Some Amazing Results
Lately we've seen a bunch of our friends make pretty significant skill gains in the gym. It's actually kind of crazy to think of how far they've come in such a short period of time. This got us to thinking - what was the key to their success? Did they just come in, stretch, do the WOD, talk to their friends for a bit and head home? Absolutely not. In all three cases that you'll read and see below, the athletes gave themselves a reasonable goal and then relentlessly pursued it. Their stories illustrate that while hard work can't solve every problem it is certainly better than the alternative of doing nothing and complaining.
Nicole Making Huge Gains With Muscle Ups
A few weeks ago Fitness Cult Chronicles superstar Nicole built a muscle up rig in her backyard. At the time we thought she was being crazy and that the rig would eventually become an unused eyesore like all home workout equipment (Total Gym anyone?). We posted the video because it looked cool and thought that would be the end of it.
Then Nicole did what she always does and surprised the crap out of us. A little over six weeks later she walked into the gym, whipped out her phone and showed us that she could string together five muscle ups. Apparently she's been spending a TON of free time on that rig doing all sorts of crazy things. Now, are most people going to show this much progress with a skill in six weeks? Probably not, but it does illustrate how much you can achieve when you give yourself a goal and doggedly pursue it.
Jack Goes From Handstand Zero To Handstand Hero
A few months ago Jack struggled with walking on his hands. He's a big dude so you wouldn't expect him to be the gymnast type. Like Ali, he decided that improving his upside down performance was a priority and set aside time before and after WODs to work on the skill. The progress he's made is just short of amazing. We don't advocate trying the trick he pulls off below, but it does look pretty awesome.
Timi Continues His Quest For Ninja Warrior Greatness
There's not much to say about Timi that hasn't already been said. His entire life is a skill progression. This guy is always working on something after the WOD and it usually looks pretty crazy. We don't know if he'll be an American Ninja Warrior one day, but we do know that if it doesn't happen it isn't because he didn't put in the work. We highly recommend that you DO NOT try his latest rope climbing skill - it is very dangerous and borderline stupid but still pretty impressive.
Some Things To Remember
Set Reasonable Goals: Change happens incrementally, so if you want to dunk you need to be able to reach the backboard first. Setting unreasonable goals will just lead to frustration.
Be Persistent: Most people like to make plans and visualize how great things are going to be in the future. Far fewer people enjoy executing the plan that they've made - that's the real hard work. The best game plan for getting a muscle up won't bring results if you don't get in the gym and consistently execute it.
Be Smart: Use your time wisely. If you want to string together a few double unders, don't just wander into the gym and mindlessly jump around for an hour. Put together a progression plan and stick to it. Be consistent.
Listen To Your Body: Don't go out on day one and try thirty muscle up attempts. Start with something reasonable and work your way up. If you come out of the gate too hard you'll just end up hurting yourself and have to miss a few weeks recovering. That being said, if something starts to feel dicey while you're training then give it a rest. You won't progress on your skill at all if you have to sit on your butt for six months rehabbing from surgery.
What skill are you currently working on? Do you have a game plan or are you just winging it? Let us know in the comments!