Editor's Note – Today's article comes from SFG “Dome Of Strength” Candidate Jamie Snow (@amiejsnow). I've known Jamie for 2 years now and I've seen her go from a rep-chasing metabolic queen to a Strong Female who understands the principles of strength and how to use them to achieve the ideal physique. This girl is no joke and you'll be hearing a lot more about her in the years to come. – Chris
Ever wonder why you feel like you never do “enough” at the gym?
It wasn't until Chris asked me to write this piece did I come up with the answer and realize how much kettlebells have helped me grow since I was introduced to them only 6 months ago.
I read this book recently. It had nothing to do with lifting, but for some reason it resonated with the biggest lesson of my kettlebell adventure. The main message of the book is that we live in a “culture of scarcity.”
Doing MORE is stopping you from reaching your goals – Here's why
Day in and day out we wake up thinking about what we don't have, didn't do, or didn't get enough of. In the gym, for myself, this translates into: I didn't sweat enough. I didn't work hard enough, I didn't work out enough this week.
I'm not skinny enough. I'm not strong enough. I'm not smart enough. And did I mention, I didn't get enough sleep, and don't have enough time or energy to ever be enough of any of those things? (Can ya tell I have a few insecurities of my own?! Sheesh.)
What the author pointed out though, was that opposite of “not enough” isn't abundance. The opposite of “not enough” is simply “enough”!
It seems so simple, but it's exactly why I was drawn so strongly to the kettlebells.
When I train kettlebells, I “practice” a skill – I don't “workout”. I do just enough, never more than needed.
“Enough” is obviously different for everyone, but when training a skill (like shooting a gun), more isn't always better and learning to stop at “enough” is what will get you the furthest long term.
As with any lifting, you can overtrain to negative effects but for some reason it had never hit home until I started training with kettlebells and started “practicing”.
Going to the gym to “practice” has taught me to be genuinely be happy stopping with whatever I've done on a given day because I know I've done what was needed – not because I've burned myself out, but because I still actually have something left in me.
What does “enough” look like for me?
“Enough” is starting to lose form on swings and stopping – even though I haven't finished my “To Do” number of reps.
“Enough” is getting in my main lift and calling it a day – even though the voice in my head is telling me I should be doing more – because I'm exhausted and have a long week ahead of me.
“Enough” is not doing extra cardio because I'm feeling “fat” today – because I know it will interfere with my lifting tomorrow.
“Enough” is only doing whats programmed for me and no more – because I know it'll feel worse to be injured or sick than feeling like I didn't sweat enough.
“Enough” is not letting my ego get in the way of my goals.
“Enough” is not letting my ego get in the way of my goals. – Jamie Snow | Tweet it!
So what should I do instead of “working out”?
I'm at a point now where I appreciate practice instead of “chasing the burn” as a sign of success.
Practicing over grinding has kept me injury free. I have more energy day to day. I sleep better. The “practice” mindset has allowed me to clear my head of training “shoulds” and be more self appreciative. Now every time I train, I'm fully engaged and excited.
I've learning that doing all my swings with good form is far better than doing MORE with bad form. There's simply no point being able to do more of “bad”.
If you have bad technique and you swing a kettlebell a hundred times, all you're going to get good at is swinging a kettlebell really badly.
Instead, carefully craft each rep – with the intention of making each one better and better – not just doing more. The only way to get better is to do better.
Knowing that practice is key and doing just enough IS enough has been a breakthrough in my training. I still want to look good and be thin. I still want to feel like I've kicked ass, but this new mindset has put me on the healthiest track to do so.
Okay, of course there's still days I go into the gym with the goal of kicking my own ass and loving it – but by focusing most of my days on practice, I'm much more prepared to give it my all on “kick ass” days.
But here's the best thing – even though all I strive to do is enough, I have taken my previous personal best “belted” deadlift and turned it into a BELTLESS double! And I'm STILL getting stronger – my goal of 300lbs is finally just around the corner! – Yay 🙂
So I'm going to “practice” my way into the best me ever and have fun learning some awesome new skills along the way. 2014 is going to be MY year and I know falling in love with kettlebells is definitely gonna be a big part of that!
How about you?
I challenge you to stop “working out” and start “practicing”.
How has “practicing” changed how you workout? What results did you get?
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In the last 6 months, Jamie (@aimejsnow) was formally introduced to the art of kettlebells and has fallen in love with them. She's currently training for her Strongfirst kettlebell certification in April of this year. At 23, Jamie founded her personal training company Be Light, Lift Heavy and promotes the idea that women can be strong, be healthy, AND look better than ever doing it! She proudly boasts a 300lb Deadlift but still has room for improvement in her strict presses. As she says though, “that's why we practice.”