Are you Flexible Enough?

by Johnny Pain

Flexibility is an often-used word in the strength and conditioning world. It’s meaning however in that context normally has to do with one’s ability to move their body through certain ranges of motion. In my practice I use the term frequently in a different context; to describe one’s ability to adjust their plan of attack based on feedback that they are receiving. This is a critical component in the success puzzle.

In my last article “Are We Clear?!” I talked about the importance of clarity of purpose; of having a crystal clear image of what the desired outcome of your efforts was. That is the all-important first step to getting what you want, namely:

Know what you want.

Once you have a hard target to work towards, it is critical to understand that your initial plan of attack more than likely will have an expiration date on it. By this I mean that it will be important to adjust your methods and your approach as you go based on what results you are producing.

Now understand that if you set your standard, which we define as the minimum that you are comfortable with, too low, you will probably not need to adjust much in order to get what you want.

For instance, if you set a goal of squatting 225 lbs with a starting squat of 135 lbs you could achieve that waypoint using virtually any program of strength training that included barbell squatting even once per week in relatively short order. There would be little need for flexibility in your approach since what you are asking of yourself is so minute.

Now imagine you set a target of a 550 lb squat instead. Chances are you will need to change a thing or two along the way. This is not always a result of a need for some new physiological stimulus, but more often from a need for something new and exciting that you can mentally get behind.

In either case, hitting a wall and bouncing off is not acceptable. Walls are meant to keep people out, and that is what they do to people who lack the tenacity, focus, and shear unwillingness to be ordinary to either scale them or break them down.

If you really are thinking on a large enough scale, most anything that you desire you will “fail” to accomplish at some point. These “failures” of course will simply be lessons, and will come to you freely and willingly in the forms of injuries, break-ups, financial disasters, and various other calamities. Derive from them their effective message; learn that you did not fail, but rather produced a result different than what you intended, and arm yourself with the newfound knowledge necessary to beast your way past another 11% of the population of the world in your next push.

Flexibility in your plan of attack is one of the key points taught in my Blueprint to Beast seminars. These ideas will be discussed at length in my upcoming book of the same title, and is also a significant part of the message conveyed in many of the consultations that I conduct with clients around the world.

Those who learn how to first create for themselves a seemingly unattainable standard, and then demonstrate flexibility guided by faith in their own stubborn desire to be great, always produce results that others simply do not.

There are many more key components to the overall science of success, but understanding how important it is to know what you want, and then to be Chinese gymnast flexible in your approach to getting there is a hell of a start.

I’ll leave you with the kicker:

If you install the program right the first time in terms of establishing the standard, you will be guided by the subconscious mind and will make the necessary decisions seemingly as if aided by some unexplainable force.

Doubt me? That’s cool, many do. It sounds new-agey, I know.

Guess what though, people that live the life you want to be living right now got there by doing these very things whether they were consciously aware or not.

Stretch bitches. Get flexible.


Johnny Pain is the man behind as well as the East Coast’s notorious Greyskull Barbell Club and several other ventures. He is a lifestyle design coach and consultant, and is the author of several books on subjects pertaining to strength and conditioning. He can be found comically entertaining questions on his Q and A forum at or can be reached for consultations, training seminars, or speaking engagements at

Also, you can follow him on Twitter: @thejohnnypain



3 Responses

  1. Butch

    JP – When are you planning another “B-to-B” seminar beyond July 14? I can’t get there that day due to work commitments.

    June 27, 2012 at 9:55 pm

  2. CM

    When is the Blueprint to Beat book likely to be out mate?

    Also do your hardback books ship to the UK?

    Cheers for all you do.



    October 13, 2012 at 11:45 am

    • Blueprint to Beast will more than likely release in January or February of 2013. Seminars will resume after that in a different format.

      I do ship hardcopies to the UK, but you will get your book much quicker if you buy from Amazon. Currently all of my titles with the exception of Mastodon are available on there. (as will be Mastodon in a few days).

      October 14, 2012 at 7:03 pm

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