I’ve written several things on social media about training lessons from knitting over the years (or crocheting, or any kind of making) and I decided to share them to my blog so everyone can read them.

A woman in a hand knit sleeveless top and long skirt stands against a brick archway.I just made this full-length skirt. It’s a lot of stitches. A lot of the same stitches over and over. To reach the goal of making a skirt, you have to keep doing the same stitches repeatedly. If you work on it for an hour today, then project Y tomorrow, project Z the next day, etc, and you do that continually, it will take you a really long time to reach your skirt-making goal. Or if you do these stitches today, then different stitches tomorrow and every day after that, eventually you’ll have something that looks like a hot mess and doesn’t at all resemble a skirt.

Either way, you’ll probably get frustrated that you’re not making any progress. That lack of progress might even make you say “screw it” and give up on it. If you don’t give up on it, the frustration will continue to eat at you.

The same goes for training. If we do X today, then Y tomorrow, then Z the next day, week after week, we won’t make any progress. Our bodies show progress to the work we do in the form of adaptation – we get stronger, the same exercises get easier, the weights start feeling lighter, our clothes start fitting differently. Adaptation only happens when the stimulus is the same. If every workout is different day in and day out, our bodies don’t know how or what to adapt to.

Just like how you can’t complete a project if you don’t do the same stitches over and over, you can’t reach a training goal if you don’t do the same exercises and same workouts over and over. Now, you don’t need every single workout to be the same, you can have a few different workouts that you repeat, but you do need some sameness in exercise selection and sets and reps for some time. Long enough to see some progress, and long enough to reach a goal.

I can see the beauty that is created from the sameness. Can you?