Over the past few weeks I’ve been getting a big lesson in the importance of consistency.
You see, I’ve got two different size handles for my pull ups. I have normal size handles and I also have some super fat grips that I use once in a while to really challenge my grip strength.
Grip strength has always been a bit of an elusive goal of mine. Some years ago, a buddy and I spent a winter doing indoor rock climbing 2-3 times a week. By the end of the season, my forearms were massive and my grip was like a vice. I loved it!
For one reason or another, we fell out of rock climbing. Since then, I’ve been longing for when my arms looked like mechanical pistons and my grip could crush ice.
So that’s why I had the “fatty grips” for my pull ups. Only thing was, I wasn’t getting anywhere with them. Sure I was using them, but what I was missing was consistency. While I was using them, I was only using them here and there.
Now my grip strength is improving by leaps and bounds. The sole reason is because I took the normal grips and packed them away. Now the fatty grips are the one and only grip I use. Each and every exercise I do on my straps is working my grip without exception.
In our fitness culture we have 101 different exercises for every muscle fiber in the body. All of this variety can create a lot of wandering around in circles. Just because you’re doing something new and different doesn’t always mean your headed in the right direction.
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again; I’ve never met any high level athlete or fitness buff who does not focus on the basics. All of the elite fitness performers I know focus on the basics and make it a point to master the crap out of them. They learn everything they can about the most simple moves and look to squeeze every ounce of potential from them.
This is one of the reasons why my fitness level jumped up so much when I focused on calisthenics. Every workout had only a selection of 4-5 different exercises to chose from. Push ups and pull ups were the order of the day for my upper body. Squats and lunges for the lower body and so on.
Because I was so focused on the basics, I had no where to go but up. As a consequence, I got really strong and capable in a relatively short period of time. I’m still progressing, not through doing different exercises but through doing what I already do better.
So focus on the basics and if there is something you want to improve upon, make a point to work on it as much during the week as possible. Break free of the 3 days on 2 days off workout routines. If push ups are your thing work on them every day. If you’re serious about improving your core strength then work on it every workout. Better yet, keep your exercises ground based like full body calisthenics. That way your core is use for almost every workout.
Let me know if you have any questions or concerns.
Now If you’ll excuse me, there is a stubborn lid on a jar of pickles I have to bend to my will. ;P