It’s more than just skill, technique and strength work. It’s commitment, dedication, and consistency. There are gifted people in this world, the kind of people who can jump on the rings for the first time and bang out a strict muscle up effortlessly or who can pick up a barbell as a newbie and with damn near perfect technique snatch over body weight like it’s nothing. I am not one of those people. I had to work for it, years and years of hard work. Hard work and patience are all too often disregarded in a world where everyone wants so urgently to be stronger, faster, and better. It took years of strict ring to chest pull-ups and strict pause in the bottom dips before I could do strict muscle up and there was a tremendous amount of light, boring technique work and heavy, gut-wrenching strength work before I could snatch over body weight. When people see that you can do these things, they always ask what you did to make it happen. I always reply with, hard work. But here is what hard work actually is:
- It’s trusting the process and your coach: When your coach writes you a program… do it. Do all of it, do every rep and do them as perfectly as possible. Don’t cherry pick and don’t program jump. Program jumping leads to never following through on anything. It’s having one foot here and then one foot there. It’s believing that the next best thing is exactly what you need. When what you really need is consistency, commitment, and dedication.
- It’s avoiding overtraining: It's hard to follow your program when you are injured. When your coach programs rest days, you should actually rest. My coach knows that I like to do conditioning twice a week, because of this we have conversations about when I’m going to do that and what I’m going to do to make sure it doesn’t negatively affect my lifting.
- It’s doing your strength work: Heavy squats and barbell front rack lunges make me want to quit around set two. I have been known to write the words, “pick it up you big baby” or “you have to work for it” on the floor by my barbell. I have to positive self-talk a lot during sets to stay mentally tough. Don’t not do your work, and if you don’t… don’t complain about not getting any better.
- It’s practicing patience: Coach Kyle’s rule is, it has to look perfect and effortless. If it doesn’t, you need to take the weight off, find a weight where it does, and do the reps there… lot’s and lot’s and lot’s of reps there. A lot of his lifters train remotely and send him videos of their sessions. You could easily continue to add weight to the barbell to see how heavy you could go no matter how much your technique would break down. No matter how ugly it was… because,”Hey, a PR is a PR no matter how ugly right?” That’s your ego trying to rush you. Trying to tell you that your different, that you don’t have to put in all the work that everyone else does, that you’re not like the others, you’re special, and you’re better. Your ego is a liar. Stop letting it control you.
Hard work is not to be feared. It’s the thing that makes all of aha moment’s worth it. All the effort, all the time, and all of the resiliency will pay off. You just have to be consistent and patient enough to allow it. Keep Working Hard True CoreCoach Erin