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YouTube and Instagram have been both a blessing and a curse when it comes to athletic training. Everyone sees the best doing cool tricks, heavy weights and mind-bending workouts. This is great – it shows you just how far the human body can be pushed, and immediately gives you a comparison and something to shoot for. What you don’t see is the hours and hours of fundamental practice that goes into making those videos possible.
I watched CJ Cummings (junior American weightlifter) clean and jerk 175kg as a 15-year-old lifter. This is unbelievable for such a young athlete! But I’ve also watched plenty of his junior videos. He has improved roughly 10-12kg per year for a number of years. If you break that down even further, that’s about 1kg/month. Two, three hours of training daily for 1kg per month!
Fundamentally, he’s got great technique, developed with weeks and months of empty barbell practice. These guys spend the first 12-18 months without weight on the bar at all. The coaches demand that you perfect your technique, and earn the right to use extra weight.
The take away point of this? The best progress comes to those who are willing to do the ground work. Is your mobility adequate? Do you have the fundamental levels of strength to begin more technical work? Are you mentally strong and patient enough to delay gratification?
Don’t be afraid to spend time doing the basics. Mastery of a skill comes off the back of an unparalleled ability to do the basics. The best “do the common uncommonly well.”Google+