Technical Moves | 3 Career Lessons I Learnt in the Gym!

3 Career Lessons I Learnt in the Gym!

David Haynes
by David Haynes

3 Career Lessons I Learnt in the Gym!

For the past 12 weeks I’ve been going to the gym every lunch time. It’s the first time I’ve ever signed up to a gym and the experience has taught me a lot more than just exercise techniques. Here are 3 ways it is helping my career development…


1. Begin with the end in mind

My training programme involves several goals; lose 3 kilograms in body weight, become strong enough to bench press my own body weight, complete 3 sets of 15 reps of every exercise, add 10% extra to the weights I’m lifting each week. Without these goals I’d have no way of knowing if I’m staying on track and no way of making the health gains.

It’s the same in the work place. To keep your career on track forget short term earnings and instead focus on your long term goals; where do you want to be in a year’s time? …3 years? …5 years? Position your short term goals and month/week/day plans into this context and always use SMART targets.


2. Add 10%

In the gym, I won’t get any fitter or stronger unless I add 10% each week to my targets. That could be 10% distance, 10% speed, or 10% weight but always enough to provide a challenge.

In your work life, it’s good to ask yourself how you could be 10% better – that doesn’t necessarily mean ‘doing’ more; it could mean ‘being’ more effective or developing new skills or simply doing things differently. Challenge yourself, but most importantly of all; be determined to do the work to take you to the next level.


3. Show up and get in the ‘Zone’

There’s a video based cycling machine I use at the gym; the cycling coach appears on the screen and shouts “You showed up today!” ….and then he takes me through a gruelling 30 minute training session.

In work life, being in the moment is vital, it’s easy just to turn up to work and go through motions, but you become really effective in achieving your goals when you decide to ‘show up’ and get into the zone of drilling through tasks. A great way to achieve this is to set yourself goals and plan the night before so you come in fresh and ready to go. This is often described as finding ‘flow’…there’s lots of information available on this subject but a good starting point is

I am still in phase 1 of the gym training programme but already I feel fitter and stronger; I haven’t achieved all my goals yet – that will take more effort, more determination and more flow….and then I’ll need to add another 10% to my goals!


David Haynes has over 18 years experience recruiting in the Built Environment. He is passionate about delivering an excellent service to both candidates and clients. You can find out more about Technical Moves Ltd at: