Laying Bricks and Building Beasts


This past weekend I took the RKC Level II course here at Ambition Athletics.  That being said I was originally going to just write about all of the awesome stuff I learned, especially considering that although I knew the weekend would be fun, I didn’t have high expectations as far as learning a lot.  Well, I feel like I did learn a lot and I changed my mind.  One such knowledge nugget that Max, who was teaching the course, made and I subsequently wrote down, was that your time in the gym, your strength training, is like laying bricks. One at a time toward building a beast.  What does that mean you ask?  Consider a few points.

If you train smart, follow the 80% Rule, and use Biofeedback, you’re going to get better every day and build a beast, laying one brick at a time.  Within in those parameters it almost doesn’t matter what you do.  Regardless of your specific goals, chances are you need to practice moving better (mobility/movement quality) and get stronger.  A deadlift is a deadlift whether it’s with a barbell, trap bar, one handed, in a different stance.  Any variation will help you keep laying bricks on a daily basis.  Think about pull ups in the same way.  Chin up, pull up, mixed grip, Rolling Thunder grip.  All of those work.  Keep practicing.

This is mainly how we train our members at Ambition Athletics.  We use a fair amount of variety but always train for strength, at about 80% effort and incorporate plenty of mobility/range of motion work.  Now, as I’ve stated many times in the past, namely HERE, for most people the goal is to feel better and look good naked.  And I’m not trying to toot the proverbial horn but it makes me smile when the system is proven successful.  In just 2 days following the RKC II Cert, three different female Ambition members told me about the recent flattering compliments their physiques got from friends, boyfriends and perfect strangers.

Lift things

This quickly made me think about what Max said.  I personally know that you can give these women a myriad of lifts/movements and they will prove relatively strong in all of them, even when it’s something new.  Now, I’m not talking elite level strong or making some other outrageous claim but these ladies move well and move weight.  It wasn’t always that way but that’s building a beast.  These ladies put in the time and keep laying bricks.

Finally, I think that a lot of training programs these days focus on being well rounded.  That’s great, but to a point.  It sounds cool to be prepared for any situation by doing a mish-mash of a lot of stuff.  But, as coach Greg Everett says, “Being prepared for any random task is not the same thing as preparing randomly for any task.”  This is especially true when you have a specific goal.  The bricks that will form your foundation are the most important and those are movement and strength bricks.  Some days are going to really kick ass and others not so much.  Keep laying some bricks and don’t dwell on any one day.  Before you know it you’re far stronger than your friends and the people you meet who are telling you how sexy you are!

– Mike Baltren