Pop Quiz: What’s the main difference between you and an Olympic athlete?
Genetics? Drugs? Coaching? Facilities? Motivation?
Certainly all of these and more factor into the equation, but I’m convinced that the most significant point of difference is consistency.
Here’s a quick tutorial on human nature: When you start a new program, it’s fun initially because it’s NEW. After 3-4 weeks however, it gets old. So you Google something like: “massive size and strength training program,” which leads you to an article featuring a novel way of training, or perhaps some new training device you’ve never heard of. And compared to the hard work you’re doing now, it looks like fun. So you immediately abandon your former program for the new one. And 3-4 weeks from now, you’ll do it again. And again. And again.
The reason you never make any progress is because you never stick with something long enough for it to work. But if you visit the weightlifters (or gymnasts, or fencers, or whatever) at the Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, do you think they’re using plyos one month, then pilates the next, kettlebells the next, then EDT, next HITT, HSP, blah, blah, blah. NO! Olympic athletes do (relatively) the same thing for years on end. Obviously, trends gradually shift over the years- all training must have this type of flexibility that allows for the incorporation of better methods as they’re discovered.
Smart athletes learn to pick their battles: if you try to do everything… if you switch gears every month… you end up accomplishing nothing. Specialization is the key to progress. And the only way you can specialize is to be “OK” with ignoring a lot of exercises, philosophies, and trends, no matter how promising they may seem. If you think of yourself as a professional, or at least aspire to a professional training ethic, you must adopt selective ignorance as your way of life.