Sometimes it isn’t until I’m sitting down with someone during an ‘Intro Session’ discussing exactly what it is that we do here that I realize the entire scope of our training. I mean, we’re literally responsible for anything under the sun when it comes to strength and conditioning. As a general physical preparedness (GPP) program, we’d like to touch on everything from kettlebell training, weightlifting, gymnastics, running, powerlifting, and so on.
How is it, then, that folks training just an hour a day, a couple days per week can make any real significant progress towards seemingly advanced practices like the handstand push up or the barbell clean and jerk? Are we overly optimistic? Crazy? Both? Or, maybe we’re just setting this up for failure all along, as if it’s even conceivable that a beginner could one day perform a muscle up.
The reason we teach these complex skills and movements and progress towards them is because they are possible. It’s only a natural next step even. They are just one step on an infinite staircase of skill and strength. There’s a trick, however.
The trick is practicing everything all the time. If you’re waiting for muscle up day to practice muscle ups or clean and jerk day to practice the clean and jerk, you’re waiting too long. With that mindset, it will take more time than you’ll be on this Earth to learn and develop these capacities. What if I told you, however, that you could always practice everything?
Think about that. While you’re doing push ups, you can practice muscle ups, handstand push ups, ring rows, ice cream makers (that’s a thing), and a number of other things. What if I told you while you’re practicing front squats you can also practice running, pistols, deadlifts, the jerk, and a number of other things?
With the view that you’re a new student learning this stuff like you would study for a vocabulary test with flash cards, trying to remember each movement for the choreography that it is, you’re going to be cramming for the test for a long time. Furthermore, you’re probably aren’t going to do very well on the test, either.
There can be another view, however. And, that’s a view that says basic movements and positions can help us piece together thousands of movements from very basic foundational building blocks. Think basic like, “hollow body,” “arch body,” shoulder mechanics, hip mechanics, jumping, and landing. If you can practice these basic ideas everywhere, all the time you’ll soon find yourself being able to connect the dots in your skill set like you’ve never seen before.
Get selfish. Be inclusive. Hold your body in a way that you’d like to one day have it appear in a more advanced form, upside down, with a barbell, on one leg, etc, and for the love of God, “Practice everything all the time.”
In 8 min:
8 Deadlifts (250/175)
2 Muscle Ups