Skill, Strength, and Perseverance.

"I do not think that there is any other quality so essential to success of any kind as the quality of perseverance. It overcomes almost everything, even nature."   ~John D. Rockefeller

Just a quick post to catch up on a few things that have been rattling around in my brain:
As the 5x5 programming has progressed, you will have noticed that the last set(s) is getting hard.  We’re pushing into PR territory every day, and people are digging deep and moving some big weights (which is awesome to see).  You’ll also notice that our off days are becoming more and more ‘off’—we’re focusing on mobility and recovery, lots of skill work, and a little bit of conditioning.  To steal from Dan John, “remember that the goal is to keep the goal the goal”.  We’re trying to maximize strength, and that is where the bulk of your efforts should be directed.

The intent with this programming is to essentially create a wider base upon which to build more specific performance.  Becoming stronger enables you to practice more complex skills longer and harder, leading to improved performance.  You would be hard pressed to find a measure of physical performance that will not be improved by becoming stronger, up to a given point.  It’s true that eventually you will reach a point of ‘strong enough’, where additional strength will not increase performance for a particular activity—but I don’t think many of us are at that point.

A few people are already starting to realize the benefits of all this hard work.  Just off the top of my head, we’ve had a few people in the last week or two that mastered new skills:  John M. is hitting muscle ups now, and Chip held a 10 second static handstand.  It will be fun to see how things look when we transition back to more conventional CFSW programming in a few weeks.

One girl who’s putting her strength to good use is Firewoman Extraordinaire Sara.  Along with her brother, she took 2nd place in the Toughest Competitor Alive competiton last weekend at the US Police and Fire Games Championships.  PRs across the board including 11 strict pullups and a sub-26 min 5 k!  Nice job Sara!

And finally, huge congratulations are in order for CFSW’s long-time dentist in residence, Dr. CJ Metz.  Some of you might know CJ more for his hair (or the time he snatched a barbell into his forehead), but he’s also been busy growing a successful practice in Mesa, and making some big changes in his personal and professional life.  If you haven’t seen CJ for a while, you’ll be in for a shock the next time you see him.  He looks great (and well-groomed), and has created changes in his life that almost defy belief.

I’ve known CJ now for more than 5 years, and I couldn’t be more impressed with the perseverance and dedication that he’s put into his personal transformation.  But, you can judge for yourself:

CFSW house videographers Rob and Nate put together this video, which was submitted for a national contest.  The Grand Prize was a Lamborghini—currently on it’s way to Mesa, AZ.  Hopefully CJ will swing it by the gym sometime.

I call shotgun.