Make it Look Easy (Even Though it Isn't)
Posted June 01, 2023 by Matthew Romans
I am often impressed when I observe people in different industries who are elite at what they do. Athletes and musicians come to mind, especially for me, because I enjoy music and sports as forms of art. A few years before he passed away, I was privileged to see Edward Van Halen perform intricate guitar solos that no one else before or since could possibly match, and in my youth I watched Patrick Ewing effortlessly cover both ends of a basketball court at the peak of his powers at Georgetown. This can even apply to the field of broadcasting. As a regular viewer of Baltimore Orioles baseball games, I marvel at how smooth and polished play-by-play announcer Jim Palmer is at providing analysis and reciting statistics of even the most obscure player. It isn't easy to make a baseball game sound conversational, but Palmer has been doing just that since he retired as a player. Have you ever seen a public speaker that is so poised and fluid in his or her delivery that they look like a natural? Chances are that they worked extremely hard to make it look that way. Through my years of work at Total Results, I consider myself lucky to know many attorneys, realtors, IT professionals, and mortgage lenders who are elite in their chosen fields. One thing I have learned is that when an individual has the ability to make something that is difficult look easy, a tremendous amount of time, effort, and focus have been invested.
We have had many clients at Total Results who make their workouts look easy, even though they are working at an intense level of effort. Our protocol is different from others because we place an emphasis on uniformity in speed of movement, form, and turnaround technique. While we know that each excursion is its own separate entity, our desire is for each repetition to look the same regardless of one's level of fatigue. The first repetition should look the same as the sixth repetition, as long as you are focused on what is important. The main objective of each exercise is thorough inroad; fatiguing the musculature to the point of failure is the stimulus that we seek, and the best way to do that is to maintain impeccable form even when things become challenging and uncomfortable. This requires a calm demeanor, presence of mind, and a knowledge that no matter how unpleasant the situation is, it only lasts a short time. If you focus on the process and execute properly, the results will take care of themselves.
Difficulty in controlling your emotions and losing sight of the real exercise objective can lead to form discrepancies and a lack of proper focus. If you worry too much about achieving an arbitrary time under load you are more likely to take liberties with proper form. This leads to unloading of the musculature and can result in a greater risk of injury. Sometimes clients will instinctively hold their breath, overbreathe, grimace, or clench their jaw in an attempt to demonstrate how hard they are working. Don't do that; we already know how hard you are working, and such behaviors can cause a spike in blood pressure. If you have the correct frame of mind and practice emotional control, a casual onlooker should not be able to decipher how many repetitions you have completed based on your body language. Just like an athlete or a broadcaster, it's important for you to do your prep work in advance of your session. Get 7-9 hours of sleep, eat well, hydrate, and minimize activity that will have a negative impact on your recovery resources. Failure to do this will typically result in a decreased performance.
The word poise is often defined as having grace under pressure. Maintaining the right emotional mindset and preparing yourself physically for a challenging Total Results workout are what is required to maximize your physical improvements. Fans of Ernest Hemingway's sparse and efficient prose know that what he made look effortless was not effortless at all. He removed far more from his initial drafts than he added, and this took time, patience, and grit. If you watch a duck glide across a pond, it looks fluid and easy. Their bodies are very still above the surface, but below the water their feet are kicking like crazy. We know that our workouts are difficult and that you may experience some inner turmoil as you go through them, but if you adopt the right frame of mind and put in the work you can make something challenging look easy.