Determination + Focus = Kettlebell Success

Yesterday is over. Yeah, it was a tough workout. But let’s not dwell on what’s past. It’s over and done with. I don’t know if I was tired from painting all day or what, but I was disappointed with the effort I needed to get through the workout.

As I thought about it last night, I realized that I spent a good portion of the day thinking about how tough 50 reps was going to be. I knew I could do them, but I knew they were going to hurt, too. So even though not succeeding was not an option, there was still this little voice, my saboteur, as my wife, the life coach says, trying his best to defeat me. The saboteur doesn’t like change. His (or her) job is to make sure that nothing changes, everything remains the status quo. So why venture into the unknown?

The saboteur says:

“Why try to succeed? You’ll probably fail, and even if you do succeed, it won’t matter anyway.”

“C’mon, you can take tonight off and relax. Think about it tomorrow. What’s the rush?”

“If you try to get 50 reps and only get 44, you’ve failed. Do you want to be a failure? If you don’t try, you won’t fail! Therefore, you’ve succeeded!”

Succeeded? Not quite. Maybe by the saboteur’s standards. But remember, the status quo is a known quantity. Moving beyond the status quo, outside the comfort zone, well that’s an unknown quantity and that’s a scary place…for the saboteur.

So what’s the answer? Confront the saboteur. Ask yourself, what’s the worse thing that could happen if I try this? And then ask yourself if you’re strong enough to try it anyway.

For instance: If I try to get 50 swings and only get 44, what have I lost? If I hadn’t done any, I’d have none of the benefits of the exercise at all, zero, nada.

But if I try and get 44, then I’ve still got the benefits of having hit 4 more than last week’s 40. And maybe if I get to 44 and notice my son struggling as well, I try harder to get to 45, because I want him to develop a “don’t quit” attitude and I want to lead by example. And then maybe I find that if I readjust my grip at the top of the swing, I can hang on for another rep and hit 46. And, hold on, that might just work, 47. Hell, I’m almost at 50! I can get three more! Then you do the same thing and shout out “Two more!” as you hit 48. Your saboteur is nowhere to be found now. You are outside of your head and focused on making those last two reps…49, 50! That’s it! That’s success!

So what does this have to do with Tuesday’s Turkish Get-Up workout? When I woke up today, I heard that little saboteur voice starting to creep back in. Thursday’s coming. 50 reps again. Remember how hard it was before? I’m not sure you can do that again.

Really? B.S.! I’m not thinking about Thursday. That’s two days away. Today’s for get-ups. I can smoke those. In fact, after getting a test single with my 32 KG in the get-up the other day, I decided I’d use my 28 KG for get-ups today. That’s only an 8 lb. jump. I know I can get 5-6 with the 24 KG, and maybe even 7 if I really push myself. But I figured the 28 KG would provide a little more resistance and help build my strength, rather than force myself to work faster and possibly see my form deteriorate.

I spent most of the day thinking about how I was going to use the 28 for my get-ups. As I went through the motions of my workday, I saw myself going through the different phases of the lift and saw myself completing at least 5 reps.

When I got home, I couldn’t wait to grab the bell and get started. As soon as I picked up the bell, however, guess who showed up? Whoa, that’s a little heavier than I remember. Isn’t that grip thicker than your other bells too? Can you really get 5? 5’s a lot. Maybe you should stay on the safe side and stick with the 24. You know you can do the 24 for 5 reps.

Hold up. Negative thinking produces negative results. I can do this. What’s the big deal if I only get 3 or 4? I’ve still succeeded by moving up in weight and practicing good form. So shut-up already and get to it!

We went five rounds for our warm-ups, rested about 2 minutes then hit the get-ups. My son, C., hit 10 reps R and 9 reps L with his 16 KG. My wife, V., hit 8 reps per side with her 9 KG. And I got 6 reps per side with my 28 KG. Once I got on the floor and got the bell in position I was in the groove. It wasn’t easy by any means. And I was drenched in sweat when I was done. But that little voice was nowhere to heard.

50 rep sets on Thursday again? I’m ready!

Have you got a kettlebell yet? Need another? Maybe one a little heavier because you’re stronger in one exercise versus another? Well now’s the time to get one or two more with your tax “rebate”.  The Art of Strength offers a great kettlebell made in the United States that’s one of the best tools you can use to meet your fitness goals!

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