Friday, May 25, 2007

If there is no will, there is no way.

One of the things I've always told my boys was that one of the key principles in life was to train yourself to able to make yourself do things you didnt want to. If you cannot make yourself do what you do not want to do you cannot accomplish anything. If you can make yourself do what you seriously dont want to,but need to , you can move mountains.
All the important or morally correct things we need to do are hard to do. They require a force of will that is no longer regarded as vital to one's character and that's a shame. That force is discipline,which requires an act of will to be brought to bear. And discipline is just like a muscle; use it, challenge it and its gets stronger, bigger and can exert more force. Let it lie low and rest it gets weak and sallow and smaller. Much harder to get going in an emergency and capable of so much less than it's potential.
The gym , or more correctly, the Courage Corner, is such a critical place in peoples lives just for that reason. A safe, controlled atmosphere to practice ones physical discipline and watch it grow stronger and more alive after each workout.regardless of whether one can make the kitchen a courage corner of its own ,training, for just such a small amount of time and energy invested( as long as its consistent)can pay huge dividends. On many levels.
So many are so concerned with what I call the "Big Program". The perfect program design. First things first. What really matters is "Program Minimum", which to me is the minimal amount of days per week, minutes per day and number of exericses one will ABSOLUTELY, POSITIVELY commit to doing WITHOUT FAIL OR EXCUSE each week. Indefinitely.
That they know that even if the baby is sick and they had a shitty day at work and absolutely do not feel like training, they can FORCE themselves to do.
Thats the starting point. Once that is done then one can advance into more time and more technicalities.
AS I wrote in this months Hardstyle about the RKC as a Stand Alone program, doing just TGU's and Swings twice a week for 15 minutes sounds easy til both are done with the two pood and you are getting as many reps per set as you can. Do that twice a week without fail for a year and see how you feel. Hell just swing twice a week, as hard as you can that day, for 15 minutes and call me in a year. You will be transformed.
BUt if you get the latest and greatest 5 day a week program that promises to increase your strength or size some ridiculous amount in some ridiculously short period of time don't worry about it working or not because 99 out of 100 will not stick with it long enough to even start to get those gains.
Consistency is much more important than intensity. If consistency is maintained, intensity is right around the corner.

As far as not having time, I did MANY, MANY, MANY workouts at 4:45 am for years because that was the only time I could squeeze it in.Even when my kids were young, even when we were broke. Cause I knew that once I started missing it was all down hill from there. It just gets easier to skip as you get weaker. As your will gets weaker.
And knowing that JUST SHOWING UP is as much a part of the training as any weight that goes on the bar.That THAT ACT OF WILL is the key to you achieving whatever goals you have set for yourself.Cause you can't make any progress if you don't first get to the gym ,eh?
So even if you show up and leave you are still stronger than never getting started and staying on the couch.
When I am having problems getting going I always imagine one of my coaches or mentors waiting for me in the gym, getting ready to impune my manhood for being so damn weak. If Louie or Pavel were waiting to train I would not be dragging my ass no matter how early I got up.It used to be Arnold when I was a bodybuilder but times change eh?LOL.
As Louie would say, 'git er dun'.

And as Pavel would say, " it will make you a better man".And they are both right.


Royce said...

I wish I had understood this 15 years ago.

Mark Reifkind said...

hey, as long as you get it it's never too late.

Tom Shook, RKC said...

Well stated Rif. So many times it is the details and minutiae of a program that derail a person. Getting down to a 'program minimum"-whatever it may be-(in our cases using the KB) has to be key. I once heard a friend say that "a little bit of something is way better than a whole lot of nuthin". YUP!
With regard to will or drive, you are correct. It used to be a virtue, nowadays its usually just a punch line for a new sports drink commercial.
Good post! Have a good long weekend.

taikei said...

I read Richard Marcinko saying "Action is better than inaction". Probably the best refenrence I'm following.

