When you look at athletes performing skills that seem beyond our own physical ability, it’s easy to think,
Well, there’s no way I could ever do that – may as well just give up!
But just because you can’t do something now, doesn’t mean you’ll never be able to. It’s not as if those people you are watching were able to do these moves right out of the crib!
When it comes to training particular skills, it’s not “all or nothing.”
We all start from a certain point and have to work our way up to the full deal. Some start ahead of the game a bit, while others of us have to hurdle over a few more obstacles than the rest.
If you can’t perform a certain skill, it’s because you don’t have the appropriate strength/flexibility/coordination yet – emphasis on the word “yet.”
You’ll just have to work and do all the things necessary to make that happen if it’s what you want.
“But I can’t do that yet…” – Why it’s OK to Start at the Start
At GMB, we emphasize fundamentals from the beginning.
Each of our programs starts by working on your base level of strength, flexibility, and motor control, as both an assessment of your current capabilities and to set aside the time necessary to building a foundation for further work ahead.
Without this necessary base of strength, flexibility, and motor control, you’ll wind up spinning your wheels and not getting anywhere towards what you want.
“A house built on sand” is a common parable for a reason – it just makes a whole lot of damn sense. You need a strong foundation if you want to get anywhere.
Working through the correct sequence of exercises and moves prepares you for the next level of difficulty, and so on until you climb all of the steps up to your goal. Attempting to skip a level, either out of impatience or a false self-assessment, is not a short-cut, and often, it can end up setting you back because of injury.
It’s a paradox that building yourself up patiently and methodically is actually the quickest way, while setting a fast pace and skipping a step or two slows you down in the long run.
Time + Quality Effort = Success
The proven formula for success involves patience and consistent quality effort.
You need enough time to make it happen, and you need to to use that time wisely. If you’ve been training at a big gym or health club for a while, you’ve probably seen some regulars shuffle in and out. There are likely a few strong folks, but you’ll also see the ones who seem to just be going through the motions, doing the same things over and over again.
Odds are if you came back a year later, they’d pretty much be on the same program without any changes in their strength or performance. Showing up to train is a big part of improving, but so is working on the right things and doing all that you need to do to make progress.
Just as you can’t just watch a video and magically be able to perform a skill, you can’t expect to go the the gym and punch a clock and expect results to simply happen in the next few weeks.
Quality practice of fundamental skills over time leads to high level performance.
Focus on as high quality as you can muster of the right basic skills for your particular goal and you’ll be headed straight for it as quickly as possible.
Identify Your Obstacles and Find a Way to Push Past Them
So, you know it will take consistent effort over time to turn yourself from I can’t do this to Wow! That wasn’t so bad!
Now, what do think may be stumbling blocks on your own road to transformation? Busy schedule? Old injury? You’ve tried before but never gotten past the third week of training?
Whatever the reasons, they are both particular to the person but also universal in that you wouldn’t be the first with the problem, and you won’t be the last.
Let’s go back to our formula: Time + Quality Effort = Success
- In the Time part of the equation, if it’s not the “getting started” that’s the hard part, it’s the continuing process that gets you. Whichever one is the case, there are lots of methods to help get you moving and continuing to move and train. Use these to keep your promises to yourself.
- Next, for Quality Effort you’ll need to identify your limitations and weaknesses and set yourself on a plan to bolster those deficiencies. Are you not as flexible as you you’d like to be? Keep up on a daily plan to improve your range of motion. Your arms giving out too soon while you are in a handstand? Well then you need to get to a stronger upper body!
Though there may be some specific things you may not know about when it comes to strengthening, stretching, and improving, you’ll have a private sense of the big things you need to change to meet your goals.
Don’t keep spinning your wheels and act on what needs to be done in order to play and thrive.
Choose Inspiration, Not Intimidation
I know how intimidating it can be to see amazing feats of strength and skill. I’ve been lucky enough to train with and meet some incredible athletes and movement artists. The things they can do and with an almost effortless ease can either be disheartening or inspiring.
It’s your choice, so choose to be inspired!
Everyone has to start from somewhere. And if you need help (which we all do), seek out friends to be training partners either in person, or even online to help keep you accountable and to encourage you when you are most discouraged.
The skills we demonstrate here at GMB aren’t meant to show off and say “hey look what we can do!”
We actually show you the methods and the way forward towards these skills. And we want to help you on your path toward your best improvement.
Need a Good Kick in the Rear?
It’s easy to compare yourself to others and feel like progress is impossible. That kind of comparison is unproductive and, often, destructive.
Sometimes, what you really need is a good kick in the rear from people who have been where you are, and have dealt with the same frustration and struggles. Surround yourself with people who will give you that push and encouragement you need.
If you’re not sure where to look for those kinds of people, Alpha Posse is a great place to start.
Remember: Judge Your Progress by How Far You’ve Come, Not by How Far You Have to Go
- Every impressive athlete has been where you are. They all started somewhere and built up their skills through hard work and determination. If you want to do what they can do, you can. But don’t think you have to.
- The formula for success (in pretty much all areas of life, but certainly with fitness) is Time + Quality Effort. If you have those two elements, you can’t go wrong.
- You can be intimidated by impressive feats of strength, or you can be inspired by them. It’s your choice.
- Surround yourself with a strong support system to help you through the process. It will make your goals that much more attainable.
No matter where you are in your process, you’re eventually going to have to deal with roadblocks.
Just remain centered in your process and keep putting one foot in front of the other. It’s those small, consistent actions that are going to get you closer to your goals, even if it doesn’t always feel like you’re moving as quickly as you’d like.
Build Your Foundation to Break Plateaus
With Elements, you’ll build the strength, flexibility, and control you need to tackle any physical skill or challenge. The foundation you build will set you up for a lifetime of staying fit and active.