We live in such a fast-paced world today that patience and persistence is becoming less and less common. Instant gratification is in, waiting for things is out. In many ways, this speed can be an advantage, and we’re lucky to live in these modern times. Unfortunately, it seems to breed contempt for the slow things; it’s hard to embrace the waiting and, often, the struggle that comes with it.
Good things take time, and good things take work; usually they take a lot of work. It’s frustrating to desire technical proficiency in a lot of the movements we do at BlackBox only to be abruptly hit with the reality that it takes a very long time to get good at them (longer for some people than others). Who doesn’t want to be good at pull ups? Snatches? Turkish get ups? Kettlebell cleans? They’re all impressive when done well. On top of that, everyone has different areas of strengths and past experiences that will make some exercises easier than others.
This wide variety of experience is why we have progressions and why we spend a lot of time evaluating how you move early on in our Fundamentals program; correct movement patterns are imperative to your long-term health. With technical barbell work like the snatch and the clean & jerk it’s especially important that you build the movements piece-by-piece. A stable foundation will make all the difference when the pieces are finally put together. This building block approach can seem pointless when you feel like you’re just doing the same thing over and over and don’t seem to be getting any better, but trust us — it will all come together and it will be worth it.
But the story doesn’t end when you finally master that one thing you’ve spent so much time trying do right, even just once. That’s because — SURPRISE! — you’ll never truly master it; we all know there’s no such thing as perfection. There will always be pieces that need to be pulled out, re-examined, re-worked, and done over and over again. Most of our weightlifters are all too familiar with this phenomenon: just when the jerk starts feeling right, the footwork starts getting weird, or when the pulls become smooth as butter, the turn over becomes a disaster, or something like that. The thing is, if you want something to last, you can’t do it occasionally or without purpose. The results won’t lie; put in the amount of attention and work that you want the result to reflect.
Everything we do in the gym is a process, so you won’t find any get-fit-quick schemes here. People don’t come to us because they want to do the same things they’ve always done (and yet somehow never got the results they wanted); they know change is needed and that we can provide that, usually by customizing movements or workouts around your abilities, goals, and weaknesses.
So maybe you don’t care that much about making your clean and jerk the most efficient and beautiful movement ever. Maybe you just want to get stronger and faster, or you want to lose weight, or to be able to play on the floor with your grandkids, but one thing that these goals all have in common is that they require small, sustainable changes over time. They require the building blocks that create a strong foundation, resulting in a metaphorical building that lasts throughout time.