There was a lot of information that I left out of the Moscow Subway article because it was getting too long. For example, there was an interesting article on The Daily Beast Blog about how short bursts of vigorous exercise has a more stimulating effect than a cup of coffee. An intense burst of exercise such as dropping for pushups for thirty seconds has been shown to be more effective at generating the kind of focus and mental stamina of which coffee drinkers can only dream. That’s all according to the study cited in the Daily Beast article. Here is the reason I think it’s worth writing a blog post about it.
The author, Gregory Ferenstein, took the time and made the effort to do some tests to measure his hypothesis experimentally. These days it seems like everything comes down to how you can measure it, monitor it or get feedback from it. I guess that’s from my experience as an entrepreneur that I see everything in that light. Of course, if you don’t know where you are, how can you plan to get where you want to go?
Squats May Have Been Involved
Exercise definitely gets me thinking and I was thinking about the Coffee article while I was doing my workout the other day. The point that it’s stimulating is pretty obvious (sorry) really but the fact that someone thought to measure it provided me with a different sort of insight. In fitness generally and certainly in the profession of fitness training there is an unspoken value that most of us share. That is the value of measurement.
That’s right, measuring where we are presently is the only way that we know what our progress is towards our goal. And, yes, I do think that is a value in the same sense as the core values in last month’s blog on the topic. It may sound strange at first but if you think about it, modern society is built to very fine tolerances. There is an entire industry built around quality control called Six Sigma, which attempts to ensure that business processes never fail. Systems like that are based on making measurements.
The complexities of life may not be easy to measure and value but business performance can be broken down into metrics that will tell you exactly how you are doing. It’s human nature to avoid unpleasant realities and pretend that everything will be okay when hazards approach. Metrics need to be valued because they will help you to face the facts and respond to challenges that arise.
Business consultants and MBAs will look at your gym as a business and attempt to measure the success and performance based on the performance of specific metrics. When you set up a gym management software system like Insight you do so specifically because you want to have an accurate measurement of how your fitness center is performing.
Sports are a science and a very rewarding one at that. Sports science, sports medicine and all of the other disciplines you can study, and for which you can get certification, are all testaments to the importance of measuring and recording results in fitness. It may be one of the few ways in which the general public comes into direct contact with science.
On the other side what happens when someone gets caught cheating or doping? The natural response is to be disappointed in them and angry. The outcry when professional athletes get caught in the act is all too familiar. I think that is because we expect authenticity, which is the same as being "real". The way to judge if something is real or not is to measure it. That is what makes measurement such a fundamental value: It helps to determine what is authentic.
That’s a good thing in my opinion because if you’ve got any experience dealing with members you know how much it can raise them up when they see the measurements start to change in the right direction. That’s one of the best things about this business and it’s why I say that measurement is a core value that is so deeply held that we don’t even realize it’s there.
Over to you…
How do you measure progress?