Form follows function. Logic follows concept. Less is more!

How is it that a coach can employ abstract thinking to the logical process of physical development? As it turns out, training is creative. Form-follows-function. If you consider skills in all areas of your life, the most productive will often require creativity.  Creative visualization is abstract. If the intent is to widen boundaries and affect outcomes, a coach (or a business person) must employ abstract thinking to take action along the desired path.

Form follows function

Coined by American architect Louis Sullivan, “form follows function” is intended to bring the inspiration closer to the result. If the purpose of a set of exercises is to build core strength and explosive power, the plan needs to consider the resistance, plyometric, and calisthenics modalities of the training.  But how about a business person who wants to develop better sales or presentation skills. They would seek out the best training modalities that will affect a change in their abilities. There is always a cocktail of choices that when used will lead to a functional result.

Logic follows concept

We can’t logically attribute this premise to any single person. Aristotle may be a plausible primary choice because he talked about inference. We train for a reason. The concept is to identify why you need strength, then commit to the time. Nothing subordinates a commitment. The logic puts training on our calendars, and the purpose is clear. We want to be stronger, and we know that a consistent practice of strength building is the only way we will succeed. How many of us make an appointment with a coach, or seminar series that will guide us to embellish our business skills? If you want to be better at anything, is it logical to seek professional training? Of course, it is. Finding a reason to train is not a concept. Finding reasons to do anything is a commitment not to commit.

Less is more

I discovered that Ludwig Mies van der Rohe coined this in 1947 to describe Minimalist design and architecture. We use the concept in all we do.  Imagine working out for an hour. It’s long, tiring and leads to limited benefits. We train for small wins that add up to beneficial outcomes. We do less in each gym session, but we do it very well.  Skills trump workout craziness every time.

Less is more allows the client to experience a skillful practice of exercise. How does this concept relate to your business? Maybe you see the advantage in serving a smaller segment of your market.  Or you take the opportunity to understand and employ the Pareto principle to your business – and fire the under-performing customers who waste your time.

Training, whether physical, career or life has to lead to action. You could find that a typical sales training may sound good, but there is a more significant win at less cost if you invest time in an improv group. You could get injured in an hour aerobics class, but twenty minutes of strength building with highly skilled exercises will serve to injury-proof you for any activity.

It has been a benefit for me in business to understand the value of the abstract. Before I became a coach, I was a commercial photographer. Every concept is abstract, even if it’s sketched out on paper. There is always the gray area between what we imagined and how we can deal with the physical world.

Form follows function, logic follows concept, and less is more offer us a moment to think things through. Do we see the solution if we remain on a trajectory? Are we meeting the clients where they currently reside? Do we guide people who understand the value of health, down a worn path, or do we look at their genuine desires and address issues of strength and performance creatively, with the simplest solution that produces the best outcome?

If you find yourself in the forties plus, career-centric, working-professional group you are my target audience. There is more to the performance discussion, and I’ll gladly share it with you. I am a speaker, author, and interval training, expert. Send me an email or text to (303) 880-4641. Mention “LinkedIn article,” and I’ll send you today’s workout. Don’t look for a reason to train. Train for a Reason! #performance #danraabetraining #trainforareason


Dan Raabe Performance - Train For A Reason - Gymnastics, Conditioning, Mental Strength, Tactics, Skilled Movement, Training


Start right! Finish ahead!

Start right. Finish ahead. Shift into first. Let out the commitment clutch. Listen to the roar of that race-tuned motivation-engine. Run through the gears. Each upshift represents a skill level acquired through coaching and consistent practice. Get your machine up to speed so you can maintain momentum without depleting energy. Focus on priority issues. Visualize the outcomes. Go deep with your knowledge. Stop for the flashing red lights in the rear-view mirror. Know your destination lies ahead and the path is worth the investment in time and effort.

