“I don’t like that word, regression. I think we should call it a pregression.”
At that moment the roof of the gym parted, angels started playing trumpets, champagne rained from the heavens and a radiant light shone down upon us.
My friend and client, Jane, had solved a problem that had been plaguing me for years.
I hate the word regression. I hate it because it fundamentally contradicts one of my core beliefs that the only thing that matter is starting where you are and moving where you can. Regression implies that you should be “here” but you’re not so you need to do something that isn’t as good. The word literally means a return to a former state. If you’ve never been there then it’s not a regression at all.
However, something that you do before you can do something else is exactly what we’re talking about. A push-up with your hands elevated is a pregression to a push-up with your hands on the floor. You do that now so you can do a full push-up later. You do a full push-up now so that you can do a feet-elevated push-up later. Pregress the movement to make forward progress.
I’m not interested in making people feel small or belittled, but I know for a fact that using the word regression makes some people feel exactly that. If I can change the experience my clients are going to have for the better simply by changing one word that is a no-brainer decision for me.
Words matter. Words alter the way we view and perceive the world. Second only to action, changing your words is the quickest path to changing your thoughts and changing your mind.
What if we were to change the entire perspective of how our clients and we look at and describe pregressions and progressions of exercise by making this simple language change?