Sunday, 2 July 2017

Focus on the process

This is something that I’m not great at and have to keep reminding myself. If you focus on the process, not only will the particular end point you’re chasing come, but many others will as well. I have two related examples of this, one I’ve been good and one I haven’t.

I’ve only ever trained muscle ups once (for a few weeks), to no great success. I could get up, with an ugly kip and struggle past the transition, but I could never get much better. So I stopped training it, and focused my attention on basic pulling strength, mostly through gymnastic bodies. So when Omar Isuf posted a video on the muscle up something clicked with me, and I was finally able to do a decent muscle up on a bar. However I still couldn’t do a clean ring muscle up. I continued training ring row and pull ups on the Gymnastic bodies program, and recently re tested my ring muscle up. I got it very smoothly with what I would call ‘minimal kip’ (really I just pull up fast and use that momentum to help the transition). By focusing on the process towards the ring row, I was able to get a ring muscle up ‘for free’. Focus on the process and great things happen.

A one arm chin up is a feat of strength I have wanted to achieve for years now. I have trained for it on and off for years, however after starting gymnastic bodies, that has been my main training focus. More recently I have been focusing on one arm hangs in various positions. After taking a few weeks off this training focus I came back to it and tried some one arm negatives. This lead me to the realization that I was training much too close to my one rep max. This meant I wasn’t able to put in enough reps (or time under tension) to get a maximal training benefit. It was ego training, with a high risk of injury. Like training only heavy singles for squats or dips, it just wasn’t a good idea. So I have re-focused my energy. I will train the one arm town hang for grip and shoulder strength, and I will focus on the gymnastic bodies course. These are the areas where I can get a lot of reps in, and get solid training. If I follow this process I will get the one arm chin up, or I will get close enough that targeted training is then a viable option. 

Holding the top of a one arm chin (fairly tough).

90 Degree hang, quite hard on the biceps
One arm towel hang, a good option for my strength level

It is worth mentioning that my main focus is the gymnastics bodies program, this means I don’t have any ‘spare’ training volume to use on things like archer pull ups etc. which would definitely help in training for a one arm chin up. I’m not saying you can’t focus on the one arm chin up on its own; you just need to know where your main focus is because you can’t always split your attention.

So pick a focus, and stick to the process. Great things will happen along the way.

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