In the prior post using Mike Boyd’s video on his Youtube channel where he documents how he achieved his goal of doing 5 muscle-ups, the point was made that the simple acquisition of a single component (e.g. the flutter kick) of a complex set of movements (e.g. the entire freestyle stroke in swimming) can take as long as 3months even if someone is training daily.
Now look at Mike completing his goal of 5 muscle-ups. Its fantastic, he has done what he set out to do, but… that is all he has done and this is the mistake that many athletes and many coaches make. Instead of respecting that Mike has indeed accomplished his goal, what athletes and coaches do is interpret this accomplishment as equivalent to far more.
Point is… athletes and many coaches misinterpret achieving the ability to swim a few lengths as the ability to enter a swimming event, as the ability to compete in an open water swim, to enter and finish a triathlon, to race in a triathlon.
Look again at Mike completing his goal of 5 muscle-ups.
Now look at Gabriel who has been doing muscle-ups awhile longer.
Mike is not doing muscle-ups like Gabriel.
Meanwhile how many athletes after finishing a multi week “Learn to Run” or “Intro to Triathlon” program, or a week long training camp or a day long clinic with a semi pro or pro athlete who offered them ‘tips’ to improve think that they have obtained the performance of Gabriel, when they may have not even put in the training time that Mike put in.
Hence the disappointment, the lack of personal bests, the inconsistent ability to perform at one’s peak or potential, the general lack of progress, which leads to frustration, and eventually all the injuries and illnesses and setbacks that the average athlete typically encounters.
We all want the same thing… we want to look and feel and perform like Gabriel. We want to be able to execute muscle-ups (replace muscle-up with whatever sport you are seeking to excel in) and we want to do it looking like a pro. I get it. Been there, done that. But unlike what every other ‘look like a pro quick’ scheme that is being sold by coaches without consciences; the reality is that it takes time. It takes time, a lot of time, typically years to gain the basic athletic base upon which sport specific training will be built upon, and then it takes more time to gain the skills and technique to be able to execute a sport the way Gabriel pumps out muscle ups.
No, there are no short cuts.
No, you cannot bypass the time it takes to train by buying carbon fiber rims, an aero helmet, the lightest racing flats, the tightest FINA approved or ITU approved racing skin for swimming.
No, you cannot bypass the time it takes to build the physiology of a pro athlete by consuming countless liters and pounds of sports nutrition products.
No, you cannot bypass the time it takes to build the psychology of a consistent peak performer by destroying yourself repeatedly with HiiT.
Yes, they will all make some sort of difference, but they will not take you to your potential without the time put into training.
Again… there are no short cuts.
The head coach of the Polish Triathlon Team that went to Rio in 2016 for the Summer Games shares:
A year! It takes a year to develop a sport specific technique to the point that it is useable in competition: meaning that an athlete can actually execute the sport specific technique on demand within a wide array of environmental and competitive conditions. Mike has trained muscle ups for 3 months… if Mike wants to pump out muscle ups like Gabriel, then the minimum amount of time he needs to train for is another 9 months. Putting this in perspective for triathletes…
No… 1 week spent at altitude in Arizona or Colorado doesn’t turn you into an UCI WorldTour level cyclist
No… 2 weeks in Ft Lauderdale or Barbados at a swim camp doesn’t turn you into Phelps, Dressel, or Campbell or Lucy Charles or the Brownlee bros
No… 3 weeks in Kenya or Ethiopia doesn’t turn you into Kiplagat, Tsegay, Korir or Kipchoge
These training periods won’t even turn you into a top age group athlete. At most what any training camp or clinic, or couple hours spent with a coach can do is offer you insight as to what you need to spend the next 6-12 months working on. This is what it means to train.
Why are there 4 years between Olympic Games? Because for any athlete to dramatically (yes, at the Olympic level a few hundredths of a second are dramatic) change their results requires an equally dramatic change in technique. That change in technique simply cannot happen and would not happen if Olympics were held annually, or even every two years. Olympic level athletes need 4 years to have sufficient time to make all the changes and then train the changes so that they are able to execute their sport in a meaningful new way that will yield new results. World Championships in many sports do not even happen annually instead every two years for the same reason, there isn’t enough time in less than two years for a top level athlete to materially change their performance capabilities. Think on that…. training for 2 years in order to hope to see improvement on the scale of hundredths of a section, sometimes thousandths!
Meanwhile, the average triathlete does what?
Stops training in September, taking 2, 3 maybe even as many as 5 or 6 months off, then starts to cram training in spring no different than the way they tell their kids that last minute studying doesn’t lead to desirable test scores at school. They jump on a plane to a training camp hoping that a full week spent training full out will somehow make up for months and months of nothing. And, the average triathlete remains average despite wanting to progress, to improve, to see dramatic change, despite wanting to be and feel un-average.
Short cuts, bypasses, quick fixes and bandaids are sold left and right… want the truth to achieving your potential… then here it is… progress takes time. If you are not willing to put in the time, then do not be disappointed at your failure to achieve your potential, at your frustration with getting frequently injured or ill, with your inability to put together one solid race from start to finish, a race and a performance of which you can truly feel proud of irrespective of whether it took you to the podium or not.
Want to experience your potential, then you are going to have to put in the time, the consistent time, training… performing hi numbers of repetitions of technique, for months, until the new technique is burned into your brain so that you can execute that technique when it comes time to compete.
Sounds simple. It is, but as with all things, few do it, few do it correctly, so few execute it at race time, so few experience what it means to be un-average.
Do what the average do… and [big surprise] you will be average.
Do what the un-average do… and [no surprise] you will be un-average.