By Rob Clarke Driven Sports
When thinking of things from a cost-benefit perspective the costs tend to appear to be typically obvious - financial cost, labor cost, time cost etc. But one often overlooked is called the opportunity cost**.
**Technically speaking financial, labor and time costs can all be opportunity costs, but that is irrelevant for the scope of this post.
The opportunity cost is a key concept in economics that essentially describes what you could have had with an alternative. For instance, if youíre painting your bedroom and whittled your options down to a final choice between red and blue, if you plumped for blue then the opportunity cost would be crimson walls. Likewise, if you have a choice between sausage pizza and buffalo chicken pizza, whichever you relegate to second place becomes your opportunity cost. Thus, the opportunity cost is ultimately a sacrifice.
The pizza example actually happens to be the impetus for this article. There is a pizza parlor we all love called Two Brothers that makes the most ridiculous buffalo chicken pizza. It also makes the most amazing Sicilian, and each and every time we go there I am torn between the two. I donít know why thereís such a big deal made out of it because I pretty much always opt for the buffalo. Thereís something mildly addictive about having my lips double in size and my tongue burn for forty minutes post meal. We always crack jokes about what I could get, but everyone knows Iíll inevitably get the buffalo. I know itís consistently good, so I get it. Part of my brain is curious what the other pizzas are like, but I do the mental cost-benefit calculation:
ďWhat if the sausage and goats cheese pizza isnít as good? This could be a wasted opportunity for devoring something I know I like.Ē
Herein lies one of the fundamental problems with the average American psyche Ė most people would simply get both. This particular strategy is a problem because itís the kind of overeating that leads to becoming overweight and obese.
But in some cases choosing both simply isnít feasible, be it due to time, financial or even physical limitations. Your training falls into this latter section and you simply have to make a sacrifice. I have alluded to Ė and quite fully discussed - this point in previous training articles, but combining endurance-based training with power/strength-based training is like trying to tie the laces of both shoes simultaneously. Itís not easy, and if you successfully achieve it you either trip and fall or you are genetically blessed. Most people would be better off setting their sights on one particular aim than trying to blanket a bunch.
The reason they donít is because they do a similar mental cost-benefit calculation when it comes to the gym. How many times has the thought run through your head that if you skip your usual post-weights cardio that you may not wake up as lean tomorrow as you could be if you did it? What about the thought of doing incline bench over flat bench but worrying that you may lose your strength on the flat bench you spent weeks/months building up? And especially, what about the idea of switching up your training to bust through a plateau only to find yourself doing the exact same workout in case that day was the day you broke through it without changing anything?
So this is all really a long winded way of saying pick one goal and go for it. Once you achieve it, or come sufficiently close enough to it to consider it a success, switch gears towards your next goal.
The timing of this article is no mistake either. Why? Because the 50 day body transformation contest is the PERFECT way to direct all of your intentions towards one solitary goal. And it officially begins tomorrow, so make sure you get involved.
Even if you donít win a prize in the contest, youíll find yourself in better shape than you are today, so you still win.