One of the best feelings we can have in the gym is when we accomplish something we’ve never done before.

    First muscle up. First Pullup. First handstand. Being able to walk on your hands. Snatch PR’s. Clean & Jerk PR’s. The list goes on, but those are some big ones.

    From time to time I hear “I’ve just hit a wall” with progress.

    Now it is true, the better you get and the closer to genetic potential, that harder it is to keep progressing.
    Think of the 100m dash at the Olympics. 100 years ago surfaces were different, training programs were WAY different, much less emphasis and understanding on technique.
    Back then 11 seconds in the men’s 100m was competitive. Over time things have progressed and the lower things go, the harder it is to keep bringing times down.

    Usain Bolt shook up track & field, but up until he came around knocking a tenth of a second off the 100m WR was unheard of.

    Anyway- my point is that very few people on earth are that close to their genetic potential in ANYTHING.

    So when you impose a ceiling or a wall on yourself on a movement that 30% of the people in the gym can do- is there really a wall? Or is it in your mind?

    If you answered “Jay….. YES it’s really there”

    Is it? Can you touch it?

    Can someone else see it?

    My job is to take you outside of your comfort zone. To realize that you put limits on yourself. I think I’m pretty good at it…. but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t happen to me too.

    A little story from 2011.

    Weightlifting is a part of CrossFit that I have really taken to. I started to get pretty good at the lifts (snatch, clean & jerk) and really enjoyed training them. I LOVED when they came up in competitions.

    There was one stretch of time, 5 weeks, where my clean improved from 265lbs to 285lbs. My numbers were already decent, and seeing them creep up 5lbs each week was very exciting.
    As I closed in on 300lbs it was like slaying a dragon, or trying to catch a unicorn.
    There was something about that number.
    There weren’t many guys in CrossFit, period, that had a 300lb clean.
    It was like- if I can just do this….I’ve made it.

    Made what? who cares?

    Can you start to see the narrative building?

    July 2011 I attempted a 300lb clean for the first time. I actually racked it in the bottom of the squat that very first day, but couldn’t stand up. I had a 300+ lb front squat, but not by much. The timing would need to be perfect.

    Over the next 7 months I did not have 1 single clean PR. I racked 300lbs at least 40 times. Never could I stand it up.

    In January, I finally did. Within weeks I had successfully lifted 305, 310, 315 and then by summer time 325.

    I fell victim to my own mind. I let doubts creep in (am I even SUPPOSED to be able to do this!?).

    I get it.

    But really what is the significance of 300lbs? Nothing.

    It looks cool to write. But it’s just 5lbs heavier than 295, and 5lbs lighter than 305.

    What’s a pullup?

    Well…it’s harder than a ring row that’s for sure. But it’s easier than a muscle up.
    It exists along the continuum of training.
    You keep doing the right things, and you move toward it and then eventually it becomes available.

    Do you struggle with these? Let’s spend 5 minutes together- say them out loud to me. I’ll straighten you out.

    But then, will you help me with mine?

Leave a reply

Cancel reply