Deposits in the Fitness Bank

Ever have the feeling that despite working on refining a challenging movement or skill that it continues to be a little less than perfect? For many people at the gym, they run into what I’ve come to call “The Bank Deposit Problem.” No, we’re not turning into financial advisors (trust me, we’ll stick to burpees and snatches), but this analogy is pretty perfect for explaining how practice and consistency shape your performance over time.

Think about every rep you perform in the gym as a deposit in your fitness bank. You can make deposits of good reps (perfect form, spot-on technique), so-so reps (little bit off form), or really, gulp, bad reps (yikes!).

Just like your actual bank account, over time, your fitness bank balance accumulates. It becomes this mix of all the reps you’ve ever done. The good, the bad, the ugly, they’re all in there.

So, what happens when you’re trying to lift your new max weight or when you’re in the midst of a WOD and your muscles are screaming for mercy? That’s a withdrawal from your fitness bank.

But here’s the twist, it’s like making a blind grab from a box. When you reach into your fitness bank, you aren’t sure which “rep” you’re going to pull out.

That’s where the magic of good practice comes in. If your bank is stuffed to the brim with good reps, chances are high you’ll pull out a perfect rep even when you’re out of breath, your legs feel like jelly and your heart is pounding. But if your bank is a mishmash of good and bad, or god forbid, mostly bad reps, then, well, you’re rolling the dice on your performance.

So, here’s the takeaway: The more good-to-great reps we bank during our gym time, the better we’re likely to perform when the going gets tough.

Now, we’ve seen this happen a lot. Someone has a challenging movement and works hard on improving it. They’re nailing the technique during strength and skill work (when the clock isn’t breathing down their neck), but come metcon time, it’s like the old, unrefined movements sneak back in.

When this happens, you’re basically taking one step forward, then one step back. The hard work you put into banking good reps during your technique practice gets canceled out by the bad reps you’re sneaking in when things heat up. It can be challenging, but you have to actively self-govern and commit to not going faster or heavier than your work-in-progress movement can tolerate. Only then can we be sure that our bank balance is growing in the way we want.

So remember, every rep counts, and every rep is a deposit. Keep making those good rep deposits into your fitness bank, and you’ll keep reaping the rewards of a well-performing, resilient body.

Keep lifting, keep striving, and most importantly, keep banking those good reps.

Remember, in this bank, you’re the one who shapes your balance.