One of the biggest mistakes I see many beginners, novices and even veterans make is trying to master Van Halen’s Eruption guitar solo before mastering the scales…I know, what does this have to do with fitness?  I will explain but first if there is anyone reading this that is unfamiliar with Eruption please Google it now for extreme guitargasm.  You’re welcome.

The obvious analogy here is failing to master the basics or disregarding the fundamentals before moving on to the next exciting program or cool new exercise, oh look something shiny!

Heck, I’m even guilty of this myself and found myself quite humbled just yesterday as I decided to do some Turkish Get-ups then throw in some planks at the end for shits and giggles.  There were no shits and hardly any giggles.  The get-ups were challenging with a 12kg kettlebell and then 20 seconds into a plank I was shaking like a leaf.

Wait, what?  Less than a year ago I was able to tame the 48kg (105lbs) get-up.  I also consider a 400lb deadlift to be a walk in the park so how could I get torched doing a bodyweight plank?

It was a very humbling experience to say the least.

Admittedly, I can’t remember the last time that I included regular ol’ planks in my programming and instead rely on squats, deadlifts and pull-ups as well as ab-wheel rollouts for my ‘core’ work.  I obviously overestimated the value of the big lifts and underestimated the fundamentals.

The next step for me is to take a step backwards which in my opinion is one of the hardest things for anyone to do.  One thing I ask many of my new clients who already have some experience with lifting and training is whether or not they are willing to go back and (re)master the basics (the way I coach them of course).

Sometimes this is what it takes to move forward and go from good to great.

So for me, for now, going back and focusing on some of the fundamentals will yield a much better result than dominating a 500lb deadlift.  There will, however, be plenty of time for that later! 😉


Written by Steve