Quality = Honesty (Pt. 1)

20 07 2007

Quality cI’ve wanted to share some thoughts on the importance of quality in the workouts. Quality meaning, moving thru the full range of motion. Not just how important it is in the workout, but also in the process of developing honesty with ourselves.

Physically it is very important, because if we train our body’s to move within a shorter range of motion, then when we find ourselves in a situation (in sport or the need for physical exertion in our day to day life) where we need to use that full range of motion, our body stops us from benefiting doing so. It also sets us up for injury. If we don’t have time to think about it and end up going beyond how we’ve trained, we move into a plane of motion that is not strong or flexible enough to deal with the movement or load being presented to us. Translation: snap, crack, chip, pull, strain, tear……OUCH! This, in and of itself is motivation enough to follow thru in training.

And the other reason: continued development of honesty with ourselves. The measuring sticks we use in exercise: how fast could we get it done? How much weight could we lift, push or pull? How many repetitions could we complete? Etc. Let’s look at a scenario: Joe can do 28 pull-ups in a row and Dave can do 20. By all intents and purposes, Joe is stronger and has greater muscular endurance. Joe gets bragging rights. Joe gets the attention because we always gravitate to those who, in our estimation, are successful or farther along the path of the activity we are striving to become proficient in.  Others see his numbers and aspire to be as strong as he. Joe is feeling good about his accomplishment. Unconsciously, the attention starts to feed his ego a bit. The thing is, as Joe was progressing, he came to a point where he really became focused on the result, on the number and that being the most important thing. And now that he has all this attention and he is viewed as “excelling”, it feels really good. We all want to be in a place where we are recognized and acknowledged for our accomplishments. The thing is, he’s fallen into a bit of a trap. As he became more and more focused on “the number” he started allowing himself small shortcuts. Coming down only ¾ ‘s of the way, becoming content with coming not quite all the way up and stretching his neck way up and extending his chin to just touch the top of the bar. Why? Because he was able to push out 2, maybe 3 extra reps, thus upping his overall number. And now he’s being given all of this praise for an “accomplishment”, that deep down inside, he knows, he feels, he hasn’t quite rightfully earned. But he can’t back out now, because to do so would be to say to everyone, and himself, “I was wrong”. And I think we can all be honest with ourselves right here and acknowledge that that is one of the hardest things to do. Dave on the other hand can only do 20. But he extends all the way down and when he comes up, touch’s his chest to the bar. And he is content in the fact that he can’t do as many as others, because he knows that he has done each rep to the best of his ability and is honestly working to his limits and striving to surpass them, increasing his capacity.

There is often talk of………

……..to be continued.





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