The other day I was in the middle of designing a program for one of my fitness classes. During that time, I was contemplating the exercise selection and the sequencing. I decided to intersperse challenging exercises with others that weren't too tough to handle.
Challenging exercises like Burpees, split jumps, Judo push-ups, inchworms/walkouts
...to name a few.
Once the class started, we went through our warm-up progressions and explained the exercise sequence & protocol.
These were the instructions that I presented:
"Here is a list of 10 exercises. Perform each exercise for 40 reps in sequence. Use as little rest as possible making sure that all reps are completed. Before you move on to your next exercise, keep in mind that you must finish all 40 reps. You will have 20-minutes to complete as many rounds as possible. Keep good form, no partial reps, work fast, work hard and be efficient in your quality of work!"
So there is was. The stage was set and it was time to unleash the beasts!
As the class started their 40-rep challenge, I saw beads of sweat start pouring down some furrowed brows. Sweat marks were becoming more evident on the backs of people's shirts. I'd hear huffing & puffing and the occasional grunts & growls to get through each rep.
There was no doubt that these guys were pushing it hard!
At the end of the 20-minutes, some lay there on the floor celebrating the fact that the challenge was over. Others were hunched over, hands on their knees as they caught their breath.
"Hey everyone. I know those 20-minutes weren't easy and I know most of you, if not all of you, are tired. I get it!", I told the class. Then came the best part (which Martin Rooney once said at a conference I attended which stuck with me). I then told the class, "Just because you're tired doesn't mean you have to look tired! So stand up, walk around and look like you're ready to conquer any obstacle that stands in your way!"
Speaking of obstacles, I then asked my class if they followed the instructions that I gave them in regards to the sequencing of exercises. To my surprise, half of the class came back & said that they skipped a few exercises in order to do the EASY ones first!
Are you kidding me?!
There was a big & logical reason why I told my class to go in sequence!
It's about more than just paying attention to detail & follow-through - both things that half the class missed out on!
Let's cut to the chase and get the point I'm trying to make.
Performing the exercises in sequence was a lesson to reinforce the following:
- To face the challenge of demanding/difficult exercises head-on without hesitation
- Understand that conquering the challenge of 40 reps would be possible by figuring out a plan of attack - 'a map of succession' as I call it
- Realize that obstacles (no matter how big or small) will come in many shapes and sizes
- Never underestimate your ability to succeed and overcome perceived limitations
- Doing something difficult & challenging will give you that experience so that you may do it more efficiently if it ever arises again
- Appreciate the fact that facing any challenge and/or obstacle is about living life in the real world
The key points above can be applied to many facets of our lives. As we aim to better our lives, mentally, physically, emotionally and spiritually, we must understand that we will face many challenges that will stand before us. Like a wall that stands tall, it's our duty & responsibility to find a way around it or go through it.
It's about breaking down barriers that holds us back from achieving our true potential to create & embrace great things!
If getting ahead in life is the game we play, how would you ever expect to move forward by doing the EASY
Whether it's getting a job promotion, buying a new home, starting up a new business, moving to a new location, asking out the girl of your dreams - all of these things aren't easy to do. But we ALWAYS
find a way to get these things done and reap the rewards of making the impossible possible!
Life is hard, no doubt! And it throws curveballs at us all the time.
However, there comes a time where we can seize the moment and 'conquer the challenge' before us. It's just a matter of bringing out the bats, having an offensive plan of attack, and hitting all of the curveballs out of the park!