THUR: Don’t Cripple the Army
As the saying goes, don’t ask your team to do something that it can’t realistically accomplish. When you do this, you take resources away from what is achievable, you’ve set your troops up to swallow failure rather than taste success, and you’ve crippled your overall army’s capability to do its job.
In the gym, I believe similar dynamics are at play with our goal setting when we ask ourselves to do something that we can’t. Not hard. “Can’t.”
Did you know that not all of us can do the same things?
I don’t want this to come as negative thinking, but we’re not often exposed to the idea of realistic. I love realistic. Realistic means you have an honest assessment of yourself and your abilities. It doesn’t mean that you short change yourself, it doesn’t mean that you don’t challenge yourself or set lofty goals, it just means you don’t act like Brick and point at things and say you want them.
Do you really love 500# deadlift or are you just pointing at things in the room and saying that you love them?
There are people out there who will never have a 500# deadlift. In fact, most won’t. There are women who will never do 20 pull-ups. In fact, most won’t. That is perfectly okay. It doesn’t mean that we can’t have a noble endeavor in the gym, life changing transformations, or goals that on a relative scale are equal to 20 pull-ups.
However, I would certainly argue that if you get too caught up in what’s not attainable that you will miss all of the things that are. You will so caught up in the carrot on the end of the stick that you will live in a state of unrest and literally never be satisfied.
What the hell kind of way to go about fitness is that?
I don’t think there’s anything cool at all about being the gym or the coach that lets people cripple their army for fear of coming off as negative. Realistic doesn’t have to be come with a negative undertone. In fact, it should be freeing. It should be incredibly positive to not have to expect things of yourself that you can’t achieve. If your body isn’t built for heavy back squatting, would you not want to know that so you can apply your strength goals elsewhere and set yourself up to be strong, not broken?
Fuck, I would.
Ultimately, realistic thinking to me is simply ensuring that all of your army’s resources are working towards success, not crippling itself by working towards failure. You set and demand too many unrealistic goals of yourself, and sooner or later you’re goal setting calibration will become totally distorted.
Positivity and attainability do not have to be mutually exclusive. You just have to find the point where those two paths cross and chart a course.
First, for Strength.
5 Back Squat @ 60-80%
8 DB Bench Press
Complete 1 set every 5 minutes for 20 minutes.
Then, for Structure.
5/s DB RDL
12 BB UH Grip Row
5/s DB Snatch
5 OTB Squat Jumps
Wait 3′, then finish with an 800m run AFAP.
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