“Find your weaknesses, make friends with them, then beat them to death”
This is one of my favorite quotes. Weaknesses are building blocks to our lives. Every weakness defeated is one step closer to our goals. That goal can be anything from a 700# back squat to being the best mother or father you can be. Goals don’t only lie in the gym setting. But how do we get better at our weaknesses? We must first trust the process.
The process can also be referred to as the journey. The problem with the process is, it isn’t easy and you will have set backs along the way. Another problem with the process, because it isn’t easy few stick with it. We live in a society where we want everything now. More likes on Facebook now, more followers on Instagram now, and PR’s now. All too often people don’t trust the process. Here at DCL we stress The Process. We don’t call ourselves “The Lab” for nothing. So what is The Process? It’s different for each individual. Let’s take a look at these different competition programs. I won’t name them as there are far too many to name but most are quality programs and you can achieve good results from any of them. The problem with these programs is they aren’t tailored to you. Remember the head coaches of these programs cannot program for 1,000 people. When you aren’t programming for the individual, the small details get lost. Let’s use my competition programming as an example. If I program muscle ups and none of my athletes can do muscle ups, then I miss the point of the workout. If I was going to achieve the benefit of the workouts I would program muscle up transition drills rather than muscle ups themselves or if I want to program heavy deadlifts and I prescribe 315# for males but their max is 550# then those may not be heavy enough. That is what happens when you follow generic programs. Also, when you fail a lift odds are you aren’t failing for random reasons. There is a weak link in the chain that is keeping you from hitting a lift or missing the turnover in your muscle up. It is up to a coach to discover those weaknesses and work them into your program. Ben Bergeron is famous for not letting Katrin Davidsdottir climb a rope for months. Yes, she had the strength to do it but he was not happy with her technique. He drilled it and drilled it until she had it down to second nature. Why can’t I just scale the workout like I do with a normal class workout? Well it comes down to the intent. Without a coach standing next to you, you cannot tell if the workout should take 10, 15, or 30 minutes. These areas are critical if one to to truly excel in the sport of CrossFit.
When following The Process you cannot get tunnel vision and look at the end goal. You must approach every workout with a specific goal. For example:
“I’m going to hit 300 pounds on this squat”
“I am going sub 3:00 on Fran”
“I am getting consecutive bar muscle ups”
You can not be focused on tomorrow or 6 months from now. Coach Nick Saban is famous for this. Arguably the best coach in college football, Coach Saban preaches “The Process”. He tells his team not to focus on the SEC (Southeastern Conference) Championship and he tells them not to focus on the National Championship. He makes them focus on the next play or the next drill. They think to themselves, “What must I do on this next play to be successful?” When you get over-focused on the end goal you lose focus on what matters. It has become cliche but its the little things that matter. Who cares if you can do 30 muscle ups unbroken if you can’t snatch your body weight? You have lost sight of what matters. Again, “The Process” is frustrating. At times it seems like you are making too small of steps but even an inch forward is a step in the right direction. I’ve seen it time and time again- people make progress too quickly with poor technique only to hurt themselves and then take five steps backwards. The Process is slow, but slow progress is progress and that’s what leads to great gains.
In order to master our weaknesses we must first make friends with them so that we can destroy them. But fast progress can lead to a frustrating journey if one does not trust the process that it takes to achieve greatness. The process comes in many forms and there is no quick way to the top regardless of what anyone tells you. Some achieve results fast but stagnate quick while others achieve slow and steady progress. Who is to say what is better, but sticking with it is key. Don’t jump from program to program and expect that to work. You have to find a coach, trust his or her process, and only then can you achieve greatness!