Many of you may be familiar with Ross, who, I personally believe, is the only human being alive who seems to possess outstanding development of all three of his energy systems. I mean, how many people do you know that can - on any given day of the week, mind you - perform a true 1-arm pullup, deadlift over 550lbs, do 1-arm standing rollouts (with a weight vest), jump rope like he's in fast forward, and slay dragons? Below are two awesome clips that many of you have probably already seen, but I post them for those that haven't (or for those that can't get enough of this stuff):
He has accomplished what many people strive for in multiple sectors (strength, endurance, body composition, etc.). And he has done this primarily by training with minimal equipment either in his home garage or outside.
One of the things I like most about Ross is he has a great way of boiling complex topics down and communicating them in a way that makes it easy for his followers to understand. Not too long ago, I was reading some of the forums on his site, and someone asked him,
"Ross, what did you do to accomplish what you did?"
They were, of course, referring to some particular piece of equipment, or maybe a secret training methodology they hadn't heard of/tried before. The point is, they wanted to know what his "secret" was.
Ross responded with a simple yet profound piece of training advice:
Years and years of hard work.
That was it. That was all he said. I chuckled to myself at my desk, as I knew the person asking the question may have been slightly miffed and probably felt like Ross was short-changing him by not giving him a complete answer. The reality was that couldn't have been further from the truth; Ross was giving the young person probably the best thing he/she could have heard.
This got me thinking about how important the virtue of patience really is. There are countless athletes that will never see their full potential come to fruition because of impatience. Or someone whose goals lie strictly in the aesthetic realm may never succeed because it's always an "I want it now" approach.
Leo Tolstoy, the famous author of War and Peace, wrote in that very novel:
"The two most powerful warriors are patience and time."
So true. And, carrying that quote over to the exercise science realm: a program written by an expert coach who perfectly manipulates intensity, frequency, exercise selection, and volume, will do nothing for someone who lacks patience. Impatience will dissolve any potential positive outcome that could be attained by intelligent program design.
Athletes and non-athletes alike will never get to where they want to be unless they're willing to fight tooth and nail, every single day, for years and years on end. If a client/athlete approaches me and is too impatient to be willing to progress through one step at a time, then I honestly can't really help them. I can't be the coach they need to take them from Point A to Point B unless they can actually understand that there is no magic pill.
I receive countless questions on a monthly basis through email, Facebook, and in-person meetings on "how can I lose this weight" or "how can I increase my vertical ten inches over the next month" or, my favorite, the good ol' "what is the best exercise I can do to make my pecs bigger?"
I've honestly boiled down my answer to:
"Eat whole, unprocessed foods. Pick up heavy things. Repeat this for years on end."
Sometimes this irritates people, but it's the truth. In fact, it makes training all the more enjoyable when you're expectations are realistic.
That's all for now...I don't think I really have a closing point, but I hope Ross's lesson to the young padawan in the beginning hits home for some of you. Years and years of hard work....well, let's all keep goin' then.