The foundation to a new project, goal or venture, the starting point has to be honesty. You have to be honest at where you are at. This can be very humbling.
Last May, working out with some buddies, I realized I did a pitiful 3 pull ups. For someone that used to be able to do 20 pull ups with a 45lb plate attached, this was a big wake up call. First, as always seems to be the case, excuses started rolling through my head.
"That was 15 years ago."
"That was before all your shoulder injuries."
"That was before you elbow surgery."
"That was before you worked on people 8 hours a day."
Then after a few minutes of remembering what used to be, I just decided 3 isn't enough. Maybe I won't be strapping weight on and ripping off sets of 20, but I certainly don't have to be where I'm at.
1. Honesty evaluation. Realizing I was just plain weak and realizing I had been avoiding them because they were hard for me was humbling.
2. Accountability. I made a bet with my training partners. 12 reps in 8 weeks or coffee was on me. This brought a timeline. Who likes losing bets?
3. Problem solve. Grip strength was an issue after work. My hands are pretty darn tired after doing manual therapy 8 hours a day. I started to do a few sets of pull ups before work. Nothing earth shattering there and nothing to failure.
4. Prioritize. I did pull ups every day. Several times a day. Weakness isn't overcome by once a week training. It has to be attacked aggressively.
5. Do the work. I started to do windmills with kettlebells and extra self myofacial work on my shoulder blades to help improve shoulder health. Every day.
6. Creativity. Think outside the box. I started to work on the front lever for a different stimulus and this improved my pull ups by leaps and bound. Doing assistance work is important.
Although this formula was used for my sad pull up dilemma, you can replace the concept "pull ups" with anything It
doesn't have to be a physical goal, just a goal. It works every time. This morning I did 15 pull ups before work and my shoulders haven't felt this good in years.