One of the traps that I often experience new trainees falling for is the lack of focus and attention to specificity. Specificity (meaning you are working towards honing a specific skill) is vital to the success of your strength development. Performance can only come from smart practice which is why I decided to talk about mastering your focus today. Keep on reading if I have your attention and if I don’t then learn to Master Your Focus!
Don’t Practice The Guitar In Order To Play The Tuba!
I want you to allow that previous statement to sink in for a second. I mean that statement Don’t Practice The Guitar In Order To Play The Tuba seems like it’s just loaded from one end to the other with common sense, yet when concerning strength and what is done in the weight room so many people try to practice everything except what is needed to get them stronger in a specific area.
In general many folks tend to lack a consistency in their training and as a result end up neglecting key areas in their strength and performance development. It seems this issue is more pervasive these days than most may realize.
Look I understand more than anyone what it’s like to try and feel my way around a weight room. I mean 12 years ago when I was working to assist the strength staff at UGA for the football program I remember sort of having this same feeling the first time I engaged the players on the weight room floor. Boy what an experience that was early on in my career.
I was a nervous wreck, but I also knew that at the end of the day technique was what was most important, and helping those players to master the basics such as the squat was a very specific movement that suited most all of their athletic needs. Without them developing this as part of their foundation they couldn’t effectively transfer their skills into other areas of their training.
After all, the only way to improve specific skills is to consistently hone in on how to execute a specific movement and it’s always a good idea to focus on big movements such as the squat to develop a baseline of strength for anyone regardless of their level of athleticism.
For me just having enough understanding about strength development to recognize that one element got me a great deal of respect from the young players I was able to work with. Look I’m not trying to pat myself on the back here. I’m just merely trying to make the point that young trainees can often allow themselves to be distracted by what seems to be cool, or by what their best friend is doing in gymnastics class rather than by focusing in on what basics can help them to get to the next level.
Training the basics requires focus and an understanding of what areas of strength will get you the most BANG for your athletic needs. I think the problem for many folks today is that they want to head over to YouTube University to see what the cool exercise of the day is which is generally performed by some professional who has spent years honing his or her skills, yet the young viewer wants to apply the advanced movement to their training arsenal right away.
Take a minute to check out my colleague and fellow strength coach Zach Even-Esh really summing this problem up nicely when talking about how to increase the 3 basic lifts concerning the bench, squat, and deadlift in the following video.
As you can see Zach, like me, has evidently figured this out over the years in much of the same way. It’s through experience and learning that specificity is a necessity in the world of strength and performance. The element of specificity is the shining light that should be guiding us in our training journey. This can only be done though if the trainer and trainee slow down long enough to master and apply the basics first. Learn to master your focus if you’re serious about pursuing strength.
Also remember that you Don’t Practice The Guitar In Order To Play The Tuba! If you want to get better at playing the tuba then play the damn tuba. The same goes for your strength gains my friend. If you want to get strong and hard then you’ve got to deadlift and squat. You can vary how you do it, but you’ve got to do it with regularity, period!
I hope you enjoyed today’s strength tip of the day. If so then please don’t hesitate to leave your questions and comments in the comment box below. Remember that most anyone can train hard, but only the best train smart my friend.
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