Training Principle – The 1.01 Law

Recently an image has been making the rounds on Facebook in Taiwan, of a plaque made by a Japanese schoolteacher, which we thought is relevant to climbing.

A rough translation of the plaque reads

The law of 1.01 :  1.01365= 37.8
The law of 0.99: 0.99365 =0.03

In layman’s terms:

  • When we eek out 1% more effort every day, our abilities can grow almost 38 times over the course of a year.
  • When we slack off 1% every day, our abilities diminish greatly over the course of a year. (to 0.03 of our original ability)

Is this principle literally true? Probably not.  You are not going to be climbing 38 times harder from spending 1% more time training everyday, and you’re not going to be a weakling a year later if you slack off 1% of the time.

However the general principle holds — pushing yourself just that 1% more beyond your previous limit every day,  can have a huge exponential effect over time — and the reverse holds if you slack off!


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