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Be About It

CPC's Blog About Health and Wellness


Thursday, 5 / 26 / 16

Recently I wrote a blog on not being afraid to fail. Today I would like to build on that and talk about weaknesses. Too often we, and I am including myself, choose to work on what we are already good at. It’s easy, familiar and we enjoy working on and doing things we are already successful at. It is difficult to choose a weakness over a strength.

As a strength and conditioning coach it is something that I see often. I am going to use myself as an example because I too get caught up in working on my strengths rather than my weaknesses. Over the past two years there has been an exercise that has haunted me in the weight room…the power clean. It took me almost two years before I saw any progress in my clean. The reason? I chose to continually work on my strengths and ignored the obvious weaknesses in my technique and mobility. The clean is a very complex barbell movement, there are several phases, each being as important as the other to be successful. I thought by continuously attempting to power clean I would magically just get better at it.

Well I was wrong. Thanks to my friends and colleagues I was able to break down what was causing me to fail. For me mobility, or lack thereof, was a big contributor to my failure. I had known for a long time mobility was something I needed to work on but always chose to lift or play into my strengths before choosing to foam roll, stretch, and/or trigger point. By working on my mobility, I was able to break through and improve my power clean.

Now to this day I still need to do a better job with mobility, I am still nowhere near where I want and or need to be. My power clean still needs work, it’s better than it was but not great. I sometimes catch myself falling back into my old patterns of thinking. It is a constant battle, and one I need to work on. Now as a strength and conditioning coach it is important to help people overcome their weaknesses to find improvement. If you really want to improve your lifting, running, or just your overall athletic ability you need to step back and work on your weaknesses.

Babe Ruth (pretty good baseball player) said “You know the old saying about a chain and its weakest link. The same can be said in the chain of skills a man forges.” Weakness exist in every aspect of our lives, not just our athletic ability. If you want to continue to grow as a person it is important to work on turning weaknesses into strengths. A couple of days ago Michael Phelps, perhaps the greatest Olympian of all time, gave a pretty telling interview about some of his struggles over the past few years. He talks about his struggles with alcohol, family issues, and even his lack of will to swim. Imagine the greatest swimmer of all time not wanting to compete in the 2012 London games. Phelps hit rock bottom before he decided he was going to work on his weaknesses. Now a couple of months before the 16 summer games, Phelps is back and better than ever. He chose to step back, work on some things and now that is translating to the pool. He actually wants to train again and is posting some of his fastest times since 2009.

Maybe it’s time to turn some of your weaknesses into strengths….

TAGS: Goals, Performance, Weakness, Obstacles
Chris Wiltey