Celebrate Progress

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Thursday March 6, 2014


Tricep Smash and Floss

Warm Up:

10 Bar Taps
10 Pushups
10 Knees to Elbow
10 V-Ups or Tuck Ups
20 Mountain Climbers

Gymnastics Strength:

4 Rounds:
10 Hollow/Arch Swings on High Rings
10 second Hanging L or Tuck sit on bar
5 Strict ring dips + 5 second support hold

Notes:  Set up boxes if needed to perform dips, 5 second hold is after each rep.  Focus on staying smooth and tight with the swings starting low and gradually increasing range of motion.  If you feel good, go for a muscle up!


For quality:
50 Push-ups using as few sets as possible and with perfect form
10-8-6-4-2 reps for quality:
Pistols, alternating
Strict pull-ups
50 Hollow rocks

Notes:  Find a challenging scale for the pistols and work towards greater range of motion. May perform Cossack squats as needed.  Use bands as needed for the strict pull ups.

Cool down:

20 Sit up to Straddle
Hold Pancake split, 2 minutes
20 Sit up to Pike
Hold Pike Stretch, 2 minutes


Screen Shot 2014-03-02 at 9.57.56 PM

To give some context to the above picture, in the top left frame I am getting absolutely crushed by 165 pounds on a PR snatch attempt in a competition during the Spring of 2012. Notice my super wide catch position, piss-poor hip mobility, feet rotated almost 180 degrees outwards indicating weak glutes, compromised overhead stability because of lack in scapular retraction and thoracic mobility…the 160 pound attempt (PR at the time) in the top right frame doesn’t look much better.

The 2013 Open further reinforced the fact that I had some major hurdles to overcome in the weightlifting and mobility departments. I went into it a few months after surgery on my leg and it showed me what I didn’t want to look at- everything was a weakness, but some things were worse than others. Then look at me in the bottom frame of the picture above at the Winter Shakedown. I am power snatching 175 pounds…for a double. I am thankful I was able to discover and address my weaknesses.

I am by no means a great lifter yet, but I am elated with the progress I have made every time I look at this picture. I still recognize how much I have to improve if I want to lift like McCoy. It seems like an insurmountable task. I remember the first time I walked into MDR he was snatching 100kg like it was an unloaded bar. I was blown away and intimidated. Now, 100kg is an attainable goal of mine that I will achieve within the year, but you can bet your eyes I will be celebrating every PR between now and then.

The point of this story is that it is too easy to be intimidated by the always large task of improving to a level of expertise in any skill. Especially when you compare yourself to others. The Open leaderboard doesn’t help. It is too easy to think “oh I suck” when you compare yourself to others. Ditch that mindset, start recording where you are now (if you haven’t already), set a goal, and adopt a behavior that is conducive to achieving that goal. Look back after 1 month, 6 months, 1 year and see how far you’ve come. Celebrate progress.

This week I challenge you to:

1)Only compare your current self to your old self, not others, for the remainder of the open. Celebrate improvement.

2)Write down the weaknesses the open exposes in a positive and actionable manner. For example “I will get better at double unders because I will ask a coach (or Causey) for help and practice once per week for 10 minutes on my own.”

Author: Matthew Walrath

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