When it comes to training in the gym, it’s very easy to go overboard. We want everything and we want it now. I can’t tell you how many people I’ve seen start a program gung-ho, only to get bored in a couple of weeks and move onto the next best thing. I call these the “program hoppers.” They have to have something new and exciting. As a result, they don’t spend enough time to actually get good at something. They’re the ultimate generalists, not really accomplishing any goals. To be fair, from a health perspective they are being active and that’s more than the vast majority. However, they never even come close to reaching their physical potential. I know this, because that was me not too long ago.
As far as goals go, select one at a time. Don’t overwhelm yourself with trying to accomplish everything at once. Confucius once said: “The man who chases two rabbits, catches neither.” It’s very easy to get lost in the rabbit hole. Don’t give in and get distracted.
When I fully recovered from my back injury, I was fired-up to train hard again. It felt great to be able to single arm swing a 24Kg kettlebell without shooting pain in my lower back. I was physically and mentally ready to get after it. I decided to start training for the StrongFirst Sinister goal. The task is to swing a 48Kg kettlebell 100 times in 5-minutes, rest 1-minute then perform 10 Turkish Get-Ups with said kettlebell. Cool, sounds good. Sean and I started training for that, sprinkling in some body weight work but prioritizing Sinister training.
Then, we signed up for a kettlebell certification course (DV8 with Phil Scarito, I highly recommend it). Foolishly, I thought I could train for both and be fine. The only problem was, DV8’s certification process requires that I learn a new movement: The Kettlebell Clean and Push Press. In addition, I have to perform 20 consecutive repetitions without setting the bell down (test weight is determined by strength level). I still wanted to train for Sinister. I was finally able to single-arm swing Mjolnir, the 52Kg kettlebell for 4-6 reps per arm and I didn’t want to lose my hard-earned gains. However, my body started to rebel.
Between the repetitive cleans and the heavy turkish get-ups, my forearms were taking a beating. It got to the point where light get-ups were painful on my right forearm. So, we adjusted. We prioritized DV8 as the primary goal, focusing on the clean to push press and sprinkled in some swings and get-ups. We focused 80% of our time and energy on the main goal, adding in some dessert after the main course.
I’m glad I listened. After a few weeks of adjusting, my forearm feels much better. My clean to push press is improving as well. If I would have “Manned-up” I could very easily have been injured. Know your limits. Unless you’re Batman, and have no limits.
Train your body. Feed your mind.
-Demarco, Batman in training.