I cannot tell you how many times I have seen someone walk into a CrossFit gym with the most frightened look on their face.
Most of the time it is pure intimidation because they see a class full of strong and fit people throwing their bodies around rings and picking up a lot of weight. Many times I hear a new member say, “There is no way I will ever look like that” or “I have never worked out in my life; will I even be able to keep up?”.
What they don’t know, is that every single person in that class, started somewhere. We can tell someone that the key to looking like that is 80% diet, 20% exercise. What they don’t tell you most of the time is the key to looking like that is also patience. Transformation does not happen overnight. PR’s don’t happen overnight. However, transformation and PR’s do happen with patience. I truly believe this is the most difficult mental aspect of reaching goals.
We all want to deadlift 300+ pounds and be able to do muscle ups. We learn how to deadlift with a PVC pipe, then a trainer bar, then eventually a bar with weight on it. Most of the time, that weight only increases every few weeks or even months. With the deadlift, we are patient, and know we can’t just load the bar with 300# every day and try to pick up the bar. We begin with lighter weight and we work towards getting stronger in the movement and eventually, with hard work and PATIENCE, we lift that 300# bar.
However, the muscle up is a slightly different story. Many people will just walk up to the high rings and try to swing their way up on top of the rings because there is no weight involved, right? Wrong. Your body weight is weight. So why do we feel like we can put our muscles under max load when we can start with a lighter load and work towards getting stronger and perfecting the muscle up, just like we work towards the 300# deadlift?
Start from the beginning. Get great at push-ups, then get great at static dips, then ring dips. Get great at pull-ups, then ring pull-ups. Work on the strict transition on a set of low rings and perfecting your kip on the high rings. Once you have all of those things in check, then put all of the pieces together and start working towards the muscle up on the high rings. As a coach, I have come to realize the muscle up is one of the most common movements in CrossFit to be impatient with. Who wants to do pull ups and dips while other people are doing muscle ups?! It is very frustrating. Most times we are perfectly fine with doing 150# deadlifts while others are lifting more but we are not ok with scaling muscle ups while others that have worked hard for them are doing muscle ups.
Moral of the story; be patient, put in the work, and everything will come together. Do NOT give up ☺