Just Put It Down

Wednesday’s Workout (NO CAP)
Push or Split Jerk 3-3-3-3
In 20-minutes, work up to a 1 RM Front Squat

…and coming Thursday (NO CAP)
As many rounds as possible in 12 minutes:
1 L Rope Climb, from seated
5 Triple Unders / 15 Double Unders
10 Hollow rocksRecently CFLA’s own Kevin Butler was up here in Portland and he stopped into our home gym for a visit and workout. It was bench press day. Since we’re doing Wendler 5/3/1 the last set is a max reps set. I was spotting another friend of ours, whom I’ll call Joe. Now, ideally the last set stops one short of failure. Meaning, you successfully complete the final rep. Joe, like many of us, gets a little stubborn sometimes and pushed it too far. No big deal. It happens. He failed on his last rep. But instead of feeling the failure occur, acknowledging it, and letting the bar down to his chest (we had safety racks in place, so he was in no danger), he insisting on fighting the bar.

For a long time.

He pushed and pushed and grunted and pushed. And the bar stood perfectly still. It hovered just a couple inches above his chest. It neither rose nor fell, though he was putting an extreme amount of effort into its stillness. His body shook. His face turned red. The bar remained motionless. Everybody was cheering him on to keep going.

I looked at him and said, “Just put it down, Joe.” Clearly it was not going anywhere. Kevin laughed. Joe relaxed and let the bar down. The cheering stopped.

I wasn’t trying to be a buzz kill. I was just being practical. He was not getting the rep; it was only going to get worse. And there’s no point in doing things incorrectly. There are no bonus points for how red your face gets. It’s still a miss even if you try really, really hard…and miss. I’ll give you a hug for showing up, but you don’t get credit for a lift unless you actually get it.

So just let it go. It’s okay to fail. But let it just be a failure. Save your energy for something more productive. Channel yourself, your body, and your mind into productive things. Aimless effort is aimless effort.


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