One of the best feelings in the world is getting a random message from a past athlete or client and updating you on his/her progress. To know that you gave basic fundamentals on exercises and techniques and to see them take it to another level even after you are no longer there to coach, is hands down a moment when you know what you are doing is right.
I met Marvin onboard the USS HARRY S TRUMAN during Operation Inherent Resolve 2015-2016. Each day I would hold 3 “Functional Fitness” classes in the hangar bay, with participants ranging from 12-35. He didn’t really stick out to me at the beginning, but I would say about a quarter of the way into it I started to get to know him and remembered him as one of the top sailors in my class. He pushed hard during class and never questioned me when I told him what to do.
I think at some point when we all begin to workout and do unfamiliar movements, we question our ability to perform… and then at some point something mentally and physically just clicks (that ah-ha moment) and we soar from there. I remember that moment for Marvin when he started to understand how to snatch and squat clean. He wanted to fine tune every movement, every pull, every muscle used. He began to show up 15 minutes early before class to perfect double-unders and would stay afterwards to do extra if he could. My thoughts: this is awesome, he’s going to do great!
Worry began to set in. Like most individuals that I’ve coached, once people begin to see strength they want MORE and to become STRONGER fast, and so they begin to heavy every day. My programming does not allot for heavy lifts every day for reasons stated in my other blog post, Inside My Mind… on Fitness Programming During Deployment.
I always emphasize the importance on technique and taking time in order to build true strength. So I enforced scaling back to the normal program and we also began working on accessory exercises, which are exercises that support the main lift but target certain muscle groups or weak areas which need improvement.
An example would be low box squats, because like most of us, we tend to get stuck “in the hole” when loaded heavy. Low box squats emphasizes the need for a powerful hip drive to stand back up with the weights.
Not only did Marvin want to learn to improve for himself, but he wanted to start coaching. I LOVE personal development so of course under my supervision he began teaching one of the classes. One of the best ways to improve on a movement is to teach it. It shows you a different perspective and allows you to understand the important cues while teaching others.
Not too long I received this…
(PROUD BIG SMILE) “Patience is a virtue,” says the quote… and also gives you true strength.
CONGRATS on your PR! Keep up the great work and making those GAINS! Thank you for the shout-out and for reminding me why I love what I do.