After watching a seemingly endless number of military movies throughout my childhood and adult life, I recognize that there is one major scene that is hardly ever shown: the team debriefing after a mission.
Yes, the action shots of bullets whizzing by and grenades going off while helicopters make dangerous landings are the scenes that make a blockbuster movie popular and successful. But, the seemingly boring event of a group meeting afterwards is where the real learning begins and it is where we can apply these methods into our training.
In military circles, debriefing is about analyzing the events of a recent mission to see what was done correctly and more importantly, what could have been done better. Did you bring the proper gear? Did you have proper intel? Did you bring enough men? Were the over watch positions located appropriately? These are important questions to answer because if something could have been done better, you can apply the changes into the next mission.
Here at the Lift Lab, we have a few people that keep a daily training journal. I believe this is a great tool to that is often underutilized with athletes. Keeping a journal is a way to debrief after each training session and immediately apply changes to the next day.
Your journal should not only contain your daily workout but you should ask questions similar to the following:
How did I physically feel coming into the gym today?
If I was tired, did anything out of the ordinary take place at work?
How much sleep did I get last night?
What did I eat beforehand?
Was I distracted with other things?
Did I allot enough time for my workout?
Was the order of my exercises optimized?
Was I already gassed before my main lifts?
This is not an exhaustive list of questions but you get the idea. Take notice of the events that surrounded your session. If you had a good session and notice a pattern, try to repeat those events. If you have subpar sessions in a row, see where you can make changes. You can keep your journal personal or discuss this with your coaches. There is no right or wrong way to debrief as long as learning is occurring.
Take 5-10 minutes after each session and debrief as you slam your Core Power protein drink. You may only see small changes that need to be made. Even so, if you make a couple small changes every week you will be amazed at where your training is in 6 months.