Stick With The Program

December 5, 2011

Find a way to get focused. Somehow, some way. Most people have zero focus and thus zero control of their lives. Don’t be another multitasking, confused, out of control, getting nowhere fast member of society. We have more than enough of those.

Jason Ferruggia

It’s funny how it’s always children that are tarred with the ADHD brush. How are youngsters supposed to learn how to concentrate when the adults they’re basing their behaviours on exhibit an even greater lack of attention and inability to focus on a single task or goal?

This is as prevalent in strength & fitness as much as it is in everyday life. I see it every single time I go and train. You can’t train for World’s Strongest Man whilst you’re training to run the London Marathon. Each goal takes focus, concentration and most of all, a PLAN!

Now my back is OK, I’m back following the same program I’ve been on since early October. It consists of three main exercises (squat, press & chins/pull ups) with mobility work, sprints and jump rope mixed in between. I lift three to four days a week and sprint at the weekends.

The temptations to try something new are always there but I need to keep reminding myself that it’s just not necessary right now. I recently read Paul Wade’s Convict Conditioning cover to cover in a night and was sure that this is what I was missing. Thankfully, by morning, I came to my senses and decided to stick with the program. Bodyweight training can wait until summer.

When you find a program (and there are thousands out there) have the patience to stick with it, rather than jumping ship before it’s even had chance to have an effect. Give it 8 weeks minimum, though even that is on the low side. If you’re just starting out, give it six months. If you’ve still to plateau, keep it going.

Moving on to soon in search of the next best thing or the latest advancement will only mean you wind up back at square one. I did this for a solid twelve months and didn’t achieve anything like what I wanted to.

I’ll stick with this current training program until I’ve put another 20kg on my overhead press and at least another 40kg on my squat. It might take me another six months but it should give me the underlying strength necessary for all beginners.

As for why I think it’s necessary to learn and develop these movements, I recently came across this quote from Mark Rippetoe, author of Starting Strength:

Physical strength is the most important thing in life. This is true whether we want it to be or not. As humanity has developed throughout history, physical strength has become less critical to our daily existence, but no less important to our lives. Our strength, more than any other thing we possess, still determines the quality and quantity of our time here in these bodies. Whereas previously our physical strength determined how much food we ate and how warm and dry we stayed, it now merely determines how well we function in these new surroundings we have crafted for ourselves as our culture has accumulated. But we are still animals – our physical existence is, in the final analysis, the only one that actually matters. A weak man is not as happy as that same man would be if he were strong. This reality is offensive to some people who would like the intellectual or spiritual to take precedence. Is is instructive to see what happens to these very people as their squat strength goes up.

I can’t put it any better than that.

Have a great week!

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