Get good at the basics. Then get better. Again and again

By: Coach Murphy

Master the Basics. Then Keep Learning Them.

Never be afraid to constantly work on the fundamentals in every aspect of life. Consistency is king in improvement, no matter what it is we are trying to get better at. The basics create a solid foundation to build upon and when they get pushed to the back burner- eventually they get cold. When the basics get cold, it means we have lost some of the mastery.

Logic seems to dictate that as humans progress in learning that challenge must constantly be introduced for growth to occur. Which is completely correct. Where logic allows us to waiver is believing the challenge must always be something new and forgetting that the basics are where these challenges still originate from.

1 Plus 1 Still Applies Even At the Highest Level

As with mathematics, we do not forget that 1 plus 1 equals 2. This basic principle is what we build upon even to the level of calculus. Yes, calculus will involve much more complex equations but the basics are still present.

Movement is no different. A squat (I like the example because I like the movement and it applies to every single day of life- everyone poops!) is a basic movement everyone should be able to perform. Variation and challenge is added through increasing load and changing how the load is carried (overhead, maybe front or back rack). The foundation is unchanged but it is easy to get caught up with the novelty of something new or more challenging.

Don't Make Excuses, Anything Can Be Learned

The complex movements look great, but lets be honest here – they don’t really translate to everyday life. Does that mean you can’t learn them? Heck no! But if you struggled to get into a solid overhead position, it makes no sense to throw a weight overhead. Instead, recognize the opportunity for growth by building a solid foundation in your shoulders! A million dollar mansion isn’t built upon a sandy foundation.

The point being, it is never a bad idea to slow down during training. It might be a very welcomed and needed change to strip everything down, focus in on how the basics are performed and make an honest evaluation as to whether the quality is compromised or not. If you suffer from small irritations that come and go, you are likely someone who needs to spend the time deeply evaluating your basic movement patterns.

Speaking From Experience

This is where I am currently at in my fitness and professional career. The flashy always looks good but I need to stay true to what I know will achieve the goals being sought – by me as well as my clients and the members. 

I challenge you to seek challenges, in movement and in life (social, professional, personal). But never forget to take a step back and revisit the basics, the essentials. Test yourself on them regularly. If you score consistently on them it means a job well done and you are making yourself a well rounded individual.