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Coach Mark Discusses Sweating the Details

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Coach Mark Discusses Sweating the Details


“It’s the Little Things that kill”

For my 1st attempt at a blog post I thought I would start small.  Like many of my daily thoughts often do, this lead me to think of a particular 90’s song lyric, but I’ll get to that later.  I don’t want this to be a negative rant, but rather insight on a few issues I’ve witnessed and committed myself.


The little things can have major consequences.  In my full-time job away from Ktown, there are little things that can kill, but I’ll save that for a later blog post.  While a bit extreme to say little things can “kill” you at the gym; they can most certainly be very detrimental.  Most of you have probably heard the old adage by W. Clement Stone, “big doors swing on little hinges.”  This can hold true in many facets of life, and, in many different ways, with your time in the gym.  Small things can have a large impact; both mentally and in more tangible examples like lifts.

So, what are some little things?  The list can be LONG and will vary widely from person to person given the situations including listening, trust, consistency, attitude, etc.  Some little things are just that, LITTLE and you should try to practice “Don’t sweat the small stuff,” but some stuff you should #sweatangels about.  For instance, you should change the little things when it could be detrimental to personal improvement or to your safety or the safety of those around you.  You don’t have to worry if your socks don’t match or your hair didn’t get perfectly put into place, because although we’re not Planet Fitness, there are some things that are within the parameters of a judgment free zone… sometimes.  If you just throw a kettlebell (or anything for that matter) haphazardly, consistently practicing a complex movement poorly, not listening in class to the coaches or not being mentally prepared for a lift or workout, these can all be bad news bears.

Sequence during movements (lifting, rowing, etc.):  If you’re off a little in some things, you can probably get by with it.  But in some things, a small error or miscue can be detrimental.  Yes, we will all fail a lift at some point and we each need to be OK with that, but that doesn’t mean we keep doing the wrong thing.  We practice, seek the advice of a friend or coach and try to improve.  Compound those errors and you can have a major mess on your hands.  Take the sequence of any Olympic lift or, my favorite to pick apart, proper sequence while rowing. Leg, trunk, arm, then reverse.  Yes rowing is more than just that, but if you lack the coordination to get the sequence down, practice.  Ask a coach for pointers and then try to practice and apply those in hopes of improving and getting a little more comfortable on that Erg for the next 2K Row test.

Why SO many reps?!?  Do it until you can’t forget it, but know that there’s always room for improvement.  Look at the best Olympic athletes (not just lifters).  Just because they win a gold medal doesn’t mean they have mastered their skill.  They still practice to better themselves.  While we’re not all top echelon athletes, we should practice as such and be mentally prepared, visualizing the lift and trying to perfect the movement in all capacities.  Control your breathing, progress at your own rate and be aware of your body, etc.  Get your mind right and be present in each rep as they will add up to big lifts, better technique, and safer lifting.

WARM UP!  That’s right, I said it!  As little as this may seem sometimes, it’s kind of a big deal.  I’m just as guilty of getting to class at the last minute with zero time to warm-up, but I’m trying to change.

Clip your bars:  We’ve all been there.  Going through some crazy EMOM or lifting session and the thought crosses our mind “I don’t need to clip this bar” right?  If you said no you’re probably lying.  Regardless, clipping is important.

Don’t drop KBs or empty Barbells: Just like clipping your bars, we’ve all heard it and read about it multiple times. AND we’ve all been guilty of dropping something from a height we aren’t supposed to.  Like an empty barbell from almost overhead in the middle of those wonderful thrusters of Jackie.  We all need to practice the little things like being aware of personal space, care for equipment and people around us, and situational awareness.  These little things add up to a safer, happier place with better equipment, especially in a large class with a lot of moving parts.

In conclusion, remember the little things add up.  The previous examples given here are just the tip of the iceberg.  What are some of your little things you want or need to change?  Share them in the comments below, or with a friend.  We all have room for improvement.  If you have questions about technique, or anything else for that matter, then speak up and ask a coach.  That is what we are here for and we WANT TO help you. We want to offer little tips, often, that add up to great progress and good practices in the gym.  Most importantly have fun and be safe.





Enjoy this lil 90s music video nugget:

By | 2017-04-25T14:38:07+00:00 January 19th, 2015|Uncategorized|1 Comment

One Comment

  1. Mumps January 21, 2015 at 10:07 am

    Teach me how to Dougie, Mark! I mean row. I need help with my rowing. Please and thank you!

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