Strength Basics

Getting stronger, fitter, and healthier by sticking to the basics. It's not rocket science, it's doing the simple stuff the right way. Strength-Basics updates every Monday, plus extra posts during the week.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Work Ethic vs. Work Excuses

Today I got hit with, or heard from other trainer's clients, a variety of reasons for people to ease off:

- wrong shoes.
- it's hot.
- wrist hurts.
- very tired from previous activity.
- sprained ankle.

The amusing thing is, the person with the last one went all-out. It wasn't an excuse. It wasn't "I can't run, I've got the wrong shoes on and they hurt my feet." It wasn't "it's hot, I need longer rests." It was "I sprained my ankle, so I'm not sure I can do heavy single leg exercises today."

That guy with the sprained ankle set a pair of rep PRs on upper body exercises. He did lighter two-legged exercises and some one-legged band work that didn't require ankle flexion.

What made this stand out in my head was the difference between reactions to adversity. The most injured guy just dealt with the injury and trained around it. The others found any reason at all to avoid hard activities.

This isn't to say the other reasons were excuses - the wrong shoes would mean running was painful, and a wrist injury would make any crawling or pushups difficult. But the difference was the client's reaction - wrong shoes, no running, that's that. Compare and contrast with sprained ankle, no single-leg work, let's deadlift and I should be okay doing band leg work.

It's the emphasis on "cannot" versus "can." Or "I can do everything except X" instead of "I can't do X."

Which one shows a more positive mindset?

Which client are you going to be on, as the one who'll get the best long-term results?

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