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The theory is very simple – in whatever you try to do (your goals), there is always a “weakest link,” or rate limiting step. I think this has far reaching effects in the gym and is very often overlooked. Rather than trying to drive a square peg into a round hole, it often pays to step back and assess WHY something isn’t improving. Sometimes it’s as simple as finding the weakest link and working hard on it to improve the overall skill.
I’m going to give you a couple of examples, but the theory can be applied to any skill or lift in the gym. What I want you to take away from these examples is to think about where you’re most “stuck (the weak link).” Then think about what you’ve been doing to get around this weak link. Does it really address the weakest link in the skill? Sometimes it takes a trained eye to know where the weaknesses really are – so don’t be afraid to ask.
The Strict Muscle Up
There are a number of possible “weak links” en route to your first strict muscle up. The strength required is around 5 strict chins and 5 strict dips with a 12kg or 8kg (for females) weight for both movements. You need adequate shoulder extension (think the hard version of shoulder dislocates) otherwise it becomes very difficult to transition through the rings. Your wrists need enough flexibility and strength to hold a false grip with a straight arm. It’s no good doing extra pull ups and dips if the wrist and grip is what you need to work on.