Sunday, October 07, 2007

Punch the Clock Workouts

" Not all workouts have to look like a scene from "Pumping Iron." In fact, I often argue that these moderate workouts...the punch the clock workouts...are the ones that make champions. Hell, everyone is willing to work hard the week of the State Championship: I think what separates champions is the willingness to just get "them"...the"-Dan John

I have to agree with Dan John. For so many of us we think that we have to leave our guts on the floor every workout. Nothing could be further from the truth. As much as I love the old ROCKY movies, I think in a way they have prolonged the myth that a champion athlete always pushing the envelope so hard that he pukes every workout and is not satisfied unless he is excruciating pain from his training. Unfortunately I think all of us (women to) our guilty of this type of mentality. When you are younger and can get away with longer training sessions and to be honest, can get away (at least short term wise) with BONE HEAD TRAINING principles.

What really matters as Dan John says is consistently "SHOWING UP" and just getting in the training. Now that doesn't mean that you are not focused and motivated, it just means that you realize that the ebb and flow of life dictates that their will be periods of time when you are on the mountain top, full of energy, ready to conquer the world. It also means that there will be times when you are not on the mountain top and rather are in the valley and have less energy and strength. These are the times when (to quote Senior RKC Brett Jones) you develop DEEP INNER STRENGTH. When things are not going as well as you had planned is when you are vulnerable to losing heart and giving up. But just as the farmer must prune and cut back the branches of the trees, bushes and vines in order to allow a more plentiful harvest the following season, we must allow the "valley experience" to prune us of the dead branches in our own lives that our hindering us and holding us back.

So where am I going with all of this? If we can learn to change our perspective on training for longetivity and health, rather than ego and short term results, I know the ride and journey can be that much more fruitful. By applying the following principles we can sustain progress for a lifetime rather than a season.

#1 Think Long Term

If I had only applied this earlier in my career I would have saved myself alot of suffering in the terms of disc herniations, elbow probelms, wrist problems and sickness. It is so easy to think short term and not climb up the tallest tree in the forest to see where we are headed. By taking the long term view we can stop doing things that are destructive and harmful to our bodies and souls and set course in a healthier direction. Unfortunately when you are young you think you know it all. When you get older you realize that the more you learn how LITTLE you really do know. I may regret saying this in many years, but I am so glad to be out of my younger years. There is no substitute for WISDOM gained from life experience. I think if we knew then what we know now we would do many things differently. On the contrary that is how we learn.

#2 Just Show Up

Like Dan John says, just show up and get the work in. It doesn't alwalys have to be a PR session, and usually, especially the stronger you get, those PR sessions will be less, although more enjoyable. Consistently focusing on a motor quality like speed, strength, or flexibility requires years of focused effort and dilliegent consistency. If you are consistently focusing on whatever you goal is, the day will come when you are going to be amazed and how far you have come.

#3 Quality over Quantity

I am speaking to the choir here. Recently Geoff Neupert talked about the immense difference between training for QUALITATIVELY VS. QUANTITATIVELY. Long term all that really matters in the quality of your training session, or can we call them PRACTICE sessions. I for one have learned this one the hard way. Much better to focus on doing less things better and than more things mediocre. And this applies to all aspects of life.

#4 Be GROWTH oriented over GOAL oriented

This may be the most important principle for me. Have you ever reached a goal you had been trying to achieve for a long time, and then when you achieved you felt empty? Well you were empty because after you acheived the goal, it was over, done, finished. I know that has happened to me. One of the best pieces of advice I ever heard was from Leadership expert John Maxwell who said be a GROWTH DRIVEN PERSON, not a goal oriented person. A growth dirven person will always be striving to grow, learn, apply and mature for his whole life. There is no finish line in life. Often the goal oriented person has a finish line and once they achieve their goals, their motivation and drive to succeed is over because they met their goals. This leads to emptiness. If your goal is growth, their is never a finish line because your goal is always to grow.

Anyway, just some thoughts I wanted to get down on paper.

Training on Saturday - RKC Snatch Test w/24kg - 30L/31R


Howie Brewer said...

Very good perspective on things Franz. I fall into the same category, if I only knew then, what I know now. Funny things is, as much as I try to pass on some of that knowledge to the "younger generation", most (but not all) still let their egos rule their behavior and follow the "old" mindset.

Franz Snideman said...


yeah, it's unreal how we change as we get older. And the younger generation, what are we gonna do with them? :)

We were once their age, and we had similar attitudes. I guess that is where GRACE comes in, huh?

fawn said...

Excellent message Franz! I am a huge fan of Dan John... I love the point you make for training for health, not just ego.

Anonymous said...

Amazing blog, Franz! I agree and like how you broke down the principles of true training success! Nicely done!

(oh btw, I-Phase is in Dallas next Wednesday)

Franz Snideman said...

Thanks Fawn. Dan John is amazing. His training ideas are raw and simple, which I like! He takes the confusion out of training!

Franz Snideman said...


thanks for the remarks. Good luck at the I-phase, I know you will learn alot!

jen-shaktifit said...

Franz, you are wise (ol' man! ;)

The greastest thing about aging is that we not only look at our physical but our spiritual.

"we the have body and we have the soul.
Phisical fitness and spirituality must go together. It is like having two legs. With one leg I cannot walk; I need two legs to reach my destination."
-Sri Chinmoy

There is never a "goal" with spirituality, only GROWTH. More people are beginning to understand that in all of life.


Franz Snideman said...


Nice quote and great insight!