Ever Seen a Fat Guy Run a Five-Minute Mile?

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The Strength and Conditioning industry is full of characters whose names are generally synonymous with one particular message, way of thinking, or method. If you think about it, I’m sure you can come up with a few names and what you generally associate them with along those lines. While from a product standpoint, I am best known to the masses by way of my book “The Greyskull LP”, many have shared with me that my name, and the Greyskull name is synonymous to them with another, much simpler message:

I’m the “no bullshit” guy.

By this I mean that I don’t tout any one method of training, or training goal as the absolute truth, I’m not married to any particular training ideology, and I do not judge when it comes to a person’s training goals. Quite simply, where I shine is in helping a person determine the best course of action for accomplishing their objective, and assisting them in adopting the habitual patterns of action that result in the completion of their mission in the most efficient, and lifestyle-friendly manner (This is no doubt the result of the fact that I am more than a “one trick pony”, and am a Coach to clients on all aspects of personal success, not just the “easy” one of changing their bodies for the better).

This is a designation of which I am immensely proud.

Myself and those who have elected to train under the Greyskull flag are committed to one thing; producing results. So long as this is being accomplished, we as a whole care very little about the manner in which the positive outcome has been brought to light.

One observable trend that is grossly apparent when I work with individuals via Personal Coaching is that we, as human beings, tend to do those things that we like, or that we’re good at with regularity. The obvious flip side to that is that we neglect the things that we are not good at, or do not particularly enjoy (normally the two are a binary system of sorts meaning that one is true and exists because of the other).

This idea leads to deficiencies in one’s capabilities that, over time, are reflected in his or her physique, and eventually their overall health.

I know for a fact when talking to a guy who tells me that he is not happy with his upper-body development, that he probably is not a very strong bench presser.

Conversely, I know that a guy who tells me that he’s successfully added some mass over the last year, but just isn’t happy with his waistline that has also expanded probably would get winded running around the block.

A strategy adopted and promoted by many successful individuals in many walks of life for years has been to find those things that you are not good at, and get good at them. This is a great approach to a lot of things, though it is a bit general for many of the masses to effectively put into place since the perceived “pain” of taking the necessary action does not outweigh the “pleasure” that is enjoyed as a result (more on this pain/pleasure principle in an upcoming post).

This is where my approach of assisting a person in adopting daily habits and rituals comes in, and why it is so effective. If the tasks are made challenging, but doable, and increase in difficulty as your personal system adapts, it is possible, and outright inevitable barring an absolute absence of desire to change (ever tried training or coaching a family member to “help them out”?), for the actions to become a habit, and the results to begin to show.

In addition to the “basics” of daily work and habit creation, one can also enjoy a tremendous amount of progress in an area in which they wish to see improvement by working hard, and consistently, towards a single target, the completion of which would result in an outcome that they desire.

For instance, I titled this post “Ever Seen a Fat Guy Run a Five-Minute Mile” for the simple fact that, as I indicated, you won’t find a guy who is complaining about his body composition that can perform this feat.

Years ago I worked with a group of thirty something housewives when I was first getting my start in training others professionally. One day, after having enough of their bickering and fixating on scale weight and horrible fad diets, I told them that I would not train them anymore because it was clear that I did not have their trust.

They pleaded with me to take them on once again, and I agreed with the condition that they had to do as I say, and bring me their bathroom scales the next morning. They willingly complied, not wanting to lose their established morning training group, and showed up the following day, scales in hand.

That day we headed to the local high school track where I paired them up against each other and had them run 100 meter sprints. We collected diagnostic times for each, and the competition was already beginning to show. I told them that we would spend the next six-weeks preparing for a 100 meter showdown, and created a prize incentive for the winner.

In the weeks that followed, we ventured back and forth between the track and the crude, outdoor weight pile that I had set up at the one woman’s home. These women trained like sprinters, running lots of sprints and doing lots of heavy deadlifting and squatting.

When race day came around, they fought it out on the track like Pacino had just issued the halftime speech from “Any Given Sunday”. One woman won the competition, but they all enjoyed the hell out of the process, and felt very good about what they had accomplished.

The most interesting bit about it all however, was that, despite the fact that I hadn’t heard a peep out of any of them regarding their aesthetic concerns, petty diet minutia issues, or anything else during the six weeks, they showered me with an outpouring of happiness over the changes that had taken place in their bodies.

For six weeks they changed from a group of women focused on everything that would NOT improve their situation and achieve their one common goal of improving their body composition, to fiery beasts, hell-bent on edging out the next, and turning in their best possible 100 meter time on race day (If you enjoyed this riveting tale from my early days, you can find more like it, along with a ton of other awesome info, in my book “Success in Personal Training”– shameless plug over, now back to the article).

The message here is the same that is found in the stories of the men whom I challenge with submitting to me a video in four weeks demonstrating their improvement with the jump rope. I tell these guys, often who have little to no experience on a rope but have expressed to me that they want to look more “like a fighter” (Hear that guys? Now you know one of my tricks if you say some shit like that to me) that I want to see them, on video, doing criss-crosses, running in place, and various other “simple” rope skills by the end of the month.

Caught on to the trick yet?

These guys have to PRACTICE with the rope in order to make that video in four weeks. Guess what another common industry name for rope practice is?

If you said “conditioning work” you’re absolutely right.

These guys end up racking up serious time with the rope in their hands, and consequently end up with more time with the female body in their hands as a result.

So where do you want to make improvement, and what is something that you avoid (that would result in said improvement) that you can create as a single, performance target to be completed within a certain time frame?

I give these assignments out to clients routinely, and the results are excellent. I would have used “extraordinary” there, but that simply would not be an accurate term. It would be if you considered that making progress is sadly NOT ordinary for most that take on the challenge of training, particularly trying to find the one “right” method or diet, but it is very ordinary for results to come about from consistent action, conducive to the accomplishment of an objective, ┬átaken towards its completion.

So.. If you feel that you can identify with the “fat guy” designation, go hit your diagnostic today and drop me a line when the much more fit, handsome, and healthy you is closing in on your five-minute mile.

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