Mark Reifkind said...

thanks Tom. I seem to see it all the time these days. So few can stay with any program long enough to even have a chance of making gains.While the entire time looking for a 'better/faster' program/exercise/set rep scheme.

there is a significant magnifier effect, I believe, that occurs from consistent training.your friend is right. A little bit done consistently is way better than a whole lot not done at all,lol!

One has to be willing to suffer to get what they want as well.that too used to be a virtue.
Tom your article on Ross boxing was great, nice job.

Tom Shook, RKC said...

I grew up in a house the extoled puritanical ideals, one of which was suffering in silence (I still have a hard time speaking up about some things LOL). I hear you bro. Anything worth having is worth working for. Sometimes it seems a bit cliche, but it really is true. the older I get, the less tolerance I have for excuses and BS, but the more respect I gain for the "quiet professionals" who go about getting the job done, often with little fanfare or even notice, just a quiet determination to put one foot in front of the other day after day. True wisdom in those words Mark. Thanks, and thanks for the feedback. I'm glad you liked the article.

Aikibudo said...

Wow! I think most of us need to hear this about once a month. Wow! I needed to hear it right now. I have been having a hard time getting back into a training groove since passing my RKC last month and I was up at 5 to get going this morning. After my recharge I read this and it will carry me for weeks for sure.

I am glad to see my son (17) finally taking an interest in physical culture. That old-fashioned term is hopefully making a comeback because being healthy and developing character go hand in hand and so much today seems to be about glam, glitz and moments of fame that the virtue of consistent, sincere hard work is only given nodding aquaintence. Too many lazy folks these days who want drive thru fitness or a plan of the week.

Truly, truly inspirational Rif!! Thanks much!

Brett Jones said...

Focus, Drive and Determination - you will is the way.

Great stuff Rif...

Mark Reifkind said...

tom, my household was just the opposite, where there was constant complaining about everything that went wrong and very little personal responsibility assumed for anything. I grew to detest that.
I too so admire the quiet professionals who do their job without much fanfare or excuses.especially when its hard or things go wrong. It is one of my goals to keep trying to get better at that aspect of my life and career.To be able to handle more, deal with more and complain less,lol!

You are welcome on the feeback although I doubt whether the powers that be will change the boxing rules eh? I still love to watch boxing;even more, suprisingly, since getting into MMA. Now I REALLY appreciate the skills of good boxers!

Mark Reifkind said...


glad you liked it and it helped. NOt unusaly for people to have a harder time right after a big,motivating event like the RKC. There is all that adrenaline and motivation right after but after the energy wanes a bit and the fanfare is down....
One thing I do religiously is WORK to keep the things the motivate me in my face ALL THE TIME. This can be videos, magazine, pictures books and articles about methods, people or events that KICK ME IN THE ASS and remind me not to be a pussy.
One must WORK at getting motivated, as much or more so than anything else.Keep that image of who you want to be in your mind as much as possible, and strive to get as close as possible as often as possible.
good luck.

Aikibudo said...

Thanks Rif,
I guess I'm on the right track 'cuz I do the exact same thimg. I have watched pavels DVDs about a doezn timee each, now I'm onto your blog, the DD forum, etc. I agree you need to keep finding ways to motivate yourself by seeking it out where ever you can find it.

For example, I got motivated by the Robins returning this spring. Those tough little buggers fly hundreds of miles to land on my crappy lawn to eat worms, dodging kids, cars, cats and hawks all the while. And they sing about it every morning! That's inspiration!

Franz Snideman said...


great post and very thought provoking. As strength coach Dan John says, most champions are built on "Punch the clock" workouts. Most champions don't always "feel motivated" for training, but they do it anywat. It ultimately comes down to being principle centered in your life and not listening to your feelings. The fact that most people listen to and allow their fleating emotional state to dictate the course of theif life is why people stay in "land of mediocrity." We all need to listen and apply this post Rif.


Dave said...

Preach it Brother Rif!

Mark Reifkind said...

Can I hear an AMEN?!