You and I know the real reason most people exercise is to feel better about themselves.
There’s nothing wrong with that at all. It’s our humanity. We all have a need to feel worthy.
When it comes to exercises that include core work, mobility training, stability stuff like that, we would all prefer to progress to the complex “fun” stuff – like something explosive, picking up something heavy, or jumping off a box – as quickly as we can. Somewhere in our minds, we believe that’s the kind of exercise that will make us feel better about ourselves – more worthy.
No one…wants to focus on the basics and fundamentals, first. And master them.
I remember when I was in 10th grade, taking Biology 101. Had I followed the track of most of my friends (who laughed at me because they were in the Physics class next door), I would have been farther along. I will admit I was a little embarrassed to not have gotten further along sooner I wanted to be taking Physics too. So that I could feel better about myself. There were reasons I was behind them, but at the time, those reasons didn’t matter very much.
Noted author, James Clear wrote an article a while back about how to stay focused and avoid getting bored when working toward your goals.
I’ve heard from a few athletes who say working on the basics is “boring.” So let me ask, is it really boredom? Or, is it that focusing on basics and fundamentals doesn’t make us feel very good about ourselves?
I don’t know, but I’d say those are good questions to ask.
Many runners worry about the details of their training whether it’s better to do 800s or mile repeats whether they should run long every week or every other week or even whether it’s time to get a different pair of shoes.
In my mind, you have to be REALLY good… for any of that to matter very much.
I guarantee that what matters more, is the boring work that will give you the durability to be able to sustain and reap the rewards of whatever workouts you decide to do. Building fitness that matters is never about one single workout. It’s about consistency over time – that’s what produces results.
A lot of athletes are afraid of the fundamentals they don’t have the guts to become great at them. When you strip all of the complexity away and simplify, there’s nothing to hide behind. You’re left with the basics and whether or not you’ve mastered them.
My Restoration and Foundation training system, which was born from years of practical experience and study (and I’ll add, flat-out works to help people improve), is about as basic and fundamental as it can get.
Done consistently and well (that is the key!), these “simple” movements produce amazing results.
It’s available for free to anyone willing to create an account right here on this site. 🙂
Everybody has the same basic body and needs, and we have to have the courage to train the fundamentals, the basics, at least 80% of the time. Sure, add some spice in there now and again, but focus on the basics.
-Well known strength and conditioning coach, Dan John
It’s hard to take a step back and work on something you think is basic. I get it. I’ve been there, trust me.
It takes a lot of guts – courage even – to recognize and see that the most important training we can do the 80% that will ultimately help us achieve what we want, are those fundamentals.
For example, why worry about what color or type your shoes are if your big toe is stuck and doesn’t move like it needs to? Or on the training front worrying about whether you should front or back squat when you can’t do a simple 1-leg bridge on the floor with absolutely perfect form?
My advice? Be like Mike. (Read the quote again that I shared earlier). 🙂
Without the fundamentals, complex training is – and will always be – useless.