Recently I bought a new Volvo. It’s a comfy car. There is no way the proletariat can understand how it works. It has a computer that controls everything but the driver. I go to park it in the garage on a hot day, and the fan is raging under the hood. It’s a hurricane force gale, and it won’t shut off. I call the service guy at the Volvo dealership and ask if something could be wrong with the car. The sultan of sarcasm immediately responds, “Dan, do you know what the most unread book in the world is? The Owner’s Manual.” It states that the cooling fan will run until the cows come home to protect the engine…”

I’m an adult. I could have looked up the information. It’s on page 12. How many of you have read the owner’s manual for training?  Do you know how train -for strength? Have you sought out the insights of experts when it comes to “what to do” to get in top condition? The training culture doesn’t happen in a vacuum. We are up to speed on training because we have to understand the science behind physiological development.

Strength training is holistic. You are about to develop mind, body, and soul further than you ever imagined. You’ll be training athletically. Why, because athletes can have it all and so can you.

Begin with the computer that runs you. Your brain. It is no secret your main-frame loves to exercise. It likes to send messages that develop proper movement. It loves to learn and experience. It enjoys the relationships you build and the stimulating input from the outside world. It loves the neurotransmitters and other chemicals that refresh its systems and higher functioning.

Your body with all its systems begs to be refreshed and stimulated. Work is the bane of our existence, and without a healthy dose of exhilarating physical exercise and learning how best to perform it, we’re just all too “normal.” Dump the myths you may hold about activity and what you may become if you engage. Proper training has always been science and creativity. It’s useful. We train because we want functional strength.

As you learn the basics and begin to acclimate to a higher level of activity, you will have a chance to schedule your training so that you can accomplish it multiple times weekly. Just be sure it’s a top three priority.

Here are three questions you might want to answer for yourself:

  1. How can I better organize my daily schedule?
  2. What do I expect from a coach?
  3. Am I willing to take steps to develop myself physically and mentally to be more dynamic, robust and healthy?

Lack of inspiration fuels abundant procrastination. Take all that you know about yourself. Write short sentences that honestly describe what kind of person you feel you are, and where you are athletically. Take a 50,000-foot view of where you are. Write some responses to the question in column one. There are people around you who may see you in an entirely different light. Be brave and ask them for an honest opinion of how they view you.

Record the responses in column two. In column three decide how you are going to close the gap. Remember you are training for yourself first. When your success in training begins to impact your outward appearance, habits, and perspectives you’ve started to cash in the paycheck that Train for a Reason creates. An inspired training program raises a motivated person. The best test outside the gym is to account for your efforts by planning and taking action. Motivation doesn’t fall from the sky. Create a visual image in your mind, words written on paper, or some other graphic representation of the goals you intend to build. We demonstrate each exercise for that day’s work, then pull out a stopwatch. The coach establishes the targets. The stopwatch focuses the mind. And the skills are the stewards that can put your mind and body where you want when you move.

Here’s your prescription for the right start:

  1. Why do you train?
  2. What is the current behavior that you want to change?
  3. What are you ready, willing and able to do to get to a measurable goal?

We have a blueprint for motivation. Answer the questions. Drill down to a level that hits your emotional launch button.

Sakichi Toyoda used the “5 Whys” to drill down to a solution to problems within Toyota’s manufacturing processes. Take it for your use. I did!

What keeps you up at night? Have you accomplished all your goals? Are you on the treadmill? Are your kids and family safer because you don’t train, or don’t exercise with the proper mental propellant? Are you going to be healthy enough to lead them into the future?

Utilize a seeker mentality. Curiosity never pales. Interest buffers the goals and aspirations of the active adult from the ravages of opinions, old beliefs, half-truths, and collective apathy of the information gatherers, and harmful “crap-ologists” around them. Seeking opens doors. Information is humbling. The curious mind is the place from which anyone with the burning desire to succeed can explode into action. Success needs work! Work it, because you are an “action person.”