Hard Come, Easy Go

bench press

In a previous tip I talked about how one often makes the fastest progress by working on one’s weakest area. An unfortunate fact is that when you have a break from training, intentional or otherwise, your weakest areas also regress and erode the fastest.

This works at both the physical or technical levels.

Physically, even though I train my upper and lower body about equally, the pushing muscles of my upper body have always lagged behind the strength of my legs and back.

My bench press is utterly unimpressive when you consider how long I’ve worked on it: at my best I barely managed to squeak out a few repetitions of 225 lbs. If I stop lifting weights for a while, then my weak area – my bench press for example – goes down much more than the lifts I’ve always been better at.

The same thing occurs when it comes to technical areas. Let’s say that passing the guard has always been difficult for you, and that pin escapes have always come naturally. After a training layoff you will probably find that your pin escapes still work OK, but that your guard passing game has regressed by a full belt level.

What can you do about this?

Not having any weaknesses would be a good start, but this is probably a tad unrealistic…

The next best thing is probably to go easy on yourself after a layoff from training, and simply accept that certain parts of your game will have suffered more than others.

This is normal: don’t get discouraged.  Just accept it.

Just get back to training as soon as you can, get your butt kicked by all your old training partners, and start improving as fast as possible by working on your weakest areas all over again…

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