one-trick-ponies

One Trick Ponies

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Before I decided to know what I was doing in the gym and in the kitchen, I still liked to work out.

And from what I see out there, a lot of other people like to work out too without really knowing what they’re doing.  And in doing so, they seem to enter a sort of pattern in which they do the same thing they like to do.  And what some people like to do is arms and/or benching…leading to the fabled internet meme of:

Like an outboard motor on a canoe.
Like an outboard motor on a canoe.

Yes, this can happen to you.  I was lucky. I ran and benched, so my legs stayed rather fit looking.

But here’s what happened.  I decided to put up “3-plates”.  That means I wanted to bench the bar with three 45 pound plates on each side.  I was already comfortably benching 2 plates at a decent pace. And so I increased my RM1 (max reps at a certain weight, only being able to to that weight 1 time).  I got up and up and was hitting 305 on my bench press so close to my goals.

But I had a realization.  I may be getting stronger, but I wasn’t really in shape.

I thought to myself, if I am this strong, then surely I can crank out some pushups.   And so, I started to crank and I hit the wall at 25.  Now, earlier in my life I was at a point where I could do 80-100 pushups in a first set.  So, this was unacceptable.  And what was going on?  Was I not strong?  Did I not lift much weights?

Well, it turns out that that that number alone was not enough.  I had ignored other aspects of fitness.

For every person out there preaching strength, or size, they need to realize that there’s also power and endurance.  I gave up that quest to hit 3 plates and instead started down the path of the 5 stage human machine, recognizing that strength is merely the first step.  Once you have it, it stays with you for a long time…and during that time you can work on the next steps.

So, with my squat, comes sprints and running.  With my bench goes push ups for endurance and power.

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The point being. Don’t become a one trick pony.  Right before I had my realization, I met a guy who could bench 315 all day long.  Very impressive until your realize he wasn’t fit.  He could lift that weight easily enough but I doubt he could squat or run or do anything else.  And in the real world, that sort of specialization is worthless.

 

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