As In Training as in Life: Strenghten the Weak Link!
As in Training as in Life: Strengthen the Weak Link!
World Champion Athlete and Powerlifter
World Record Holder
Guinness World Record Holder and World Champion
State, National, and World Hall of Fame Inductee
Motivational Speaker and Author
Division One Strength Coach
Last year, I was interviewed on a nationally televised show and the question
came up; “Bill, why do so many New Year’s resolutions fail?” Before I give my
answer, you may be thinking what does this have to do my training and why
should I continue reading this? Well, I can assure you that this does directly
connect to you as a person, your training, and to your life in general and I can
almost promise that if you continue on, you’ll have at least a few take-aways. So
my answer was that New Year’s resolutions are almost always made while being
in a positive emotional state, and although this is a great start, it doesn’t address
the weakness that most people have. Although the resolutions are made with
sincerity and conviction, those making them usually fail to take into account a
plan for when that positive emotional state is no longer present--I can assure you
that there will come a time when it won’t be. Why? Because emotions, for better
or worse, never last. Think of it this way, no one can laugh or cry indefinitely.
Emotional peaks take too much of a toll on the central nervous system (CNS)
and therefore will, at some point, come to an end and this is the problem with
resolutions made in this state.
Sooner or later and no matter how motivated you are today, getting up at 4:30 in
the morning to train is going to suck. Why, because emotions don’t last. So why
do you still get up and train at 4:30? The answer is discipline. Discipline is the
ability to do and execute what you must when you least want to. In other words,
you are overriding the impulse to stay in a comfortable bed and pursue a path
less traveled called excellence! Discipline is the answer--not motivation! So,
how does this connect to your personalized training and mission in life? On a
slightly deeper level, most resolutions fail because those making them never
managed to address the weak areas in their life and as it applies here, it’s
discipline! Pursuing excellence is always built on improvement, but if you never
address the weakest areas of your person, you will always be at the mercy of
that very thing and this will eventually sabotage the mission and short circuit your
potential. Let’s apply this concept to a powerlifting scenario.
At the request of her coach, I was training a lacrosse player who was trying to
increase her bench press. As reported to me, “We have tried every routine out
there and we aren’t seeing the results.” She was not new to strength training so
she had passed that period of “grace strength.” In other words, her CNS had
sufficiently adapted to the movements and the resistance so that she no longer
saw gains by default. She was now at the next level where programming would
have to be built around her--not strengths-- but--weaknesses. Yes, just as in life,
if you don’t address your weaknesses, you will always be limited by them.
Regarding her bench press, I asked her to warm up to approximately 80% of her
one rep maximum and begin with very strict repetitions and I would inform when
to rack the bar. To be clear, I didn’t choose the 80% resistance randomly and
although the rep scheme was to be determined, that was also requested with a
purpose. So what was I looking for? I wanted to see the point in the movement
where the bar slowed! Why? Because that would tell me where her relative
weakness was and once identified, I could build a plan to correct it and move her
forward on the path to excellence. To go a little further, the bar moved slowly off
the chest, but accelerated at the half-way point. My conclusion was that her pecs
and delts were weaker than her triceps. So the prescription wouldn’t necessarily
be more tricep work, it would be movements engineered toward the pecs and
delts--stability ball presses, plate raises, etc. It’s really not that complicated. As
in training as in life, identify your weaknesses and correct them. Once the
weakest link becomes stronger, the entire chain does too!
Note: This article and all of its contents, intellectual and otherwise, with the
exception of the Guinness World Records logo, are copyrighted and are the sole
property of the author, Bill Clark, and may not be distributed or copied, for any
purpose, without prior written consent!
Author: By Bill Clark | Created: Sun Mar 21 18:16:47 GMT 2021 | Last Updated: Sun Mar 21 18:17:49 GMT 2021