Build You Up (Mon 8/2/10)

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Here’s the scenario: you’ve been working on some aspect of your athleticism for quite awhile on your own and as far as you can tell you’ve improved. Then you come in to the gym proud to show off your new PR and I tell you that you need to push your knees out and spread the floor apart with your feet if you want to add 20 more pounds to your back squat, or that you have to fully open your hip if you want to get 285 overhead. Does the fact that I don’t sing praises to your efforts mean that you’ve failed? Absolutely not, it just means that you have not yet reached your potential (which is a very good thing), and that you have found someone who can help you progress. Believe me when I say that I completely understand that it can be disappointing and frustrating to hear that you’re not already the most amazing demonstration of skill and grace on the planet, and instead are met with a seemingly endless list of things you do wrong. But also remember that you come to the gym to get instruction, not approval.

Keep in mind that making changes to how you do something will require that (a) it does not feel like it did before (because if it does then you haven’t changed anything), and (b) that you lower the hell out of the weight to allow for you to re-learn the movement with the new mechanics (because we don’t teach new mechanics with a max load on your back). And also understand that giving the new mechanics a shot once or twice with a PVC and then once or twice with a barbell before going for a 50 lb. PR is perhaps not the best idea either. You need to give yourself some time to work with the new mechanics so that so it becomes the default way your body performs that movement. You build up the weight slowly over time, otherwise you will quickly revert to your previous mechanics and fail on your PR attempt – again.

Strength takes time to build, and if you’re in a hurry then you should prepare for lots of disappointment. Good technique will not only help you, it is absolutely required for any significant expression of strength. Work on it and perfect it, and then come in and we’ll work on it some more. Together we’ll get you PRs across the board.


One-on-one pushups


5 Rounds for time of:

5 Squat Clean Thrusters (135/95)
10 Chest To Bar Pullups


L-Sit Hold: 60 seconds total