One of the things I encounter very regularly when I’m speaking to people about beginning their training, is that when I mention a movement, let’s say a push-up, the eyes go wide while they tell me that there’s no way they can do one.
And what’s wrong with that, maybe they can’t do a push-up?
The problem is the finality of the statement. They’re usually not telling me that they can’t do a push-up now, they’re telling me that in their mind, push-ups aren’t an option at all.
Now why can’t this person currently do a push-up, assuming no injuries?
Because they don’t have enough strength. Yet (that’s the important bit).
So what do we need to do to allow them to do a push-up?
Increase their strength.
Pretty simple right?
If you ask someone whether they think it’s possible to increase their strength, most, if not all, would say yes.
Why then do so many people think that there’s movements, like push-ups, that aren’t ever going to be an achievable goal for them, if it’s as simple as building their strength?
I think one big reason is simply not knowing where to start. If you have no idea of where your training needs to begin, and how to progress it to ensure you’re always moving towards that goal, then it’s going to seem unreachable.
I think it’s also easy when you’ve been unable to perform a movement in the past, to write it off as something you can’t do at all. This would be especially true in cases where you’ve been in a bootcamp trying to do a push-up, and when unable, their idea of helping you out with it was yelling at you a little more. If you didn’t yet have the strength to do a push-up, getting yelled at to try harder probably isn’t going to do the trick I wouldn’t have thought. And it’s definitely not going to make you want to try a push-up again.
That’s where some good programming geared towards your specific goals comes in, and once you have that direction, and you are able to progress gradually as your strength increases, then the goal is immediately going to feel much more achievable.
The important thing to remember is that it’s not a case that you can’t to do a push-up ever, you just can’t do one yet!