bo: Right, that’s very cool. I think the most important thing for people to do is I’m constantly doing this. I’m always looking at what I want. So, if I want to be The Best at a particular thing, or I want to be a champion at a certain thing which we do, that’s what we want, is my schedule equivalent to that?
Bo: I’m constantly asking that of myself because I know without one you can’t have the other.
Bo: Championships are scheduled.
Tim: Yeah, absolutely.
Bo: Being The Best performer, that is scheduled. That’s scheduled fear. That’s scheduled struggle.
Tim: I just have to bring this story up. One thing about the NFL that I was blown away by, and you’ve lived this, is that from the moment you get to the facility, to the moment you leave, every single minute is scheduled.
Bo: And accounted for.
Tim: It’s accounted for. That was the biggest surprise I had when I got the NHL is it wasn’t that way.
Bo: Is that right?
Tim: What I had to do is make some changes to try to create more of that structure to get guys to know that you don’t just show up 10 minutes late.
Tim: You don’t just stay for 30 minutes. The workout might be 6 hours long, suck it up.
Tim: If you want to win a championship, this is what you need to do in order to accomplish it. So, the NFL I think is such a great model for not only productivity, but for creating success because it’s so structured.
Bo: Which is why probably from an entertainment, that’s why that game surpasses every other game, every other sport…
Bo: …because their productivity is, and you’re right. I remember you pull into your parking spot and it’s your parking spot, like no one else has it,…
Tim: Has that.
Bo: …then you’re walking into your locker while you have somebody taking care of your…
Tim: Your notebook and you have your seat in your position room.
Bo: …that’s right.
Tim: You have your seat in the main room.
Bo: I remember this was in the 80s, when you were late it was $100 a minute that you were late.
Bo: So, no one was late unless you wanted to pay that kind of money and everything was efficient.
Tim: Yeah, there was accountability.
Bo: Yeah, you know what else Tim I just thought of? All of our meetings, all of our practices, all of our trainings began, not at 9:00 o’clock but at 9:45.
Bo: Or like 9:10, so tomorrow’s practice is at 9:12.
Tim: Interesting, yeah.
Bo: Like they’re always changing it. It was never like a round number. That really kept you on time, kept things efficient.
Tim: Interesting, that’s actually a great lesson too. We didn’t always do that, not every team did that.
Tim: But there was definitely consistency in the schedule. You show up, be on time and then boom! We have a great friend that talks about that, Jeff Spencer showing up.
Tim: When you plug into the system, and again you know this better than anyone, is you can’t just go through the motions when you’re at that level. You can’t.
Tim: Because if you go through the motions, you’re going to be looking for a job, and not the kind of job you want.
Bo: That’s right.
Tim: And not the kind of job that pays like that.
Bo: The moment I got to the NFL I remember one of our old veterans goes, “You know, the line starts right here, and there’s a lot of people right back here, right behind you waiting for your job. They’re not waiting, they’re working.”
Tim: Yeah, they’re hungry.
Bo: They’re hungry and they want it.
Bo: I wish every job was like that. I wish it was like that for everybody, that way the productivity would go through the ceiling.
Tim: That’s what I love about performance based jobs; it’s like what have you done for me lately. People complain about it, but the reality is you’re only as good as your last game. You’re only as good as your last performance. So what are you going to do to prepare? Because you can’t cram for performance, you just can’t do it.
Tim: You have to spread that out over years in order to truly be the best, years.
Bo: Yeah, oh isn’t that the truth. So, look at your schedule, see if it lines up with you being The Best otherwise those 2 themes they go together. Got it? You can’t have one without the other. You can’t be a champion, you can’t be The Best. You can’t walk around dreaming that you’re going to be The Best and not have the schedule that matches up with you being The Best.
Tim thanks so much for today, man. That was awesome.
Tim: Yeah, you’re welcome.
Bo: Having you, with me, and Dawn, getting our family, getting all our chemical cascade going.
Tim: Biochemical go in, yeah.
Bo: We might have more kids now.
Tim: Nice, I love it.
Bo: All right everybody thanks for being here.
Tim: Thank you.
Bo: Thanks to Tim Adams, and we’ll see you next time.